Almost 30 Percent of Pittsburgh’s Cameras Are Not Operational

Officials say a lack of maintenance is to blame for many of the video surveillance system’s flaws.

The following article originally ran in Campus Safety’s sister publication Security Sales & Integration.

Forty five of Pittsburgh’s 163 surveillance cameras, or 28 percent of them, are not fully operational.

During a recent shooting of a 17-year old boy, a nearby camera that could have captured the incident malfunctioned. Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told KDKA, “The camera kept going around 360 degrees non-stop. In another case you had a camera pointed directly to the ground.”

RELATED: Mich. Police Department Expands Body Camera System

Pittsburgh has a $75,000 a year maintenance contract with Hitachi Data Systems, but Hissrich says the company is not to blame.

The City Information Technology Bureau was tasked with relaying any operation issues to Hitachi. The city’s Office of Municipal Investigations is now investigating why that information was never passed along.

Now, the Public Safety Department has taken over maintenance of the cameras.

“The important thing is once we do get it up operational that we have checks on it weekly and make sure those cameras are operational at the time that we need them,” says Hissrich.

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