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Municipal Archives

Published by Ellen on July 24, 2013 10:07 AM

If you haven’t yet seen a time-lapse video shot with an outdoor surveillance camera, here’s your chance. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) unveiled a time-lapse video of construction crews repaving the I-84 highway that began earlier this month. The video, edited down to just a minute and a half, shows all westbound construction activity that took place in a 48-hour time span. The state-owned camera is installed on one of the overpasses, providing a bird’s eye view of both the westbound and eastbound lanes.

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Published by Ellen on April 25, 2013 12:04 PM

According to a segment on CNN Money, the U.S. spends $60 billion on video surveillance and security equipment per year, with that amount expected to soar as more cities deploy security camera systems to thwart crime.

Take for example Chicago, which over the last decade, has installed an upwards of 8,000 surveillance cameras. In 2006 alone, the Chicago police made roughly 4,000 arrests, owing to video evidence captured by city cameras. Furthermore, Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, reported that for every $1 invested in surveillance cameras, it saves Chicago $4 in other possible costs, including the costs of court and incarceration. The video below highlights the positive impact video surveillance has had on solving and reducing crime:

Published by Ellen on February 18, 2013 9:01 AM

A new ordinance passed in Plymouth, Michigan will soon require all downtown bars and restaurants with outdoor seating to install security cameras. Beginning in April 2013, the city’s ordinance will impact at least 10 businesses. Plymouth Downtown Development Authority (DDA) drafted the ordinance, which was then submitted to the Plymouth City Council. As reported by Direct Free Press, the city’s ordinance affects only businesses with liquor licenses.

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Published by Ellen on January 28, 2013 9:21 AM

Fort Collins, Colorado is taking new steps to enforce an ordinance against panhandling. The city’s police department has set up mobile surveillance cameras at intersections where panhandlers are disrupting traffic. Panhandlers often walk out into intersections at red lights and attempt to finagle spare change from drivers. Police officers with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office see their behavior as a safety hazard, and are turning to surveillance to keep an eye on panhandling activity at targeted intersections around the city. Panhandlers can expect a considerable fine of $1,000 for engaging in the act.

Police are able to access live camera feeds remotely from their laptop while patrolling in their squad cars. Because of recent cuts, the police department isn’t able to assign any of its deputies to monitor these intersections on foot. However, the presence of surveillance cameras at busy lights has already reduced the amount of panhandling. Police are confident that these new cameras will continue to deter panhandlers from entering intersections, and are impressed with the results thus far. Learn more about Fort Collins’ surveillance project by watching this video:

Published by Ellen on January 11, 2013 2:33 PM

It can be difficult to catch vandals, especially since many of them deface property or objects in the dead of night when others are sleeping. City parks and monumental landmarks have long been hotspots for vandals, with some finally fighting back by using video surveillance to identify perpetrators.

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Published by Ellen on December 18, 2012 10:34 AM

In an effort to foil crime and increase public safety, the city of Dallas, Texas will add 600 new security cameras to its citywide surveillance system. The Dallas Police Department has concentrated on 27 areas that are prone to crime, all of which will soon be outfitted with new cameras and video management software upgrades.

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Published by Ellen on December 11, 2012 8:24 AM

We’re excited to announce that we’re the official sponsor of CommunityCam, a new crowdsource mapping tool that allows Internet users to post the locations of private and public video surveillance cameras across the U.S., starting in Philadelphia. As the fifth most populated city in the country, Philadelphia’s entire metropolitan region – spanning five counties – has an estimated population of six million and counting. The goal of this project is to quickly expand to other cities.

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Published by Ellen on October 2, 2012 1:03 PM

The City of Buffalo New York is outfitted with a high-end surveillance camera system that acts as both a crime deterrent and valuable evidentiary tool for police. The city’s first security camera went up just five years ago.

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Published by Ellen on August 27, 2012 9:06 AM

Brisbane, Australia has 16 mobile surveillance cameras currently in operation at 70 known garbage dumping sites throughout the city. And, so far, they’ve been doing a great job.

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Published by Ellen on June 25, 2012 9:52 AM

Vidalia is currently in the process of outfitting the city’s Police Department with 18 indoor and outdoor day/night security cameras to monitor the premises. In addition to the Vidalia Police Department, the city plans to outfit other key areas with security cameras, including such public places as riverfronts, streets and parks. As reported by NatchezDemocrat.com, the video cameras have the ability to zoom in on objects and persons over two miles away, providing law enforcement with a clear view of all activity in and out of the building. Next up to receive cameras is the City Hall and fire department.

