For passengers on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line, get ready to say “cheese!”
SEPTA plans to begin installing 10 surveillance cameras on each of its 221 cars on the Blue Line this month at a cost of $3.6 million. The project, which is expected to be completed by next spring, will be voted on next week.
Officials have planned to install the cameras for a while as a way to deter crime, but wanted to finish installation on the Broad Street subway.
“I think it’s been a great crime prevention tool as we’ve had a number of media stories where [surveillance has been key],” said SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney. “I think the word is out that they’re simply there.”
Perhaps the most notable incident caught on surveillance, Maloney said, was a 2008 attack on the Broad Street line when Thomas Scantling attacked another passenger with a hammer.
After Scantling’s photo was broadcast in the media, he was arrested and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.
Last year, a 22-year-old woman with a baby was sexually assaulted on the Market-Frankford Line by a knife-wielding man, but no camera surveillance was available. The suspect was never identified.
The eye in the sky sees all
The cameras have also been helpful investigating alleged crimes or accident injuries, Maloney said. Although they are not monitored, police are able to review footage once an incident is reported.