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Municipal surveillance gets a boost in Washington D.C. - VIPS program to monitor more than 5,000 cameras

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.

Called the VIPS (Video Interoperability for PUblic Safety) program, it's meant to consolidate the management of thousands of independent cameras around the city to two D.C. agencies, Homeland Security and the Emergency Management Agency. Through VIPS, agencies will be able to share camera feeds and actively monitor camera feeds at all times.

The impetus for this new consolidation? Crime. Currently, the 92 surveillance cameras that are in more dangerous neighborhoods have been shown to reduce crime by 19%, according to the D.C. chief of police. Administrators behind VIPS hope that the program will help reduce problems in schools, public housing, on roadways, and in other public areas as well.

Read more at the Washington Times

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