Newark launches ‘virtual patrol' program to help deter crime
The city of Newark has launched a high-tech way for residents to monitor their neighborhoods and anonymously report any suspicious activity to police.
Mayor Ras Baraka announced details about the Citizen Virtual Patrol program Thursday.
Baraka says 62 surveillance cameras are being deployed around the city. People will be able to log onto the city police department's website and view the surveillance cameras, with the hope that they will call police if they see anything suspicious.
Residents will be able to watch certain city intersections in real time.
The city plans to soon increase the number of cameras to 125, with live monitoring by Newark police personnel. Grant money the city has received will cover the costs of the cameras.
Officials also plan to launch a mobile version of the software so that residents can view the cameras on their smartphones.
Baraka says that Newark once had 150 surveillance cameras in place, but that the majority of them were damaged by Superstorm Sandy. These new cameras will replace those cameras that were lost.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.