Lancaster Safety Coalition upgrading surveillance system in the city


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Fifteen years ago, smartphones weren’t really a thing. Some cars didn’t even have Bluetooth. There have been lots of advancements in technology, and Lancaster is looking to add some of its own with a major facelift to its surveillance system.

“The old system was — imagine watching television in 1992,” Timothy Miller, executive director at the Lancaster Safety Coalition, said.  

It was often grainy and low quality. 

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“If you wanted to find out how many pedestrians were on King Street in a given week, it probably takes you three to six months, $3,000-10,000 to find that information,” Miller said.

Now, with over half of its camera upgrades complete, that simple traffic analysis could take seconds. It’s all part of a multi-million dollar investment by the Lancaster Safety Coalition, and they showed abc27 exactly how things work.

“The old cameras providing that sliver of important information that helped tee up the next level of investigation by law enforcement versus being able to say, ‘Here’s exactly what happened,’” Miller said.

And with more money on the table, they’re looking to fill in coverage gaps in underserved neighborhoods.

“The Southwest is certainly one of those areas that we just don’t have the kind of support we would like to have in place for the community. Parts of Northeast, as well,” Miller said.

The goal has always been to make Lancaster neighborhoods more high-tech.

“Provide the sort of thing that neighbors did for one another for generations, where if something was happening in the neighborhood, you had three or four neighbors who had a good idea why it happened or who did it,” Miller added.

That’s what the Lancaster Safety Coalition is looking to do, one camera at a time.

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