Baltimore expands video-surveillance program
From Government Computer News: Baltimore is adding 12 new cameras to its CitiWatch video-surveillance program, bringing the total number of cameras to 538.
The camera program has reduced crime by 25% in coverage areas. in 2010 it assisted with over 1,282 arrests, including more than 125 arrests for violent crimes such as robberies, assaults and illegal gun possession, according to city’s release.
The city plans to add 30 more cameras along other major thoroughfares in the city and, despite budget shortfalls, the city has budgeted to hire 300 police officers to support CitiWatch. Baltimore has a central monitoring strategy with a group of specially trained monitors and analysts watching feeds 24 hours a day.
The new cameras and supporting infrastructure are funded by a Federal Justice Assistance Block Grant and the One Maryland Broadband grant. The total cost of the program is approximately $1.3 million annually.