Moreno Valley, CA., is looking to expand the reach of its citywide video surveillance camera program. The city already has 260 cameras posted at parks, rooftops, and intersections providing live feeds to police under a program it started two years ago. Now it’s hoping to “deputize” security cameras owned by private businesses, providing police with more locations to monitor crime.
The city-owned cameras have already proven effective helping police in about 200 investigations over the past year including a shooting last month, officials say.
“A natural extension is we know there are other cameras out there if people are willing to share views with us,” said Steve Hargis, Moreno Valley’s technology director. “It could help us out.”
For now, the city plans to start with a six-month pilot program that will connect cameras belonging to five businesses to a system that allows the police department to tap in for live views.
A monitoring room at the police station allows officials to check the videos on several screens, switching to different locations as needed.
The cameras can zoom in and out allowing police to read license plates and get a look at people’s faces. A quarter of the cameras tilt and pan.
Hargis said police will access cameras when they get an emergency call at a location so they can get an immediate view of what’s going on.
The deputized cameras would only be used in situations where police want visual information as to the events on the ground.