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.
August 16, 2014 |
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.
August 7, 2014 |
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.