Public Safety Cameras Aid Chattanooga Police in Investigations

Public Safety Cameras Aid Chattanooga Police in Investigations

The Chattanooga Police Department has 29 public safety cameras located around the city and plans to add more.

The Chattanooga Police Department was aided in a recent homicide investigation by footage from a public safety camera. The department has 29 public safety cameras installed around the city and plans to add more.

A 32-year-old man was shot and killed in Chattanooga on April 15, in the line of sight of one of the most-used public safety cameras, which live stream video to the police department. Within about 30 minutes of pulling footage of the incident, investigators were able to identify a suspect, who turned himself in the next day.

The police department’s 29 public safety cameras are each encased in a large, white box marked with the police department’s badge and a flashing blue light. Police said they’re located in public areas where citizens have no expectation of privacy. The public safety cameras, in addition to the city’s roughly 300 security cameras, feed into the police department’s Real-Time Intelligence Center.

The center contains a large screen that takes up most of a wall, upon which 16 live streams are displayed. The security and safety camera footage is saved for no longer than 30 days, unless it’s saved for evidence in an investigation or case.

Last year, video footage was requested in a total of 109 incidents. Of those requests, 76 had usable footage content. In the first two months of 2019, there have been 158 requests for video, with 70 containing useable footage. The increased requests are likely due to improved camera placement.

The police department is currently in the process of adding five more cameras and reevaluating current camera placement to see if any should be moved. The new cameras will cost about $68,000, a cost included in the original 2017 capital project.

The department’s crime analysts look at several metrics to determine whether cameras should be moved, including violence crime stats and the number of service calls attached to each camera. Neighborhood police officers look at those results and offer their input, after which lieutenants take the data and present it at Community Police Interaction Committee Meetings.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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