Lancaster Safety Coalition has plans for upgraded cameras


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s said that Lancaster Safety Coalition cameras cover 60% of the city.

During a recent trial, however, it was discovered coalition cameras missed the seconds when Wilberto Melendez is said to have pulled the trigger, killing William Cooper Jr.

“By virtue of the limitation of our camera technology, there are just certain things we don’t get a chance to capture,” said Tim Miller, the safety coalition’s executive director.

Miller said there are plans to upgrade all 170 cameras, which should help them see the whole picture.

“The best management practices now and the new technology now is to deploy 360-degree cameras,” Miller said. “It’s four lenses within each camera housing capturing all of the surroundings all of the time.”

The coalition already has two of the cameras in place, and Miller said an added benefit is better video quality.

Miller said plans to change the camera are still being developed and a cost is still to be determined.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said he would welcome the new cameras. He provided the following statement:

This is very encouraging. My office would certainly welcome the change to 360-degree cameras. The cameras, in their current fixed position format, have assisted in numerous investigations, including many major crimes. But there are limitations with the fixed positioning and jump shots from location to location; many times, they do not capture incidents in their entirety. A 360-degree lens would greatly expand the value and provide additional evidence in even more cases. The worth of video footage of a crime and/or the perpetrator(s) cannot be understated in terms of weight with a jury.

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