A Report from the Field

IP surveillance camera systems

Syracuse PD – Home Grown Cameras

You’ve heard of baby booms, well the Syracuse NY police department is in the midst of a camera boom. They began installing surveillance IP camera systems in 2011 and the total number has grown to over 40, and counting. If all goes as planned, Syracuse will add 20 more by summer’s end.

The police call their camera network the Criminal Observation and Protection System, or COPS for short. Believing in transparency, the city lists the location of all its cameras on a special COPS Cameras map.

Criminal Observation Protection System Map

According to the city’s website, Police Chief Frank Fowler says they’re not done yet. He plans to continue deploying cameras as long as funding holds out. He may be installing as fast as he can, but a growing number of homeowners are taking matters into their own hands and installing their own cameras on their property.

Other residents, some pro and some con, wonder if, like the cities of San Jose, California and White Plains NY (which we previously reported on), Syracuse PD will eventually seek to tap into these private camera feeds.

which brings us to Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids, MI – Imported Video Feeds

Like many cities, Grand Rapids has sought to rejuvenate their downtown area with new restaurants, bars, and music venues. And like many cities, they have found that when after-dark activity increases, criminal activity does, too. The most recent example was a shooting incident that injured three youths after a Bruno Mars concert, and another one outside a downtown drinking establishment.

Grand Rapids Imported Video Feed

According to a post on www.mlive.com, a Michigan local news site, the Grand Rapids PD and Kent County Sheriff’s Dept has been putting Dept of Homeland Security funding towards expanding their surveillance camera presence in the downtown area with new and upgraded security cameras. Inspired by how footage from privately owned security cameras helped authorities apprehend the Boston Marathon bombers, they are also looking to supplement their own real time surveillance capabilities by enlisting the help of downtown businesses who have mounted cameras on their buildings.

Prior to this program, when investigating an incident, police had to request footage from businesses whose outdoor cameras might have captured part of it. But with the new program in place, they’ll be able to tap into the video feeds from IP camera systems whose owners have agreed to participate in the voluntary, opt-out-at-any time project. So far, 100 businesses have signed on and made their cameras feeds available to the police.

According to the Kent County Emergency Management Coordinator the agreement only applies to outdoor cameras, and they will not be used for “day-to-day” but only ” in the event of an emergency. There would have to be an event serious enough to trigger us to monitor the cameras.”

Speaking of serious events …..Dayton Ohio, has an ongoing one.

Map of Dayton, Ohio

Dayton Ohio – No Dumping

Over the past three years, the Dayton Dept of Public Works has spent over $1million to clean up illegally dumped refuse. In 2013, in an effort to stem this practice, the city installed 23 mobile, motion-activated, day/night cameras to monitor 46 sites where the most dumping occurred.

Each day, DPW staff reviews approximately 600 images to see people discarding old recliners, plumbing fixtures and piles of trash on abandoned lots, some even backing trucks filled with building materials and debris, dumping them onto empty lots or abandoned properties.”It’s an on going battle,” the director of the Dayton DPW told the McClatchy News Service. “When we put cameras up, we see less dumping at that particular site.”

IP camera systems may not have put an end to illegal dumping, but they have resulted in dozens of prosecutions for illegal dumping and unlawful transportation of tires, leading to 20 misdemeanor convictions and five cases of property seizures. City commissioners are satisfied enough to approve spending $14,000 from this year’s budget to purchase and install 18 more surveillance camera systems

IP security camera systems can be used to monitor situations like these, as well as to monitor everyday retail operations, to keep track of assets, or as a resource in new-hire training. To speak to a sales engineer about the best camera for your application, call Kintronics at 914-944-3425, or fill out an information request form.