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Published by Ellen on May 25, 2012 10:37 AM

Tignish is a quaint little town, home to a population of approximately of 758 people. Located on Prince Edward Island, the town’s most noteworthy attraction is the St. Simon and St. Jude Catholic Church. Excellent fishing and country cottages appeal to tourists.

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Published by Ellen on May 24, 2012 9:01 AM

The current video surveillance system in place at Louisiana’s Port Fourchon has been significantly improved through high-end video management software. The security system’s video intelligence prompts the surveillance cameras to immediately trigger an alert and set off an external alarm if suspicious activity is detected. As a result, first responders will be able to decrease their response times and carry out the necessary steps at the exact moment when a potential security breach occurs.


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Published by Ellen on May 22, 2012 3:00 PM

Demand for video surveillance is expected to climb in Brazil, Russia, India, and China by the end of 2012 as reported by IMS Research. The demand was sparked by the development of expansive surveillance projects that have been deployed for municipal purposes in all four of these countries. Combined, these countries are expected to represent 40% of global spending on security camera equipment by 2016.

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Published by Ellen on May 22, 2012 8:05 AM

The U.S. generates roughly 210 million tons of garbage each year, with the average American producing roughly 4.6 pounds of trash on a daily basis. The problem lies in where people dump their trash. Rather than pay for city disposal services, many individuals illegally dump their garbage elsewhere to save money, even if that’s in recycling bins, in rivers, down hills on hiking trails, or out the window of their vehicle. Sure, they won’t get caught if they’re discreet about it right? Cities across America are beginning to implement effective solutions to make certain they don’t.

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Published by Amelia on September 12, 2011 4:35 PM

The city of Gilroy, California recently invested in a security camera system that they’re hoping will not only deter crime, but encourage shoppers and tourists to visit the new downtown by dispelling the impression that the city is too dangerous or dingy to visit. City officials and businesses are hoping the cameras show the city cares about downtown and the visitors’ safety.

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Published by Margeaux on April 5, 2011 9:21 AM

Long Island, New York has installed thousands of Panasonic network video cameras to monitor approximately 50 public buildings. For example, several of its fire houses now monitor entry ways so that visitors can be granted access based on physical identification. Panasonic network cameras are also monitoring the interior and exterior of jails and other publically-funded buildings.

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Published by Margeaux on March 10, 2011 1:59 PM

Two years ago, municipal authorities in Egedal, Denmark implemented a network video surveillance initiative throughout public buildings. Using Milestone software to manage a fleet of IP cameras from Axis, ACTi and other manufacturers, Egedal greatly reduced the incidence of vandalism and crime in schools, train stations and libraries.

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Published by Dan on May 28, 2010 4:14 PM

Lansing, Michigan just received a new city-wide video surveillance system that aims to clean up a number of known high-crime areas. The new surveillance deployment uses IP cameras and equipment from IndgiVision. By embracing IP video technology, the city now has a comprehensive IP camera network that the police department can tap into remotely from any location.

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Published by Dan on September 17, 2009 11:19 AM

Residents in Medina, Washington are feeling safe and secure with the help of a new city surveillance system that features security cameras placed at busy intersections. The cameras use automatic license plate recognition as a way to weed out felons. The ultimate goal is to discourage criminal activity.

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Published by Dan on July 8, 2009 2:37 PM

The city of Bryan, Texas is the latest in a long list of cities turning to video surveillance as a way to increase security in public places. In Bryan, work is complete on the first phase of large-scale video surveillance installation designed to keep tabs on the city's recently revitalized downtown. The newly installed security cameras aim to create a safer overall environment for citizens, and to protect public property and facilities.

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Published by Dan on May 7, 2009 2:51 PM

The city of Newport News, VA. (yes that's the name of the town, not the local paper), is moving forward with plans to implement a city-wide video surveillance system utilizing IP network cameras from Sony. The decision was made after an IP camera pilot program at a local-area high school proved successful. The new surveillance system will feature over 850 Sony IP cameras monitoring all public facilities throughout the city.

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Published by Dan on April 20, 2009 1:56 PM

The city of Pendleton, an Oregon town well known for its rodeo and cowboys, is set to install a new system of security cameras that will allow Police to monitor for dangerous activity. The system will include 10 wireless surveillance cameras that can be placed on any of the city's 40-foot utility poles. This flexibility allows police to move the cameras to different locations as needed.

