Lehigh Valley

Easton to install new surveillance system in West Ward

EASTON, Pa. - The city of Easton is getting ready to roll out a new surveillance system in the West Ward. The goal is to reduce crime and to catch those who are committing crimes before they get away.

The city plans to install high definition cameras and license plate readers in the area. This means cars going in and out of the West Ward will be on camera and easy for police to identify.

Drive-by shootings and crimes where cars have sped off are issues Easton police have been dealing with in the area.

Six years ago the city did install cameras in the area, but they mostly just provide a make and model of a vehicle. The new technology would add license plate readers which should help police find the registered owner quicker.

"We want to flood the West Ward with license plate recognition software which will actually record every single vehicle that we may need to know who they are," said Easton Mayor Sal Panto.

Easton Councilmember Peter Melan reached out to CSi, the same company who installed the system in Allentown, and said he's glad the mayor and other council members jumped on board with the new system.

"The city is going to invest a lot of money into this technology,” added Melan. “I really think it's going to help reduce the crime and improve the neighborhood."

The price tag is $400,000. The funding will be included with the new Easton police station, but everyone involved said the system will only work if people are willing to help out.

"We won't know about it until someone says, 'Hey listen I saw a make and model of a car around this time with this partial license plate,'" said Melan.

Panto would not say when the cameras will be installed or exactly where.

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