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NEWS
August 20, 2014 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
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.
NEWS
August 16, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan and Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writers
Even before 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. - before Eric Garner died after New York City police officers put him in a choke hold - civil rights advocates were calling for police officers to wear cameras that record their interactions with the public. It's a policy, they say, that would protect people against police brutality and exonerate officers wrongfully accused of misconduct. It's a policy already in place in at least three major departments, and in the aftermath of Brown's and Garner's high-profile cases, calls for the cameras are gaining momentum.
NEWS
August 7, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Evesham's police officers have recorded 3,705 incidents while on patrol in the two weeks since they began wearing body cameras, Chief Christopher Chew said Tuesday. "I love it. It's a game changer," he said in an interview at police headquarters, where he played several clips to illustrate the new technology and his rationale for introducing it. In one, an officer just starting his shift responds to a report of a man stumbling around the lobby of town hall. The officer taps the camera, which he is wearing on his sternum, to start the audio, then steps into the lobby.
NEWS
August 2, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two years after the Pennsylvania legislature allowed red-light camera systems to expand beyond Philadelphia, Abington is the only suburb to install one. Under a one-year pilot program, cameras were slated to begin monitoring three of Abington's busiest intersections at 12:01 a.m. Friday. After a two-month grace period, violations caught by the camera will result in a $100 fine to the owner of the vehicle. The 11 other towns in Southeastern Pennsylvania large enough to qualify for red-light cameras have either ignored or rejected the idea.
BUSINESS
July 26, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
"Ride-share" services Uber and Lyft won temporary authority from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday to operate in Pittsburgh and surrounding Allegheny County. In another development, taxi cabs in Philadelphia will be required to install security cameras this year, following approval Thursday by the state Independent Regulatory Review Commission. The security cameras will monitor both the driver and passengers, and are designed to improve safety for both, said the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates taxis in Philadelphia.
NEWS
July 22, 2014 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
The hope is that the secretive northern pine snake, a large white constrictor with black and brown blotches, will mug for the cameras being mounted near the wildlife crossings beneath the Atlantic City Expressway. The crossings were created inside four culverts below the well-traveled Jersey Shore route about a year ago to protect the threatened snake and other creatures, at the direction of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The nonvenomous reptile, which can grow to up to seven feet in length, is one of several rare animals that exist in diminishing numbers in the Pinelands, a national preserve sliced in half by the six-lane highway.
NEWS
July 17, 2014 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA police are field testing video cameras that clip onto officers' shirts and record everything they do, officials announced Tuesday. The camera, which connects to an officer's handheld police radio, records video and audio, and can take photos, said SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel. "The benefit of that is that every contact that an officer has will then be video- and audiotaped. It's a tremendous benefit for police, a tremendous benefit for the public," Nestel said. "We're experimenting.
NEWS
July 16, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
IF YOU see a SEPTA Transit Police officer in the next few days, be sure to smile - you may be on camera. This week, the force is beginning a trial run of body-mounted cameras on its officers, an initiative officials have had their eyes on for months. "It improves public trust," SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel said. "If people know police have cameras on uniform, they have more faith that officers are acting properly. " Nestel's a self-admitted fan of technology - he boasts more than 2,000 Twitter followers - and says the cameras can be a valuable tool for the force.
BUSINESS
June 1, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Parking Authority can proceed with the new operator of its red-light camera program, according to a Commonwealth Court decision announced Friday. A three-judge panel denied a request by American Traffic Solutions Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., to void PPA's contract with Xerox State & Local Solutions Inc., a unit of Xerox Corp., of Norwalk, Conn. PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty said in a statement that the aim of the camera program "had always been to reduce red-light running and save lives," and that the ruling would allow the transition to Xerox to continue.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writer
Confronting a recent rash of homicides, Chester Mayor John Linder said Wednesday that he wants at least a tenfold increase in the number of security cameras monitoring the streets of his city. So far this year, 14 homicides have been reported in Chester, the first time in at least a decade the number has reached double digits this early, according to state data. No suspects have been arrested in any of those cases, Linder said. Installing more than 100 cameras around the city would make residents feel safer and help police solve crimes when witnesses are reluctant to step forward, he said in an interview.
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