Charleroi business owners help fund surveillance cameras in effort to reduce crime

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CHARLEROI, Pa. - Business owners in Charleroi said they’re taking back their community and hope new surveillance cameras will help reduce crime.

There are currently several cameras installed in the downtown area, and more are being installed soon thanks to donations from residents and business owners alike.

“We’ve had a little bit of a bad rap with certain things, and I think these cameras are going to go a long way in changing that perception,” said business owner James Protin.

Protin is among a group of people who gave money to fund an additional 25 to 30 cameras around his town.

“This is home for me. This is where I grew up,” Protin said. “I still have a lot of family here. My grandchildren are in the Valley. So it’s a positive step for the entire Valley.”

Borough leaders and police showed Channel 11 News how the new technology will work on Wednesday. They said police will be able to easily access the footage recorded through a computer, iPad or cellphone.

“We developed a mesh wireless network that’s run throughout the town right now,” said Ron Mozer of Crystalline Technology.

Officials said the cameras that are already installed have helped lead police to at least a dozen arrests. Borough officials said they will have the additional cameras installed before the end of the year.

“Hopefully the other communities in the Valley will pick up on this and jump in,” Protin said.

Officials said it’s important to remember that the cameras aren’t a magic pill and residents and visitors should always keep a watchful eye.