Does video make a difference in protecting our cities? From the discussions that took place at the Cygnus Business Media Group’s Secured Cities event in Chicago last week a clear answer emerged. With over 26 technology vendors and over 150 attendees, the event was successful in showcasing the advancement of video surveillance and capture for use in crime detection and protection.
“What once used to be viewed as ‘big brother’ watching now is being utilized in all aspects of our urban surveillance and detective work,” said Elias Voulgaris, Captain of the Chicago Police Department. Voulgaris presented attendees with a detailed look at how much video has made an impact on the fight against illegal drugs sold on Chicago’s streets. Through video, the department has been able to arrest, prosecute and imprison more criminals to make the streets safer for its citizens. “If all we had was a paper report with no video, it would be much harder to make charges stick,” said Voulgaris.
Thursday’s luncheon speaker was from the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center. Director, Nancy G. La Vigne presented a study on the effectiveness of Urban video surveillance. This non-partisan study concluded that three cities, Chicago, Baltimore and Washington were able to reduce crime in key areas as well as surrounding areas through integration of cameras with the entire workforce of their police departments. The report on this study can be downloaded at www.urban.org.
Other issues presented at the event gave new insight on legal issues that impact the use of video and private-public partnerships of municipal video. Friday’s sessions continued the discussions with a highly attended session about the successful implementation of Chicago OEMC, the region’s homeland security fusion center that brings together emergency response capabilities from thousands of cameras from multiple agencies across the city.
Overall the successful show highlighted many of the important issues facing our cities today and how the industry is working to continue to keep them safe. For a more highlights on the event, visit SecurityInfoWatch.com.