December 15, 2014 |
High-tech surveillance cameras are going up on street poles in suburban South Jersey communities where they are being used as virtual patrols to stretch police departments. Many have been installed quietly, netting a rash of drug dealers as well as petty criminals. In Riverside, a blue-collar town of 9,000, the equipment was used in recent years to disband a burglary ring and a Bloods Gang affiliate known as Sex Money Murder. Nearby, in Burlington City, the equipment captured an encounter with a vandal who had a ladder, a hammer, and a scheme to stop the incessant recording on a street corner known as a drug market.
December 4, 2014
P ANO Kalogeropoulos, 31, of Fairmount, is a photographer who founded Bokeh Fire, which considers itself the Netflix of camera lenses. The company offers a curated set of lenses for rent monthly. Bokeh owns all the lenses rented out on its website. Bokeh launched a $20,000, 30-day crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter on Nov. 13 that has so far raised more than $15,000. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for Bokeh Fire? A: I moved here in 2013 after graduating from business school at Northwestern, where I started thinking about this.
December 3, 2014 |
The Philadelphia Police Department launched a pilot body-camera program Monday in which more than two dozen officers will wear the cameras while on duty for six months. It's a move that Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey has been advocating for months, and one that department officials say will increase transparency and "build community trust. " Ramsey was appointed Monday by President Obama to cochair the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which aims to provide recommendations for local departments on building trust within communities, especially those of color.
November 8, 2014 |
New Jersey's controversial red-light cameras are likely to go dark next month, as the five-year experimental program expires with no legislative push to renew it. Supporters of the cameras say the program has improved safety, while opponents contend the cameras have served only to enrich local and state governments. The program was scheduled to expire Dec. 16, unless the Legislature renews it. No such legislation has been introduced. There are 76 camera-equipped intersections in 25 New Jersey towns, including in the South Jersey communities of Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Stratford, Glassboro, Deptford, and Monroe Township.
October 28, 2014 |
First Christmas, now Halloween. People keep stealing Josephine's decorations. "It's a disgrace," said the 66-year-old South Philadelphia grandmother. "I'm chaining everything down this Christmas. " Twice in less than a year, Josephine's home on the 1100 block of Fitzgerald Street has been pillaged by holiday thieves. For that reason, she asked that her last name not be printed. "I'm already being targeted," she said. At Christmas, it was her Santas holding big lollipops.
October 6, 2014 |
Rick Short is convinced that red-light cameras are little more than "right-turn-on-red cash cows" for New Jersey municipalities. The self-employed father of four is so sure the devices don't make intersections safer - as proponents insist - he's challenged Cherry Hill officials to "prove me wrong. " And if they can do that, the township resident promises to "stand in the rain or snow for five hours at Route 70 and Springdale Road with a sign" acknowledging the mistake. I interview Short, 47, at a Cherry Hill Starbucks, where he arrives with charts, spreadsheets, and talking points.
September 19, 2014 |
WHAT'S the cutest new smart watch? The most interactive electronic book reader? Hint: These items are not made by Apple or Amazon, don't cost a fortune and are targeted to the savvy crew of gadget lovers who like to be in bed by eight or nine. And aren't any older than that, either. VTECH TRUMPS THE COMPETITION: Likely to be a big item for holiday shopping this year (unlike that newly announced but six months delayed Apple Watch) the $59.99 (list price) VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch is targeted to techie tykes age four and up. But don't be surprised to see big kids wearing one, too!
August 28, 2014 |
More than 675 people have registered their security cameras with the Philadelphia Police Department's SafeCam program since it began in 2011, and law enforcement officials are encouraging more to sign up. The program allows residents and business owners to register their security cameras with the department so officers know where to look for security footage that might aid in a criminal investigation. Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey at a Tuesday news conference highlighted a city Commerce Department initiative that reimburses business owners 50 percent of installation costs up to $3,000 for putting in the cameras.
August 23, 2014 |
Perched atop a hill, Camden High School resembles a castle, with more than 80 entrances for a student to quietly slip out of or an intruder to sneak in. From an irate parent to a passerby seeking to use the restroom, "anybody could walk in," even through the main entrance, principal James Thompson said. "It became a problem of getting them out. " In the latest move to make students and staff at Camden High and Woodrow Wilson High, the district's flagship high schools, feel safer, School Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard unveiled a new, high-tech, $1.4 million security program.
August 20, 2014 |
THE TINY cameras are disguised as alarm clocks, teddy bears and cereal boxes, designed to keep an eye on the people baby-sitting children or caring for elderly loved ones. Members of one Bucks County family, according to police, had suspected that Ruth Reed, 90, a relative with Alzheimer's disease, was being mistreated at an assisted-living facility. So they bought a "nanny cam" a year ago and moved her to a facility in Yardley. For 10 months, everything at the Arden Courts residential assisted-living facility on Stony Hill Road was fine, police said.