A warning to the unscrupulous: Updated cameras being installed

A warning has been issued to those with “unscrupulous ideas” with respect to the Newberry Estates apartment development in the Newberry section of Williamsport.

An updated security system will give eyes to not only apartment management but also city police, who will be able to see what’s going on in that area remotely at any time of night or day.

Not only will the system allow officials to view the cameras over the internet, it also comes with a virtual patrol service, facial recognition and a search system that can show police and management how many vehicles or people pass the camera along with times.

To that end, the Lycoming County District Attorney’s office recently announced a $17,000 contribution to fund the update, money that is not coming from General Fund dollars but from drug forfeitures that have been successfully prosecuted and resolved.

The District Attorney’s office said use of those funds was justified based on crime statistics for that area.

We agree that it is an appropriate use of drug forfeiture funds.

Based on news accounts that run in the pages of the Sun-Gazette as a matter of public record and routine, we suspect that at least some drug crime must have been a motivating factor behind the apartment development’s initial installation of security cameras seven years ago.

It is unfortunate that the cameras have become outdated to the point that they were not as useful as officials desired in a recent investigation. They are in need of an update now, if they are to be useful in holding down crime and giving the residents of Newberry Estates, who are in an area that is tucked away and off the beaten path, the peace of mind they deserve.

It can’t happen soon enough.

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