The city of Lancaster, Pa., will boost crimefighting activities in the city via $3 million in private and public funds over the next three years, according to city commissioners. A group of area businesses and foundations will contribute over $1.2 million, which will be matched with taxpayer money, said Mayor Charlie Smithgall.

He also said the city would provide $600,000 in new tax revenue to 2007, most likely by increasing an occupational privilege tax. The money will help pay for such efforts as the Community Safety Coalition, a nonprofit group that conducts 24-hour video surveillance of high-crime areas.

The coalition's five-year plan involves operating 70 security cameras that connect to a central monitoring center via fiber-optic cables. The money will also help support a computer database of nuisance properties for use by code enforcement inspectors as well as police, and firefighters.

Costing about $334,000, the database will let the city eliminate code paper files and permit the department to share data more easily with police and firefighters. Furthermore, a training program for police on racial profiling will be offered, and police will also get more computers.

The appointing of 12 more full-time officers will increase the city force to 179 members, allowing at least 24 community police officers to be on the streets every day.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Lancaster New Era (11/23/04) P. A1; Murse, Tom .