Council approved crime camera system

Last night, New Castle city council approved a measure that will allow for 32 police cameras to be placed within the city's limits to help fight crime.

New Castle police will soon have the unblinking eyes of 32 cameras to assist them to deter and solve crime and improve security.

City council Thursday night agreed to purchase and maintain the cameras for the New Castle Police Department through Project NOLA National Crime Camera Program.

Project NOLA, a New Orleans-based nonprofit organization, works with individuals, associations and municipalities to place high-definition crime cameras, gunshot detectors and license plate recognition cameras throughout communities.

After meeting earlier this week with New Castle police chief Bobby Salem, council said 32 cameras can be purchased for $4,800. The cameras will be maintained and monitored for $5,760 per year and a surveillance/monitor room will be installed at the New Castle police station for $1,950, all at no cost to the city.

The equipment, maintenance and surveillance room initial cost will be paid for from the forfeiture fund and other accounts of the police department, Salem said

According to the chief, Project NOLA is the most successful and cost-effective crime camera program in the country. and has helped to decrease violent crime and increase police efficiency by using strategically-placed cameras throughout the community.

Video from the cameras is transmitted via the Internet to crime centers and can help responding officers in dangerous situations. 

Council also:

•Will seek proposals to do a facility asset inventory study. The survey is in accordance with the ACT 47 exit plan and the revised ACT 47 grant to assess inventory The information will be used to determine future annual capital planning, long-term strategic planning and potential need to borrow money for capital improvements. 

•Approved a five-year agreement, through 2024, with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to plow snow in the winter. The state will pay the city $56,969.49 per year to continue to maintain the streets.

•Agreed to purchase a 2019 Ford F-350 one-ton truck from Phil Fitts Ford for the public works department. The price of the vehicle, $51,900.97, includes $14,700 in additional equipment  The city will pay $9,486 per year through 2024. The truck is financed through Laurel Capital Corp. at the rate of 3.70 percent.

•Authorized City Business Administrator Stephanie Dean to serve as the first point of contact for the city’s checking accounts at First Commonwealth Bank.

•Introduced an ordinance to close an unnamed, 31-foot wide alley in the area of 412 Carl Street and Hamilton Street.


Nancy Lowry is a reporter at the New Castle News. Email her at

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