HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) – New cameras have been set up in the heart of downtown Hermitage. You can see them at three of the city’s major intersection. But what are they for?
Hermitage Police Department had heard that other neighboring counties were having success with new traffic cameras when it comes to catching suspects. The department got help for buying these cameras from local businesses in that area.
These small white cameras are set up at Route 18 and East State Street, at the round-a-bout on East State Street and at Route 18 and the Shenango Valley Freeway.
They are set up to read things such as license plates if a car may be involved in suspected activity.
Hermitage police say they felt this would be a good idea to add to the city, even more so at the intersection of Route 18 and East State Street.
“It’s just the crossroads of two major state routes near the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania,” said Hermitage Police Chief Eric Jewell.
Police are using them to find certain cars.
“That allows us to look [up] vehicles that we’re searching for involved in criminal activity elsewhere and around the area here,” Jewell said.
They can also help with Amber Alerts. The cameras have only been in operation for a few months but they already helped police investigate a crime connected to Cranberry Township.
“And we were able to determine that they were in Hermitage and they were also passed some counterfeit monies in the city of Hermitage,” Jewell said.
The cameras are on the job, 24/7. They use a software system, and police enter in information about the vehicles they are looking for. The cameras can also help investigate accidents.
“Depends on the angle. It doesn’t capture every lane, all the time. It depends on how they’re positioned,” Jewell said. “So if we have the right lane at issue that was involved in a crash then it may be able to assist us in determining what happened, who was in violation.”
But generally, drivers don’t need to worry. You are not going to get a ticket in the mail from one of these cameras.
“These are not tied into the red lights. They’re not tied into a radar system to determine the velocity of the vehicles, absolutely not,” Jewell said.