Cameras positioned at nearly 200 locations in Lancaster city continue to roll during the COVID-19 emergency.
The Lancaster Safety Coalition, a non-profit organization that oversees and operates the cameras, has modified in-office and work-from-home operations in order to protect staff – as so many other workplaces have during the emergency.
In mid-February, the Safety Coalition began scenario planning in order to ensure that they could match community need with enough capacity, depending upon the length or implications of the emergency.
No matter what the organization must do to adapt, the cameras are rolling, recording and available for use in criminal investigations.
“Like all of our partners in public safety, we are making the changes necessary while continuing to serve the Lancaster community,” LSC Executive Director Tim Miller said this week.
The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office sees tremendous value in the cameras as deterrence tools and sources of evidence in criminal prosecutions.
Footage from LSC cameras have led to guilty verdicts in numerous criminal trials, including murders, aggravated assaults, robberies and sexual assaults. Additionally, footage has strengthened countless other cases, leading to guilty plea resolutions.
“These cameras help keep the community safe by holding offenders accountable,” said District Attorney Heather Adams, who serves on the LSC board of directors. “And I am looking forward to even more community impact as replacement cameras with additional capabilities continue to be installed.”
LSC modified their operations in response to Governor Wolf’s stay-home order, and in consideration of social distancing guidelines.
“The size of our monitoring room meant that changes would need to be made,” Miller said.
However, continuity remains, and police and other law-enforcement officials are in constant communication with LSC staff.
Lancaster city police and all other municipal departments in the county, along with Pennsylvania State Police, are making arrests and responding to calls for assistance.
The Lancaster Safety Coalition was established in 2003, with the camera program launched and expanded in ensuing years.
The program is funded largely by donations. Our office has been one of many annual donors.
LSC partners with numerous community-based organizations including neighborhood groups and other non-profits to promote public safety and community pride.
For more information on LSC, visit: http://www.lancastersafetycoalition.org/
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