By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
SUNBURY — Smile — you’re on a camera.
That is if you are roaming around Fort Discovery.
Nearly four years after receiving $200,000 in grant money for surveillance cameras and more than seven months after they were purchased, Mayor David Persing said the first set of cameras is hanging in Fort Discovery, North Fourth Street, and will be turned on and tested in the next week.
The grant, secured by former U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-10 of Dimock, provided for the use of 200 cameras. Fifty of those were supposed to be stationary cameras, and some were to be viewed online by Jan. 1, Councilman Todd Snyder originally said.
Snyder took control of the project with Persing’s help and searched for the best cameras the city could buy with the money received.
It worked because the city was able to purchase state-of-the-art cameras.
But the purchases left no money for installation.
So Snyder and city employees took to the streets and decided to hang the devices themselves. They now have learned from Genesis Security Integrations, the Pittsburgh company that sold the cameras to the city, that a representative is on the way to help.
And the assistance is free, Snyder said.
“We got fortunate to be working with a good company here,” he said. “They are sending a representative to donate his time to help us out.”
Several cameras will be placed in Fort Discovery, and the city soon will be using 12 mobile cameras for surveillance.
The next set of cameras will be hung at the riverfront, Persing said.
The original plan was for cameras to be placed online for residents to monitor, and Persing said that plan won’t change.
“That will happen,” he said. “We are just looking at what we can put online and what we can’t.”
Sunbury will have the capability for up to 300 cameras and still is looking for businesses to participate.
The city owns 50 cameras, 12 mobile cameras and all of the equipment. The server will be able to handle up to 300 cameras, and footage can be saved for months at a time and reviewed by police at any time. The roaming cameras and the “hidden” cameras will be moved throughout the city on a regular basis, Persing said.
What the public will be able to see is still up in the air, Persing said.
“We are just making sure that some of the things we will be putting online are legal,” he said. “We want this system to be done correctly and with no problems, and I think everyone involved is doing a great job and is putting their efforts forward.”
“I am happy with this purchase, and I’m happy we took our time,” he said. “It was a slow process, but we wanted to make sure we were getting everything we could for what we spent.”