Public Safety Archives
With thousands of commuters every day, Washington, D.C. metro police had a difficult challenge - monitor and secure the stops, and subway cars, on the city's public transportation system.
So the department recently invested in several security upgrades including a new Security Operations Control Center where they can monitor video surveillance cameras, radio communications, security alarms, fire alarms, and chemical detection systems all in one location.
The difference having a centralized security headquarters made as evident almost immediately. Chief Ron Pavlik says that in 2015 alone they've made "over 500 adult arrests, over 200 cases are closed, and over 100 cases were unfounded." During that time they had over 6,200 requests for video.
Watching security video in real time helps you spot suspicious activity as it happens, increasing response time and decreasing crimes and other activity. Surveillance cameras also increase the effectiveness of security forces - instead of being limited by what they can see around them, the person monitoring cameras can watch multiple feeds at once and direct security to the areas that need it.
New York City is leveraging its existing security camera system to the fullest by counting the number of footsteps of pedestrians in areas with the highest number of commuters. The city believes that the data, recorded by the surveillance cameras already installed in strategic locations, will give law enforcement and government officials valuable information to help curtail urban problems Some of these problems, among others, include public safety and trash collection. Watch the video below to learn more about the new citywide project: