Doug Bedell — October 11, 2007, 8:51 am

Pittsburgh to Monitor its Entire Downtown

Pittsburgh is extending closed-circuit public/private security monitoring throughout its downtown business district.

SecurityInfoWatch reports that the city will use part of a $2.59 million Homeland Security grant to install a surveillance camera system in its downtown district by April. Cameras able to read vehicle license plates will be installed on the tops of six downtown bridges and near the city’s three tunnels to monitor traffic and criminal activity. (The city matched $825,000 of the $2.59 million grant.)

Corporations like PPG and the Hilton hotel already have 70 percent of the downtown business district monitored and Pittsburgh’s police department is reportedly seeking Motions of Understanding from such corporations to tap the cameras on their buildings.

The University of Pittsburgh already has most of the city’s Oakland district covered with cameras on its campus and apparently would incorporate them into the city’s system if requested.

The city is reviewing proposals from 21 surveillance camera firms before finalizing capabilities, but the bridge and tunnel cameras will definitely have license plate reading technology.

Closed circuit video camera technology can be coupled with PRO Barrier’s aesthetically attractive anti-terrorism vehicle barriers to provide enhanced protection for sensitive buildings in any city.

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