Philadelphia, PA

The Philly Four: Streetlights with sensors track traffic, weather but raise privacy concerns

Sam Britt
Sam Britt/ News Break

Welcome to The Philly Four, a daily recap of four of the top stories from the Philadelphia area, covering everything from local government to the Phillies bullpen. A one-stop shop for the most important news bites in the City of Brotherly Love.

Temple football players help firefighters install smoke alarms

  • On Martin Luther King Jr. Day a group of Temple football players joined Philadelphia firefighters in testing and installing smoke alarms in West Philadelphia. The service was organized by the Valiants of Philadelphia, a fraternal society of Black and Latino firefighters. The goal was to install 500 smoke detectors in the wake of the fatal Jan. 5 fire in Fairmount that killed 12 people.

City responds to Fairmount fire tragedy by giving tax cuts to landlords

  • In response to the tragic fire in Fairmount that claimed the lives of 12 residents, Philadelphia City Council brought forth a bill aiming to incentivize landlords to purchase fire escape ladders with a tax credit. The building where the fire took place, which was owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority, did not have a fire escape.

Streetlights outfitted with sensors watch block in Center City

  • Fourteen streetlights in Center City have been outfitted with optical sensors in order to track vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic as well as weather conditions including air quality and humidity. However, the sensors raise privacy concerns. In two cities where they have been adopted, Portland, Me. and San Diego, controversy arose over police use of the sensors and exactly what information was being collected.

Gov. Wolf promises $15 million to fight gun violence

  • Gov. Tom Wolf came to Philadelphia on Thursday to announce $15.7 million in additional funds to gun violence prevention groups. Philadelphia is coming off the highest total of homicides on record in 2020. However, gun violence is not a Philadelphia-specific problem within Pennsylvania, shootings and gun violence have risen in York, Pittsburgh and Reading too according to Wolf.

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Journalist covering all Philadelphia area news, from last Sunday's Eagles game to the latest from City Hall. For weekly recaps of the news you missed please check out the Philly JAWN newsletter, available at

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