By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Police Department reports since February of 2011, it has made arrests in nearly 200 crimes, including murders, based on the aggressive pursuit of surveillance video to identify suspects. The department, with the Public Affairs Office as the clearinghouse, is using the latest technologies to get the evidence before countless eyes.

Police Public Affairs Lieutenant John Stanford says the department has posted nearly 350 videos so far this year, coming from countless sources.

“City cameras that are posted, located throughout the city, we have access to SEPTA cameras, Housing Authority cameras, private businesses and private residents have cameras,” he says. “Cell phones cameras, SEPTA busses, anything, anywhere we can get a camera or get video we try to retrieve video.”

Stanford says over 2 million people have viewed the videos on YouTube.


The successes include the arrest last month of a man who allegedly opened fire inside a strip club in May.

“It showed this guy clear as day,” Stanford says, “and investigators retrieved that video, they got it over to us, we put it out and were able to get an identification on it and ultimately bring him in.”

The defendant was in court last week. He saw the video, which prosecutor Allison Pavero says will be pivotal in the case.

“The footage actually shows the defendant firing the AK 47 into the bar,” she says, “and that angle specifically shows the defendant’s face clearly, and you see all the victims basically ducking for cover and the walls exploding behind them.”

Almost incredibly, none of the victims was wounded.

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