Power company puts stop to surveillance camera installation

Power company puts stop to surveillance camera installation

Police say cameras mounted on utility poles help prevent crime, but West Penn Power doesn't want the cameras installed anymore.

There's a lot of stuff that goes up on poles that isn't always authorized.

Penn Power told Channel 11 there have even been cases where criminals have put up cameras on poles to watch for police. Now, the utility wants to put safety regulations in place to make sure they know exactly what is being installed.

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A letter Chrystalline Technology and other companies are receiving from West Penn Power is telling them they need to stop putting up surveillance cameras on utility poles until official safety procedures are put in place.

"Because there's a lot of things up on these poles that if you come in contact with, an energized conductor, it can kill you. Let's just be honest about it,” Todd Meyers, spokesperson for West Penn Power, said.

Meyers told Channel 11 letters were sent out to all municipal areas the utility company serves. The increase in crime cameras is what prompted the crackdown.

The power company is now working on spelling out specific safety guidelines before more cameras can be put up.

"It’s unfortunate we can't put cameras up anywhere-Buildings, houses, whatever the case may be. But many times, the local utility pole that's out front is right on the street and has the best vantage point,” Ron Mozer, Crystaline Technology president, said.

Mozer gave us a closer look at a few of the cameras monitoring the Mon Valley area.

"We link all of these cameras back to the police department,” Mozer said.

Earlier this summer, these same cameras caught a violent shootout in Monessen.

It was the video that helped police track down the suspects.

"There's all very important reasons for not saying no to surveillance cameras because we know they're important for crime fighting. But let's do it orderly, correctly and safely,” Mozer said.

Penn Power said they hope to have safety regulations in place by the end of the month.