September 3, 2008 By Jim McKay, Justice and Public Safety Editor
Reading, Pa., is one of the latest cities to deploy a citywide wireless surveillance network, joining Long Beach, Calif., and Milwaukee in combating crime with the aid of video surveillance cameras.
The deployment, which will begin with 22 cameras in downtown Reading, will take advantage of the 4.9 GHz public safety band and provide video access to mobile police vehicles.
"We are implementing this video surveillance system as part of a larger effort to reduce crime in our city, and we are extremely excited with the broad support in our community," said William Heim, Reading Police Department chief in a news release.
Reading entered into a five-year agreement with Wi4Net, a division of CelPlan Technologies, to deploy and maintain the system. Wi4Net deployed the systems in Long Beach and Milwaukee as well.
The Long Beach solution features 29 cameras and is expanding; the Milwaukee deployment covers 96 square miles. Wireless surveillance systems are growing in popularity as jurisdictions realize their value as crime deterrents and as awareness of the availability of the 4.9 GHz band grows.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.