More cameras with a better view coming to secure rec centers and playgrounds in Philly

The Philadelphia Police Department is asking more homeowners and business owners to register their security cameras and share footage. (NewsWorks photo, file)

The Philadelphia Police Department is asking more homeowners and business owners to register their security cameras and share footage. (NewsWorks photo, file)

Philadelphia may spend $1.8 million to install 360-degree camera systems at city playgrounds and recreation centers where gun violence has erupted.

City Council President Darrell Clarke said the technology’s 360-degree arc would enhance law enforcement efforts. He said after a recent shooting at a recreation center in his district, police officers had to knock on nearby doors to ask individuals if they could use security camera footage. The camera system he wants to bring to Philadelphia via a $1.8 million spending bill introduced Thursday would lessen the city’s reliance on private security footage. Clarke wants to target public rec centers and playgrounds after a rash of shootings at these spaces.

“We think this will hopefully cause a person to think twice if they know they are going to be viewed as they perpetrate whatever type of crime they are going to do from the exterior or the perimeter of the rec center,” Clarke said.

The bill will go to a council committee for a hearing but appears assured of passage. Clarke said implementation of the new cameras won’t happen overnight. Once the money is approved, they will have to decide if they can add the purchase to existing contracts, which would expedite their installation, or start a whole new bid process for the cameras.

The council president said he expects the project to be up and running sometime in the spring of 2022.

“When people start to gravitate to recreation centers, this thing will be up and running in all those designated locations,” Clarke said.

Broke in PhillyWHYY is one of over 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push towards economic justice. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly.

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