Surveillance Cameras Curb Crime in Little Italy - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Surveillance Cameras Curb Crime in Little Italy

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In Erie's historic Little Italy,  there's a chance you're being watched and you wouldn't even know.

"If you're going to commit a crime, I wouldn't do it here." said Little Italy Neighborhood Watch Leader Wally Brown.

Over the past three years, the Sister's of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Network has placed dozens of security cameras throughout the area, covering a 30 block radius.  What's captured by each camera, can be monitored at any time.

"The police have access any time they want," said Brown.  "They have access, we have access, and the companies where we put them, they have access at their computer at home."

According to Brown, each camera has a view of up to two miles and they record continually for 30 days.  Since the security system is online, those with access can watch the footage from any computer, iPad, or smart phone.

According to Sister's of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Network Executive Director Rose Graham, the cameras are essential in fighting crime.

"I think it's increasing a feeling of safety," said Graham.  "I also think it's helping the police in catching criminals.  When there is something that goes on, in Little Italy, they'll come to us and say do you have that on camera?  And often times, we do."

Brown agrees.

"It's really become a safety tool, because people feel safer," said Brown.  "At first, people were afraid to call...retaliation.   Now, they don't even have to get involved.  Now that they see it's working to their benefit, they'll call us when they see something.  So we can go back on the film and call the police."

The cameras are funded through grants.  It costs $10,000 a year to keep them running.

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