Chief, Residents Hope Cameras Can Curtail Crime in Moon

By Donovan, Sandra Fischione | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 10, 2008 | Go to article overview

Chief, Residents Hope Cameras Can Curtail Crime in Moon


Donovan, Sandra Fischione, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Moon police Chief Leo McCarthy heard the question from residents of the Mooncrest neighborhood dozens of times: Why can't surveillance cameras be installed to deter crime there?

He became convinced that they could be effective during the investigation of a stolen Moon Area School District van. It was found in a housing project in McKees Rocks where video from a surveillance camera helped lead to the arrest of the 15-year-old thief.

The township soon will request proposals for surveillance cameras, which McCarthy said will record video of public areas, where police can patrol on foot or by car. The feed can be monitored at the police station.

The cameras will not record audio -- which is against state law - - or areas of private residences. Township Manager Greg Smith said such cameras have been in use in cities like London to deter crime.

"My wife and I thought it was a great idea," said Charles Owen, a 20-year Mooncrest resident who took over as director of administration for the Mooncrest Neighborhood Association after the death of his wife, Shirley.

Owen said he and his wife favored the idea "for security reasons. Not just for individual security, but property security." He said because the cameras will be set up in public areas, "it should not be an invasion of anyone's privacy."

Mooncrest was built as a townhouse neighborhood during World War II for workers assembling landing ship tanks (LSTs) on Neville Island. Over the years, some of the units deteriorated as fewer became owner-occupied. In an attempt to turn the tide, the neighborhood association spearheaded a recent renovation project that used state and Allegheny County grants to gut eight units and transform them into five larger townhouses with modern amenities. …

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