Dunmore police and businesses add cameras to fight crime
DUNMORE, Nov 21, 2012 (The Times-Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Along with walking and driving borough streets, Dunmore police now patrol with smartphones, iPads and computers.
For about a month now, police and some business owners have checked on streets in four high-traffic areas and places targeted by burglars with cameras positioned throughout the borough. Officers use wireless Internet from businesses to view the cameras.
"It's a constant eye on a specific location that's getting police presence," Dunmore Police Chief Patrick Reese said. "But people aren't seeing the police presence."
Chief Reese said he decided to reach out to businesses after a string of burglaries earlier this year. Three of the cameras are located on property of private businesses and use their wireless Internet.
With cameras set up at Dunmore Corners, the intersection of Blakely and Green Ridge streets, in an alley near Spotless Cleaners on Fifth Street and behind Dempsey's Fashionable Laundry on Blakely Street, Chief Reese has plans to soon add another near the front of the Dunmore School District campus.
Police and business owners hope the cameras will discourage criminal behavior.
"For the hard-working people out there, this provides security," Chief Reese said. "But it lets criminals know that we're going to be watching."
Police using surveillance cameras in the region isn't new. Scranton police have had a dozen surveillance cameras for more than four years. However, Scranton police have received criticism for not checking the cameras enough and having unreliable service.
William "Billy" Nicolais Jr., president of Spotless Cleaners, said after one of his store locations was burglarized in September he and other business owners will collect money to help support maintenance of the cameras.
Bobby Dempsey, owner of Dempsey's Fashionable Laundry, said the cameras have added peace of mind and he plans to add more.
"We're going to buy two of them," he said. "We'll give the police their camera back, but still feed into the system."
While standing near the Borough Building recently, Chief Reese pulled out his iPhone and monitored locations. Long term, he said he would like to add about 20 more cameras.
"When they're sitting in their cars, you think they're doing nothing," Chief Reese said. "But they're watching five different locations."
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