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During the past two years, Long Beach Police Department staff researched the possibility of using video technology as a crime suppression tool. Other cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and London have systems that have successfully impacted criminal activity. The Police Department analysis concluded that the use of video camera systems would be most beneficial in parks, near schools, high crime areas and the Downtown Entertainment District along Pine Avenue.
In August 2005, the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency allocated $400,000 for costs related to creation of a video monitoring system along Pine Avenue in the Downtown area. CelPlan Technologies, Inc. (CelPlan) of Reston, Virginia was selected to implement this project. CelPlan will partner with Insight Video Net, LLC and Wachter Network Services, LLC to complete the project.
The project will install seventeen video cameras at nine locations along Pine Avenue from Shoreline Drive to 6th Street. The cameras will be connected using a wireless mesh web. All video images will be stored for later use in criminal proceedings if necessary.
The agreement calls for the completion of an entire system, including design, purchase, installation and warranty. CelPlan and its partners have successfully completed similar projects for Detroit, Michigan, Hollywood, Florida, the New York City school district and CalTrans. This system is designed for potential growth as needed.
The Police Department plans to staff the monitoring center using both sworn Police Officers and Police Cadets. The Downtown Long Beach Association has pledged a one-time contribution of $75,000 towards the operating costs of the video monitoring system.
Combining technology with community support and proactive law enforcement practices, will help ensure a safe environment for people wishing to enjoy all that Long Beach has to offer. This project, while the first of its kind for Long Beach, could be followed by similar projects in other areas of the City.
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