Maryland Town Improves Public Safety with New Cameras

Maryland Town Improves Public Safety with New Cameras

The Forest Heights Police Department, located in Prince George’s County, Md., is installing IQinVision HD megapixel cameras in key locations throughout the city.

Forest Heights is a town of approximately 2,500 people and as Police Chief F. R. Webb explained, the town is home to a large proportion of potentially vulnerable residents.

“We have neighborhoods with a number of older homes and a lot of elderly residents. Over the years, we’ve had a few homicides in these residential areas, and if we had surveillance cameras covering the entrances to these neighborhoods I’m confident we would have gained information to more effectively solve these crimes.”

Current plans call for 10 IQeye 5-megapixel Sentinel cameras to be installed in key areas where police regularly observe loitering, drug sales, and other crimes. Incorporating its “best of breed” philosophy and multi-discipline knowledge base, SeeView designed a cost-effective hybrid IP video/broadband wireless solution with impressive capabilities. All video is transmitted on heavily encrypted wireless links back to police headquarters, where it is managed by Milestone XProtect Enterprise software.

XProtect Enterprise has the Smart Client user interface for easy viewing of the IQeye camera footage, helping Forest Heights Police to keep a watchful eye on its residents.  Milestone’s uniquely flexible storage capabilities efficiently handle the archived video and make for quick searching or export of evidence during investigations. SeeView Security, Fairfax Virginia, is the integrator for this on-going project.

The Forest Heights Police don’t plan to do much live video monitoring of camera footage at police headquarters, focusing instead on incident investigation as each case arises. Chief Webb related that the department does plan to provide live monitoring capability in the city’s police cars.

“Our officers will be able to look at video on their computers before arriving on the scene,” said Webb. “This is going to give us much improved situational awareness and the cameras will act as a force multiplier.”

The police department plans to store video for approximately 30 days.

The Milestone video management software offers this mobile access and scalability as the department integrates more cameras throughout the community in the future. In addition, training for the officers and detectives to use the software is minimal, saving time and money for the city and allowing the force to quickly ramp up with the new system to better protect and serve the community.

“Our goal is that when you enter Forest Heights you will know that public safety is our number one priority," said Webb. "Two years ago we installed some speed cameras in an area where the speed limit drops from 50 mph to 35. Now, folks know when they enter that part of the highway, they must slow down. I’m confident our surveillance cameras will have the same deterrent effect. In our experience, no one ever admits to doing wrong. With this system, we can burn a copy of the high resolution images of an incident and send that to the prosecutor. I’m looking forward to that. We’ve been very fortunate, our Mayor and Town Council want to move forward into the future with modern technology and they have committed the budget needed for this important project. This system is going to grow, because these cameras can definitely deter and help solve a lot of crimes."

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