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Published by Dan on August 25, 2008 2:27 PM

One of the key benefits of IP-based surveillance is the ability to transmit footage over the internet so it can be viewed remotely. In Chicago, where a large surveillance network already exists, a plan is in the works that would allow businesses and home owners to make their private security cameras available to the Chicago 911 center in cases of emergency. The owners would have to give permission, of course.

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Published by Dan on July 2, 2008 9:40 AM

Here's a video surveillance success story from the streets of Newark, N.J. This is a city where the threat of violence looms large in some areas, but police are hopeful that a new surveillance system and operations center will help to change that. In the operations center, police are now able to monitor 109 security cameras that have been installed throughout an eight-mile area considered to be the city's most violent. Best of all, the system is already yielding results.

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Published by Dan on June 27, 2008 10:28 AM

If Winona Ryder thought it was tough before, she's going to have an even harder time shoplifting on Rodeo Drive now that the city of Beverly Hills is installing a comprehensive IP-based video surveillance system. The ongoing project involves replacing the city's analog CCTV cameras with IQinVision IP cameras.

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Published by Jennifer on June 26, 2008 2:26 PM

Like many other American cities, Pittsburgh has been the recipient of grants for security cameras from the US Department of Homeland Security. Cameras have been installed in the city's most dangerous neighborhoods, and officials say that the cameras are "paying for themselves" as they help preserve city resources and have drastically lowered crime.

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Published by Jennifer on June 24, 2008 9:40 AM

Thanks to a grant from the US Department of Homeland Security, Orlando residents will soon see a new landmark in public areas. Smart surveillance cameras for project IRIS (Innovative Response to Improve Safety) will be installed in public areas around Orlando, with the intent of improving the response of law enforcement to urgent situations.

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Published by Jennifer on April 25, 2008 10:37 AM

Usually we think of hidden cameras as being squirreld away in buttonholes and cleverly placed in newspapers and briefcases during high-stakes criminal investigations or by spies trying to crack open state secrets. Not so in Philadelphia. THe city has recently announced the introduction of mobile covert surveillance cameras to help control the city's rampant problems with illegal dumping.

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Published by Dan on April 11, 2008 3:59 PM

Charlestown, Rhode Island's new police station was built with features designed to handle future surveillance upgrades not only for video security in and around the station, but also for monitoring the entire community. The station's IP surveillance system uses a mix of Videology and Axis network cameras, analog IR cameras run through video encoders, and Milestone XProtect video management software.

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Published by Jennifer on April 10, 2008 11:21 AM

Washington, D.C. police will be charged with monitoring more than 5,000 surveillance cameras around the city in a new effort to reduce crime and increase safety in the nation's capital. The consolidation of these thousands of cameras (in schools, public housing, and watching over major roads) will form the nation's largest surveillance network - larger than Chicago's 2,000 camera public surveillance network.

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Published by Dan on March 21, 2008 1:57 PM

Little Rock Arkansas is putting its new downtown video network to the test this weekend when the NCAA men's basketball tournament rolls into town. The system, which has been set up to monitor downtown businesses, will help to secure the area when an estimated 30,000 visitors flock Alltel Arena this weekend for a taste of March Madness.

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Published by Dan on February 28, 2008 10:57 AM

Richmond, Calif. will soon install a wireless surveillance network to protect its ports and to reduce crime and vandalism throughout the city. The incoming system will consist of 116 digital security cameras with the ability to wirelessly transmit surveillance images to Richmond police headquarters, a police dispatch center, and to Port security. The aim of the system is to deter crime, limit vandalism and illegal dumping, and provide visual evidence for prosecuting criminals.

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Published by Dan on January 29, 2008 9:42 AM

San Francisco's city-funded surveillance program has faced criticism recently for its inability to perform up to its potential. The problem appears to lie less with the quality of the cameras, and more with the way they are being operated. Since the 68-camera system was installed, instances of the cameras providing visual evidence in criminal cases have been rare. A recent review of the program found that choppy video may be the main culprit. If cameras aren't streaming video at a high enough frame rate, then the odds of capturing useful images are lessened. Footage examined during the review played more like a slideshow than continuous streaming video, with 1 or 2 seconds passing between frames. Contrast this with the full-scale surveillance program in Chicago, where high-quality video is delivered at 30 frames per second, and it becomes clear that San Francisco's program has room for improvement.

