Digital Barriers has released SmartVis Identifier, which the company calls the world’s first live facial recognition system for body worn law enforcement cameras. The company integrated its EdgeVis and SmartVis technologies to provide defense, security, and law enforcement agencies with real-time facial recognition against multiple watchlists and databases. The SmartVis facial recognition technology, which was previously available for standard smartphones, has now been adapted to run live on Digital Barriers’ body worn cameras designed for frontline law enforcement. Combined with mobile live streaming solution EdgeVis, it makes streaming from body worn devices both operationally and financially viable.
Kansas City police brass say their plan to equip hundreds of officers with body cameras as a new estimate puts initial costs at roughly $6 million. That $6 million price tag is expected to cover the initial start-up costs, equipment upgrades, storage expenses and hiring additional workers to manage the effort and to respond open records request for the video recordings. Officials have not identified a sustainable funding source and said it could take three years before officers can begin wearing the recording devices. The police board must approve the use of body cameras.
The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) is scrapping plans to test persistent aerial surveillance technology following criticism from privacy advocates. This kind of technology has prompted privacy concerns in others cities, with Baltimore being perhaps the most notable. One of the best-known aerial surveillance companies allows users to keep a roughly 25 square mile area under surveillance and comes with “Google Earth with TiVo” capability, The news from Miami-Dade county. while reassuring, underlines a number of issues concerning federalism, privacy, and transparency that lawmakers must tackle as aerial surveillance tools improve and proliferate.
With recent statements by Reno (NV) Police, arguments made by those against the usage of video surveillance —such as the ACLU— should start to understand that overall, video surveillance is indeed making an impact on crime. Many times, those arguments go along the lines that video surveillance does not decrease crime, only helps to arrest criminals. However, if the use of video surveillance is helping to capture, arrest, and prosecute criminal offenders, then that is removing criminals from repeating crimes and causing injury. Reno Police say the main reason detectives were able to solve this recently case was the quality and amount of surveillance video provided by victims and adjacent businesses.
Police departments across the country are increasingly deploying body-worn cameras to better protect and serve their communities. Nearly every large police department in a nationwide survey said they plan to move forward with BWCs, with 95 percent having either implemented a body camera system or committed to doing so. However, medium-sized police departments (those with about 50 – 250 officers) appear to be facing the biggest challenges with when rolling out BWCs to their forces. The major issue is cost – not just for the actual cameras, but for handling the data the cameras produce. The demands for video storage are unprecedented for many police departments, which don’t have enough space on servers or hard drives to store the additional data.
OpenALPR Technology, a leading provider of automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) software, updates its Cloud Stream service by introducing new features which augment license plate recognition and make third party integrations easier. OpenALPR has also added Webhooks to Cloud Stream which will make integrating with third party applications and web services easier. Users can send pre-defined alerts and plate group results to a URL from the Cloud Stream user interface. The Webhooks feature is available for Basic and Professional Cloud Stream users.
In a dim, low ceiling room, federal agents and private contractors are testing the feed coming off cameras erected along the southeastern Arizona border. It’s a subdued project when you consider the magnitude of the goal: eyes and ears watching every movement along the U.S.-Mexico border 24 hours, seven days a week. The Customs and Border Protection agency uses two types of towers: integrated fixed towers (IFT), which use ground sensor surveillance in rural parts of the Mexican border, and remote video surveillance systems, which are used in urban areas where legal traffic is heavy enough to render ground sensors useless. The agency currently uses eight of the IFTs in southeastern Arizona and 11 of the remote video systems. It’s called the Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Plan; and it’s a network of these towers, cameras mounted on pickup trucks and backpack surveillance systems that can be hiked into the desert and dug into the ground.
General Dynamics’ Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS) upgrade has achieved a ‘Full Operating Capability’ (FOC) designation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This key milestone was achieved after two years of successful deployment and field testing along the southern border and underscores the operational impact this solution provides to the U.S. Border Patrol. The RVSS capability is currently operational in Nogales, Douglas, Naco, Yuma, and Ajo, Arizona, with relocatable deployments planned in McAllen and Laredo, Texas in 2017.
New York City Police Department documents obtained by The Verge show that police camera teams were deployed to hundreds of Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street protests from 2011–2013 and 2016. Originally acquired through a Freedom of Information Law request by New York attorney David Thompson of Stecklow, Cohen & Thompson, the records are job reports from the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) that document over 400 instances in which the unit’s video team attended, and sometimes filmed, demonstrations. More important than the records the NYPD turned over, however, are those that it claims it cannot find: namely, any documents demonstrating that legal reviews and authorizations of these surveillance operations took place.
Total Recall Corporation, a Convergint Technologies Company, has been chosen to work with the City of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Police Department to make their city a safer place. Total Recall will provide them with a citywide safety solution that includes 15 of its outdoor CrimeEye-RD-2™ rapid deployment portable video systems, the latest in its CrimeEye line of digital video solutions. The Chattanooga Police Department (CPD) has begun installing CrimeEye-RD-2 video units on 15 power poles throughout Chattanooga. The CrimeEye-RD-2 uses Axis Communications dome network cameras – managed by Genetec Omnicast™, an IP video management system—to stream HD-quality video.