Business Owners Hope New South Side Surveillance Cameras Will Prevent Nuisance Crime

Sep 14, 2017

Thirteen new surveillance cameras are now up and running through Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office owns and maintains the cameras. They were installed weeks after South Side business owners requested more oversight.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala said cameras are placed where the most nuisance crimes, like public intoxication, are committed.

“Those cameras will take you on the side streets and cover every inch of Carson between 13th and 18th,” Zappala said.

For the most part, Zappala said Carson Street is a very safe area, but he hopes the cameras send a message to all visitors: “If you want to look for trouble down on the South Side, you’re going to find it, and it’s going to be from the police, and it’s going to be based on evidence.”

Daniel McSwiggen owns Cambod-ican Kitchen on Carson Street, where he said he's had people pushed through his front window. He hopes deter would-be troublemakers and help solve crimes.

“I’m thinking of a sign I might put out,” he said. “You’re on candid camera, don’t act out.”

The cameras were paid for by drug forfeiture funds, grants, businesses and municipalities.

The cameras surveil Carson in real time, and feeds will be made available to business owners. While the system is separate from those operated by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, officers will have access to recorded video.

The cameras are part of a 220-camera system throughout Allegheny County.