The City of Pittsburgh has submitted an application for $14 million dollars in federal stimulus funds to expand wireless video security. The city is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University and Community College of Allegheny County on the broadband stimulus application. Howard Stern, chief information officer for Pittsburgh, says CMU is not interested in surveillance cameras, but they are interested in data that the cameras will generate for research purposes. He says CCAC is looking to install surveillance cameras at the North Side campus and surrounding neighborhood.
Stern says the city received a grant about 2 years ago to protect the waterways, ports and rivers, which they are working to complete. He says the beauty of that grant is that it established the infrastructure to expand citywide, but the city doesn't have the money to do that. He says the federal stimulus dollars would allow for that expansion. Stern says the grant would support 220 cameras of a wireless network that would cover the entire city. The video cameras would be mobile allowing them to be moved from one neighborhood to another depending on crime-related problems. Stern says although there is intense competition for these federal dollars, city officials are hopeful that the collaboration with CMU and CCAC will result in a grant award for the project. He says they'll find out if they got the grant money by late summer.