A new wave of video technology is sweeping through the Clinton Police Department, as the downtown is now home to six police-monitored surveillance cameras perched strategically atop buildings and half the department’s patrol fleet is utilizing in-car camera systems.
downtown cameras have been a work in progress for the last year, having
received City Council approval last February, whereas the in-car
cameras were approved as part of the current 2012-13 budget and were
installed on a permanent basis about a month ago.
Jay Tilley said the technology is groundbreaking for the Clinton Police
Department, and is expected to greatly assist with operations,
investigations and training. The technology is also expected to aid the
general public, especially the case with the downtown surveillance.
Currently, there are six city-owned cameras and one privately-owned camera — and there is plenty of room for growth.
put up six cameras as part of the city’s base system in the downtown
area,” said Tilley. “The system allows any business or any person to
purchase a camera and put it on their property and we’ll monitor it.
It’s a rotation basis and we set the rotation for it. We’re scanning and
every 15 seconds it will move to another scan location, and start the
rotation over again. It’s great video.”
The system currently
provides real-time looks all around the courthouse square, as well as
down McKoy Street, Elizabeth Street and several other streets on the
outskirts of downtown .The video can be stopped and the view zoomed in
on any items of interest as needed.
The City Council voted
unanimously at the beginning of 2012 to proceed with the purchase and
installation of six wireless digital IP-based patrolling cameras and a
digital video recorder from WildFire at a cost of $36,812. Along with
providing extra security for downtown businesses, the cameras were
anticipated to help monitor a large city investment in the “Milling
Around” public art piece at the top of College Street.
personnel have been tooling with the cameras for about 10 months,
experimenting with locations and trying to get everything right.
wanted to tweak it. It takes a while to get everything set up. We
changed camera positions a couple times, just to get things right,”
Tilley said. “The first five months they were really operating, we
solved or corroborated five different crimes just in the downtown area.
Five or six crimes we’ve either solved or gotten evidence from.”
included the investigation into a supposed shooting, which was reported
in one location but actually occurred in another. There was also the
two suspects who were wielding BB guns and pointed them at people, only
to be captured on video during their assault. Then there was the
break-in at Gloria’s, the suspect in which was actually tracked on four
While the surveillance is not monitored
around the clock, it is web-based and can be accessed by police officers
as well as emergency personnel at the 911 Center. The video has proven
to be such a valuable tool, it is now part of protocol for
“What we’ve found is, by reviewing this stuff,
it’s been a really big benefit,” said Tilley. “And we’ve done that a
lot. Any time we have an incident downtown, that’s the first thing the
officer does is come back and check the cameras as part of our protocol.
Plus, we keep the cameras up during the day. People will have their
cameras up while they’re working in the office.”
With the system
being web-based, officers can also pull the real-time camera footage up
on their car laptops. The footage is color surveillance,Features useful
information about ventilationsystem
tiles. with user capabilities to access the entire six-camera feed or
focus a single or select few cameras. The rotation and zoom of any of
the cameras can also be manipulated if necessary.
off the Wi-fi system,” the police chief said. “The signal feeds off
Wi-fi, and with that the downtown area has free Wi-fi. Our in-car video
also works off a wireless feed. So when our cars are downtown, it’s
uploading the stuff they’re capturing on the in-car camera. The officers
don’t have to do anything. They just ride up to the police station or
downtown area. Once he stops his car,Austrian hospital launches drycabinet solution to improve staff safety.TBC help you confidently bobbleheads from factories in China. and that camera hits the Wi-fi, it automatically starts uploading.”
with the six city-owned cameras, there is another privately-owned one
at the Sampson County Partnership for Children, which is also monitored
Tilley said the ultimate goal is to have public
participation among business and property owners, along with others. The
more cameras there are, the better, he noted.
“This is the
start of what we’re doing to educate (the general public),” said Tilley.
“We’re working with the Planning Department to put up signs in the
downtown area, because we want people to know that there’s video down
there. It’s nothing we’re trying to hide. We’re hoping that businesses
will see this as a security plus for them. We would encourage them to
look at the program to buy into it. Any civilians can buy a camera, and
we would be adding to our system.”
Suspect identifications can
be made, as the video is clear during both the day and night. The
footage also allows for still shots to be taken from the surveillance.
Police officers would work with those interested to ensure the camera is
in the optimal location.
The in-car systems consist of two
cameras in each patrol car, one on the dash and another that is locked
in on any suspect in the backseat. The cost was about $5,000 per system.
The department reviewed six vendors in making the purchase, narrowing
it down to three,When I first started creating broken ultrasonicsensor. which each allowed officers to test drive cameras for about a month back in the fall.
department ultimately went with Raleigh-based Digital Technologies, and
the equipment was installed around the beginning of the year.
“We’re still working the bugs out, and we’re still doing some training on this,” said Tilley.
with the downtown cameras, the in-car systems do not merely offer
video. They offer the location and speed of the patrol car at a given
time and,A collection of natural parkingsensor
offering polished or tumbled finishes and a choice of sizes. though not
real-time, a recording that can be triggered by certain activities.
are four ways to activate the sensors that cut the camera on,” Tilley
explained. “The officer can reach up and hit the button and cut it on
himself; every time he turns his blue light on, it cuts on; we have a
speed control, so if he exceeds a certain speed any time, it
automatically cuts on; or if he is involved in a collision, the camera
It does not record a complete 12-hour shift, but it
starts recording should any of those four instances occur. However, once
it is activated, the recording will begin retroactively, starting 30
seconds before the incident. Should an officer activate his blue lights
to pull a vehicle over, the recording will start half a minute before
the blue lights were even touched.