PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Nick Conley is on a mission, and several thousand others have taken notice.

Conley is spearheading a petition campaign to make upgrades to the city of Pittsburgh’s surveillance camera systems.

Conley didn’t know Dakota James, or any of the other young victims whose bodies were found in the rivers in recent years, but he felt compelled to do something.

“You see, most of these men are videotaped walking through our city, whether it be the South Side or Downtown, and then as soon as they get close to the riverbanks or the bridges, they vanish into thin air,” he says.

Conley talked to KDKA’s Kym Gable about the online petition drive on Facebook.

“(We have) signatures from Italy, Australia. It’s gone worldwide, and I hope it gains more attention,” he said.

Dakota’s father told the media after his son’s death, “We’re going to work with the city to improve the surveillance video, particularly on bridges.”

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Mayor Bill Peduto wants to make it clear that the 6th, 7th, and 9th Street bridges do have operational cameras. He says none of them showed Dakota crossing any of those spans.

“What we would like to do is upgrade our camera system to be able to have panning ability. Right now, they’re stationary and they show in one area,” said Mayor Peduto. “We’d like to work with the family. We realize this would be a way of healing for them as well.”

Mayor Peduto says the city first needs to invest in new servers. The project would take a couple of years, he said, as the changes could not be accomplished in one budget year.

To read more about the petition or sign it, visit this link.

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