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City Looking To Add More Surveillance Cameras

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A high ranking police source estimates up to half of investigations use surveillance video. A high ranking police source estimates up to half of investigations use surveillance video.
This surveillance image released in January shows Dr. Melissa Ketunuti the same day she was murdered. This surveillance image released in January shows Dr. Melissa Ketunuti the same day she was murdered.

More surveillance cameras may be coming to a street corner near you.  Some members of Philadelphia City Council are looking to improve the city's camera system at a public hearing on Monday afternoon. 

"It makes everything safer" said one resident of North Philadelphia.

In December, cameras on the Market-Frankford El help catch a man firing shots into a subway car. Last month, camera images in Center City helped police track down a suspect in a doctors murder.

And when police officer Moses Walker was gunned down, video posted by police helped catch an alleged cop killer.
 
"I think they should add more cameras. I mean protection is for everybody. If everybody's safe then I don't mind more cameras. If you aren't doing anything bad what do you have to hide?" says Steven Emerson of West Philadelphia.

Recently a delegation headed by Council President Darrell Clarke traveled to Baltimore where the city is known as a model where more than 600 cameras are in use in it's Citiwatch program.

In Philadelphia, there are 200 public cameras but at any one time more that 25-percent of them don't work.

"I personally have a lot of friends and they are in the streets.  When they see a camera it gives them pause. They'll go somewhere else. Stop what they're doing.  It works" says Basim Mathis of North Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Police YouTube channel has more than 2.8 million views.

A high ranking police source estimates up to half of investigations use surveillance video. That's why the city is hoping to team up with more businesses and private residences to put more cameras on the street.

But some worry that big brother-may be going too far.

"I want to have a private moment walking down the street without people looking at me. I think the city has too many cameras" says William Li, a student at Temple University.

The hearing on surveillance cameras is being held at 12 p.m. on Monday, February 11 in Room 400 in City Council Chambers.

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