North Fayette is watching: Video cameras added at The Pointe shopping area

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North Fayette police now have the ability to monitor every vehicle that passes through the township’s most popular shopping center.

Six video cameras have been posted at major intersections in The Pointe at North Fayette, with half aiming at license plates and half capturing the color, make and model of cars.

“Any time you leave The Pointe we have your license plate, no matter what direction you go, whether it’s past Home Depot or heading toward Robinson or the onramp to Pittsburgh,” North Fayette Lt. Michael Hamm said Tuesday night.

The retail center is the site of dozens of businesses, including shops, restaurants, hotels, entertainment centers and big-box stores, such as Wal-Mart and Target.

The cameras are on Summit Park Drive’s intersections with Home Drive and Montour Church Road.

Police installed the cameras in January to help identify drivers suspected of crimes including shoplifting, hit-and-run, auto theft and robbery, Lt. Hamm said.

“We’ve had several incidents now where we’ve been able to use them,” he told  township supervisors.

He said the cameras have some infrared illumination for viewing plates at night.

The cameras are not used to catch motorists committing moving violations such as running red lights or stop signs, he said.

“It’s not for traffic enforcement,” Lt. Hamm said. “It’s for criminal investigations.”

About 45 surveillance cameras are installed throughout North Fayette, including locations at Donaldson Community Park, Hankey Farms swimming pool, Five Points intersection in Imperial and the North Branch Road municipal complex .

Dispatchers inside North Branch Road police station monitor live feeds from the cameras that record continuously and save footage for about two months, Lt. Hamm said.

“That’s a big bonus to having our own dispatch center,” he said.

Andrea Iglar, freelance writer:

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