New Charleroi cameras helping cops catch criminals in the act
In December, Patrick Garman was having lunch with John Mollenauer when Garman asked the mayor-elect why he wanted the job.
“He said, ‘Because I've got to do something for my community. I don't want to do the same old thing that's not working.'” From that conversation, Mollenauer introduced Garman, administrator at Spartan Health Surgicenter in Carroll Township, to then-Council President Mark Alterici and the current and incoming council members. That first goal was to take back the town, they decided.
With Garman, who recently moved to Charleroi, leading an aggressive fundraising campaign in the business community, more than $12,000 was donated. The goal was to install state-of-the-art surveillance cameras in downtown.
At a press conference Wednesday morning in the borough community room, Mollenauer, Garman and Councilman Larry Celaschi Jr. spoke about the success of the cameras in catching criminals in illegal activity.
The community leaders were joined by councilmembers Ed Bryner and Debbie Kruell Buck.
And the initiative is growing.
Celaschi said the initial plan was to get a handful of surveillance cameras installed in downtown Charleroi. Twenty five cameras have been installed to date. Celaschi said the next goal is to take the technology into the residential neighborhoods, Celaschi said.
Asked the timetable for that, Celaschi laughed when he said, “today.”
“Our goal is to rebrand the image of Charleroi,” Celaschi said. “We all are united here and want to elevate expectations for this community. This successful effort will not only help make our town a safer place, but it will provide an ever-increasing tool of presence to assist our police in fighting crime.
“If you commit a crime out in the open in this town, you will be recorded and without any reservation, our police and this community will find you.”
Charleroi Regional Police Chief Eric Porter said the first week the cameras were installed downtown, officers observed a drug deal under way and immediately made arrests. Porter said police have observed on the cameras everything from people intoxicated downtown to finding suspects wanted on outstanding warrants.
“Having these cameras is like adding another 20 sets of eyes,” Porter said.
Ron Mozer, owner of Crystalline Technology, gave a PowerPoint demonstration on the video technology. In video feed from one camera in Monessen, a drug deal is observed. The seller looks up and realizes he is being observed on camera and speaks an obscenity toward the camera.
His firm installed the cameras for the borough. He said the cameras are also having a positive effect on crime prevention in Monessen as well as Donora. Police can watch the camera feeds from a large screen high-definition television in the regional police station in Charleroi as well as from their smart phones.
“Where the cameras are, crime is reduced,” Mozer said.
Charleroi Councilman Paul Pivovarnik said Wednesday's press conference – which was attended by various members of the community as well as business leaders – coincided with the first anniversary of council unveiling no tolerance zones for crime through the borough.
“I believe this is a significant day in the history of Charleroi,” Mollenauer said. “Call it camera day.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Belle Vernon Area education boss presents wish list to school board
- Valley man faces trial in infant abuse case
- BVA stadium upgrades OK’d
- Sulkosky settling in as new California borough manager
- Monessen buys four heavy duty trucks
- Power outage planned in Mon City, Fallowfield areas
- Belle Vernon students advance to state history competition
- Tourism grant funds give boost to Brownsville
- Crawford recognized by Greater Rostraver Chamber of Commerce for ‘unique desire to help others’
- Donora native at forefront of scientific research