Published on February 16th, 2016 |2
Adrean, Police Foundation fete first District 8 security cameras
The devices will be integrated into the city’s Loudermilk Operation Shield Video Integration Center, where police can monitor images 24-7 from more than 5,700 high-tech cameras throughout the city.
In December, Adrean contributed $300,000 from her council carry-forward budget account toward the purchase of security cameras. Her contribution was matched by the mayor’s office, and private sector investment in cameras from businesses and residents has amounted to $2 million to date. The total cost of the plan for District 8 is estimated at $5 million.
“Public safety and the quality of life for our communities is a primary concern for my constituents and therefore one of my top priorities,” Adrean said. “These cameras and the technology they provide will offer critical data for our police department to both deter criminal activity and solve crimes that occur.”
The master plan, which is a map of strategic locations where the cameras and readers will be installed, was developed in partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation and the Atlanta Police Department by using data collected from crime statistics and patterns throughout the district.
Adrean held an informal launching of the District 8 program Tuesday morning at the Publix shopping center at the intersection of Howell Mill and Collier roads, where the first of the initial 50 cameras was installed. She called the devices “an important tool in crime prevention.”
“This conversation started with my community over a year ago,” Adrean said. “It’s been a top priority of mine. Certainly the recent increase in crimes in certain areas has made the installation
A longtime Dist. 8 resident echoed the community’s fears about criminal activity in the area. “It used to be car break-ins. Now it’s armed robberies on a neighborhood street in the middle of the day. Homes are being broken into in the middle of the day. Home invasions are occurring in the middle of the day.
“Just recently a 13-year-old child was attacked at a bus stop for her cellphone,” said the resident who requested her name not be used. “It’s not just silly or petty crimes anymore.”
Adrean said the cameras and license plate readers will make the community safer and be a mechanism for police to be able to find those committing crimes in the community. But she also emphasized they are no substitute for police officers and “feet on the ground.”
The camera mounted on a utility pole in the middle of the shopping center will record all activities within 300 yards in all directions during daytime and nighttime hours. The device at the location will retain the recording for 2 weeks and the tapes will be retained for 30 days at the city’s Video Integration Center (VIC) in downtown Atlanta.
But the four to six officers manning the VIC need to receive a 911 call of an incident in order to know to go to the videos and review the activities from the camera(s) at the location of the incident. They then may be able to identify the perpetrator(s) and assist units dispatched to the area.
Adrean said the intersection of Howell Mill and Collier roads also will be getting license plate readers, as will the intersection of Collier Road and Northside Drive and other major intersections
in the I-75 corridor in District 8.
While the safety cameras pan the entire area for activities, the license plate readers only see in one direction. So an intersection needs more than one of the devices to capture the license plate information of every car passing through the intersection.
The license plate readers (small computers with cameras) capture the license place images and the information is sent to a central data file. If the plate information indicates the car is stolen or has outstanding warrants out for it, the monitoring staff at the VIC will be notified immediately.
Phase I of the project (installation of 50 cameras and license plate readers) will be completed the second week in March.
Adrean said other councilmembers who represent parts of Buckhead also are discussing partnering with the Atlanta Police Foundation’s Operation Shield program, including Alex Wan, Felicia Moore and Howard Shook.
Among those who gathered for the informal launch event Tuesday at 9 a.m. were neighboring residents Allyson and Scott Delius, who were instrumental in getting a camera for that location, several other area residents, Atlanta Police Foundation Vice President of Programs Marlon Trone and Jessica Masters of the Police Foundation, and Eric Burnett of Edge 360, the company installing the cameras.
The one glitch noticed immediately by Adrean, was that the camera at that location, as well as one installed at a shopping center on Northside Parkway north of West Paces Ferry Road, were facing
in the wrong direction—away from the shopping areas and toward the roads. Trone and Burnett said that would be immediately corrected.
“This innovative, state-of-the-art technology is expected to be one of the most robust and sophisticated video surveillance systems in the U.S.,” said Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation. “We can never be too cautious when it comes to safety; and through the Operation Shield program, the public has the opportunity to personally be a part of addressing public safety concerns.”
For more information, please call Councilmember Adrean’s office at (404) 330-6051.