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Published by Dan on January 18, 2008 9:41 AM

Late last year, a comprehensive, 120-camera video surveillance system was installed to serve as a deterrent to criminal activity throughout the city of Montebello, Calif. One of the keys to system was putting the clamp down on what was becoming a very serious graffiti problem. Surveillance cameras from Axium Technologies, which employ innovative "Tagger Trap" technology, were installed to detect acts of graffiti. The system is already showing its worth, as six tagging incidents have been captured by the cameras so far.

Tagger Trap is a unique camera feature that can actually sense the digital signature of the ultrasonic frequencies emitted by spray-paint cans. This enables the cameras to quickly lock in on potential acts of graffiti the moment they begin. In each of the six Montebello cases, the cameras captured detailed images of the taggers. An investigation is now underway to identify the suspects. The surveillance system was also able to alert police to two incidents of illegal dumping, both of which lead to arrests.

The city of Montebello spends about $600,000 each year removing graffiti, so it's easy to understand why such an expansive surveillance effort was deemed necessary. Since the camera installation, the number of graffiti incidents has already gone down, as has the amount of illegal dumping. Along with helping in these areas, the system gives police the ability to watch for criminal activity in locations that can't continuously be patrolled by a physical police presence. Businesses can also purchase compatible cameras which can be connected to the city's surveillance network.

Read more in the Whittier Daily News...

Learn more about municipal surveillance...

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Published by Dan on January 7, 2008 9:41 AM

Following a homicide last month involving a mother and a daughter, the Town Center in Boca Raton, Fla. is pushing hard for a major video surveillance upgrade. While plans were already in the works to add more security cameras, the recent tragedy further highlights the importance of enhanced video security. Mall officials are now pursuing a full-scale video surveillance system to monitor the entire exterior of the Town Center mall.

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Published by Dan on January 2, 2008 8:44 AM

The city of Pittsburgh is gearing up for a large-scale upgrade to its existing video surveillance operation. Plans are in the works to integrate hundreds of existing security cameras with new, high-tech cameras so they can all operate on one centrally-monitored system. To move the process along, the city has hired an outside firm, N.W. Getz and Associates, to develop a timetable, examine computer networks for the system, and evaluate rules for preventing abuse and misuse of the cameras.

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Published by Dan on December 20, 2007 9:34 AM

Philadelphia is one of a handful of big U.S. cities that has fully committed to widespread video security in the past year. This week, Philadelphia police unveiled a new state of the art surveillance command center which monitors hundreds of security cameras now operating throughout the city.

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Published by Dan on December 17, 2007 4:13 PM

The city of Helsinki plans on acquiring upwards of 150 new surveillance cameras to be installed in public places and sensitive areas over the next couple years. The aim is to increase the overall level of security, allowing citizens to feel safe in all areas of the city. The new surveillance plan calls for fixed security cameras, as well as portable surveillance cameras that can be used for large public events.

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Published by Jennifer on December 17, 2007 3:01 PM

In the small town of Sergnano, Italy, which employs just two police offers to protect 3,000 inhabitants, an IP camera system has been deterring and catching criminals-- particularly vandals-- so successfully that the system paid for itself within a year of its implementation. The system covers an area of thirteen square kilometers, which made traditional analog CCTV impossibly expensive. Instead, IndigoVision, the company that installed the system, came up with a combined wired and wireless network for the cameras, facilitating cost-effective IP surveillance of remote areas.

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Published by Jennifer on November 28, 2007 4:15 PM

It's more than common - graffiti, street art, vandalism, tagging...Whatever word you choose to assign to it, it's pervasive. Police and law enforcement around the world have been playing a game of cat-and-mouse with graffiti artists for years, only able to follow clues and witness accounts to prosecute street artists - who often slink and spray under the cover of darkness.

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Published by Jennifer on November 21, 2007 3:01 PM

Gary Andrews, owner of the Kountry Kitchen located in downtown Durham, NC is still recovering from an October 8 break-in. Coincidentally, Durham had just installed a state-of-the art wireless camera system in its downtown business district. So why didn't the surveillance cameras catch the Kountry Kitchen Krooks? Wireless.

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Published by Dan on October 23, 2007 9:22 AM

Looking to secure high-crime areas and cut down on gun violence, the city of Philadelphia this week announced plans to dramatically expand its surveillance program. Currently Philly's high-tech crime-fighting program consists of 18 security cameras, but that number will increase substantially with the addition of 250 network cameras. When you consider that the 18-camera system reduced violent crime by 37% in the areas it monitored, it's easy to understand why the city is very enthusiastic about building up its surveillance network.

