By Joe Dolinsky
WILKES-BARRE — The hawk might be off its perch in Wilkes-Barre.
Wilkes-Barre officials confirmed the city is in the midst of a “significant upgrade” to the Hawkeye video surveillance system, according to a member of the city’s information technology department.
Due to the nature of the upgrades, the official said there may be “intermittent outages” as the city installs new software and hardware and configures the system.
“It’s down because we are upgrading everything,” Mayor Tom Leighton said.
City Administrator Greg Barrouk said Tuesday that the cameras are in the process of being upgraded and some will be down temporarily as a result. Barrouk stressed that it was not a city-wide shut down of the 300 total cameras positioned throughout Wilkes-Barre.
“If some were out, it’s because they’re being worked on,” Barrouk said. “Cameras are getting upgraded and as they’re being swapped out; some are down temporarily.”
Similar upgrades have been performed in the past, usually involving the city adding more cameras, he said.
Barrouk said the cameras have been a valuable tool to the city, aiding in investigations and acting as a “major deterrent” for criminals, especially in the city’s parking garages.
“They played a major role in investigations for our police department and if it’s not catching something live it’s following up and being used as an investigative tool,” he said.
Barrouk, who is also a member of the camera system’s board, expects the upgrades to be completed by August.
Joe Dolinsky can be reached at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL