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Security cameras assist Sharpsburg police

Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Sharpsburg chief of police Leo Rudzki shows monitor with state of the art cameras all around the neighborhood.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

A security camera system is already paying off for Sharpsburg police.

Police Chief Lou Rudzki said last week that the second phase of the camera system is complete. Grants totaling more than $100,000 funded 23 cameras throughout the borough.

Rudzki said officers watching the footage recently noticed drug activity and were able to make an arrest after recording the exchange on camera.

“The guys watched from the office … they went down (to the site) and made the arrest,” Rudzki said.

The cameras can be rotated and zoomed in and out to give officers different views of each site.

A large-screen monitor in the station shows feeds from each camera and officers can choose which one to focus on.

Work on the system began in 2009. Sharpsburg police have focused on cutting down drug activity in recent years and have teamed with Allegheny County and neighboring departments on investigations.

“This was a long time coming,” Rudzki said.

Rudzki said incidents such as the Boston Marathon bombing have shown how effective security cameras can be for police.

“If it wasn't for surveillance cameras, it might have been a long time making an arrest,” Rudzki said.

Rudzki thanked the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Port of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, Fugh Foundation and the Sharpsburg Veterans of Foreign Wars for their financial support with the system.

He also thanked several local business owners for infrastructure support.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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