The first batch of 100 cameras will be installed near 13 rec centers thanks to nearly $5 million allocated by City Council.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia began installing new cameras near recreation centers and playgrounds throughout the city on Wednesday to crack down on violence.
Nearly 300 incidents of gun violence have been reported near the parks since 2019, including the shooting death of Tiffany Fletcher. The Parks and Rec employee was killed in September while working at Mill Creek Rec Center in West Philadelphia.
"A number of rec centers had tragic events where people were shot," said City Council President Darrell Clarke during a news conference to unveil "safe play zones."
The first batch of 100 cameras will be installed near 13 rec centers thanks to nearly $5 million allocated by Philadelphia City Council.
City officials hope it will help reduce and solve crime.
"It should have happened yesterday," said Amanda Parezo, who was shot after a game of kickball at the Hancock Rec Center in 2021.
She's now paralyzed from the waist down.
"From the moment I wake up to the moment I close my eyes, I deal with the physical torment, the mental anguish. I have severe pain. I mean every second -- that reminds me of what happened," Parezo said.
Her shooter still hasn't been found, and there were no city cameras that caught the shooting.
Eight cameras will be installed at the Hancock Rec Center and other places that have seen violent crime.
Neighbors gathered at Marie Dendy Rec Center in North Philadelphia to applaud the installation. They said it will bring a sense of safety to the neighborhood.
Parezo is glad to see some changes as well.
"Let's keep these communal areas safe for our children and our families, and ourselves as citizens of this city," she said.
The cameras will keep an eye on the outside parameter of the parks to catch any crimes that happen nearby or to see where an offender runs.