MCKEESPORT, Pa. - McKeesport is keeping a closer eye on what goes on in the city.
The city is investing in more surveillance cameras around the city to curb crime and help fight blight.
“We want people that are choosing to possibly engage in criminal activity to think twice," said Police Chief Bryan Washowich.
Through an "intelligent policing" project spearheaded by Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, the countywide license plate recognition camera system allows McKeesport police to search specific characteristics of a car if a crime is committed.
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“If we had an incident involving a crime that has a witness report, possibly a Steeler bumper sticker on the back of their vehicle, we could search 'Steelers' and it will pop up 'vehicles,' and we can narrow our search down," Washowich said.
McKeesport is one of eight municipalities to be awarded a grant through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Prevention. Fifty thousand dollars of that will help pay for the cameras, with the rest of the money coming from a community development grant and general funding.
In phase one, cameras at six intersections monitoring the perimeter of the city were installed. The next two phases will target inner-city intersections and neighborhoods with higher volumes of crime.
“The message we have for our people in the city of McKeesport, we want them to know this administration is working so that they don't have to live in fear," said Mayor Michael Cherepko.
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