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Cameras to keep eye out for problems in West Reading

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jun 20 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 21 2013 10:22:53 PM CDT

Police are getting a new tool to fight crime in the heart of West Reading.

WEST READING, Pa. -

Police are getting a new tool to fight crime in the heart of West Reading. Borough council has approved plans to install ten security cameras on Penn Avenue. On Penn Avenue there aren't video cameras yet, but they're coming. And people have mixed feelings about them.

In Reading, police have had the help of video cameras for years.

"It's not really a disturbance. It's just them doing their job," said Angel Ceja of Reading.
Ceja sees no problem with West Reading police using them too.

"There's a lot of businesses around, so it would catch a lot of people," said Ceja, "In my opinion, so I think it's a very good idea."

But not everyone thinks the 10 wireless cameras on Penn Avenue are necessary.

"Is there really that big a problem that we need to do it? Is it over enforcement?," said Justin Moyer.

"Video evidence is indisputable so that's why it's best to have that," said Sgt. Keith Phillips of the West Reading Police Department.

West Reading police said the cameras will help them do their job.

"The initial cost for this project is a little over $53,000," said Phillips.

But Moyer would like to see those resources spent differently.

"No, I'd rather hire another officer," said Moyer, "If they're going to spend $53,000, hire another person."

"The advantage is we essentially have what's equivalent to ten officers on duty 24 hours a day on the avenue," said Phillips, "And they'll be able to see everything. They'll never forget anything. They're always there for us to go back and see."

"I would hope it would set crime down," said Julie Wert of Shillington, "Hopefully, people would be a little more cautious about what they do."

Others say cameras are fine, but want to know if big brother is watching.

"I don't think you should be able to film people without people knowing they should be notified in some way that they could be on camera," said Angie Hummel of Bernville, "But I think it should make the people feel more safe if something does happen."