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Published by Jennifer on October 18, 2007 7:49 AM

Frank Waterhouse had a major victory against the City of Portland when he was acquitted of charges of criminal trespass and disorderly contact. Now, he and three others are suing the Portland Police department for damages, claiming the police violated their constitutional rights when they tried to film a property search in May 2006. See video from Waterhouse's camera inside....

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Published by Dan on October 15, 2007 9:27 AM

After a recent FBI index release showed St. Louis crime rates to be unacceptably high, the city has made plans to install a network of security cameras that will maintain a closer watch on downtown. The new surveillance system will include eight wireless pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras strategically placed in trouble spots throughout the area. The system is loosely modeled after existing surveillance networks operating in Baltimore and Chicago.

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Published by Dan on October 10, 2007 1:40 PM

Stealing from old people is just plain wrong. Thankfully, the three unforgivable crooks who swiped a purse from a helpless 95-year-old lady in Flint last week did not go unseen. That's because the Flint Township is in the process of installing what's known as the Safe City security camera system, a network of surveillance cameras aimed at monitoring the township's commercial strips. Images of the recent purse-snatching were captured by the system and then sent to the police. End result: the three suspects are now in custody.

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Published by Dan on October 2, 2007 11:30 AM

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made his feelings about video surveillance loud and clear during a press conference in London yesterday. Bloomberg, who's spending part of his London "holiday" observing the city's comprehensive security camera network, is looking to implement a similar system in New York City. Critics claim the cameras are a breach of privacy, but yesterday Bloomberg called such detractors "very naive," noting that everyone he's talked to in London supports the use of technology as a way to enhance security.

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Published by Dan on August 23, 2007 4:51 PM

Garland, Texas is taking long strides to ensure that the city's water is safe. The biggest step involves the recent relocation of its Water Operation Center to an unmarked building equipped with a comprehensive video surveillance system.

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Published by Dan on July 16, 2007 11:49 AM

A series of seemingly unprovoked attacks near downtown Charlottesville, Va. has prompted business owners to seek out an effective form of video security for the popular shopping area. The public's confidence in the Downtown Mall's level of safety has waned due to the widely publicized attacks, each of which featured the same group of youths assaulting innocent pedestrians. Many malls and shopping areas install security cameras to both cut down on theft and also to enhance the overall level of safety by deterring these types of assaults and criminal acts. Surveillance footage can also prove extremely valuable to investigators tracking down suspects involved in incidents after they've been reported.

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Published by Dan on July 9, 2007 2:10 PM

New York City will soon be taking strides towards emulating the vast surveillance network that currently monitors London. With both cities recognized as high-profile terrorist targets, it makes sense that comprehensive video surveillance installations would play a significant role in their security efforts. While London's expansive surveillance network has been criticized by some as a breach of privacy, it has helped to identify suspects involved in a number of terrorist plots including the London subway bombings in 2005 and last month's car bombings. The program proposed by New York's Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, when fully operational, will resemble the sweeping network of cameras and roadblocks which works to detect and track terrorist activity throughout London. It will be the first of its kind in the United States.

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Published by Dan on June 8, 2007 10:10 AM

It's hard to believe, but vandals in Bolton, England have targeted the town's prized collection of multi-colored fiberglass elephants. The decorative pachyderm, named Ellie, Elner and Mr. Jackbow, recently fell victim to a series of attacks resulting in a fractured trunk, and cracks to the head and body. The elephant statues were installed in March, replacing the original grey herd that was commissioned in the 1980s. The new elephants were designed by local school children, but only three days after installation, they were removed because of vandalism and attempted theft. In August, the vibrant herd will return to its rightful home on Newborn Street, coinciding with the town's new video surveillance installation.

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Published by Jennifer on May 14, 2007 7:53 AM

Ports have long been considered some of the weakest entry points into the United States, and one of the biggest challenges facing security officials in the fight against terrorism is port security. Millions of packages enter and leave the country each day through the 100+ ports in the US, which can make establishing security a challenge. The Port of Pittsburgh, the second busiest inland port in the country, has recently received a $2.6 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to help secure the area.

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Published by Jennifer on May 3, 2007 12:52 PM

Police in Brooklyn, NY have used a surveillance system once used by criminals to track activities around their hideout to incriminate a drunk driver responsible for a tragic accident on Monday.

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Published by Jennifer on April 20, 2007 1:23 PM

The town of Kazan, like many other cities in Russia, has been an seat of trade, government and culture for hundreds of years. However, with modern crises like a dense-evergrowing population, street crime, vandalism and a steady traffic flow, maintaining security has proven to be a bit of a challenge.

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