PHOTOS: SEPTA rolls out its first mobile surveillance camera unit

septa mobile surveillance camera unit
Rikard Larma/Metro.

SEPTA on Tuesday rolled out its first mobile surveillance unit, which features several solar-powered cameras mounted on a telescopic pole capable of reaching heights of up to 30 feet.

“We have yards and stations – larger footprint properties – and we can take that mobile surveillance camera 18 to 30 feet and position it to provide real time surveillance capabilities anywhere on our properties,” spokeswoman Jerri Williams said.

The acquisition – which was financed by a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant – is part of SEPTA’s push to beef up its surveillance system by 2015 from the estimated 12,000 to 15,000 cameras the agency operates now to a total of 24,000 cameras.

SEPTA plans to soon outfit all trolleys, rail stations and buses with cameras. Two-thirds of the agency’s buses are already under surveillance, along with all of its subway and elevated trains and stations and its new Silverliner V regional rail trains.

But Williams said many of SEPTA’s large yards and lots aren’t currently equipped for remote monitoring, hence the need for the mobile unit.

“So say we’re building new construction or we have our trains sitting out and they’re being graffitied,” she said. “We now have the capability of taking this mobile surveillance unit and deploying it to that remote location.”

SEPTA officers can monitor the feed from any computer, laptop or tablet.

The footage will also be available to Philadelphia police officials, who Williams said already looked a little green when they got a glimpse of SEPTA’s latest toy on Tuesday outside the agency’s Market Street headquarters.

“That’s why we had it out front,” she said. “They were interested in taking a look and may be interested in obtaining one of their own. In the meantime there’s also the possibility, if need they it, for us to make it available for them to use.”

Williams admitted the camera is cumbersome but said when it comes to surveillance, size doesn’t matter.

“Some people may look at it and say, ‘It’s pretty big – people may see that.’ Well, that’s good. If you’re planning on committing a theft or vandalism on our property, it might make you think twice, turn around and go back home.”

The camera will be placed into service immediately, but Williams declined to share the location where it will first be dispatched.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Local

NYPD arrest man after finding body inside plastic…

Police said they found a man stuffed inside a plastic container in a Brooklyn home. Authorities arrested Joshua Simser, 24, in connection to the death

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.