L.A. law enforcement using wireless surveillance to address crime, gang violence
Leverage worked quickly to design and deploy a wireless video surveillance system to help safeguard the community of 300,000-plus residents. The results are noticeable: Deputy response time has decreased and potential retaliatory gang incidents have been interrupted, according to company and local law enforcement officials.
“Wireless video surveillance is changing the way we serve and protect the community,” said Capt. James Hellmold of the Los Angeles County Century Sheriff’s Station. “It is a very effective force multiplier and deputy safety tool. The quality of video is truly evidence-grade, which will serve us well not only to deter crime but to help our district attorneys prosecute crime.”
Century Station has twice the national average of violent crime due to frequent incidents of gang violence, illicit drug activity and prostitution. As part of the Advanced Surveillance and Protection (ASAP) program, the video surveillance system will provide the community of Lynwood with additional tools to proactively address criminal activity.
A holistic approach to fighting crime
To reduce crime in the community and to improve deputy safety, officials at the Century Sheriff’s Station concluded that various crime-fighting technologies would be an integral part of the ASAP program. In addition to deploying state-of-the-art gunshot detection and automatic license plate recognition technology, ASAP team members required a wireless video surveillance system as part of a holistic approach to enhance their crime-fighting efforts.
In working with the sheriff’s department, Los Gatos, Calif.-based Firetide Inc., a developer of wireless mesh and access networks, recommended Leverage as a proven solutions integrator.
“We were pleased to be part of such a successful deployment” said Ray Leblond, Leverage’s surveillance practice business development manager. “It was personally rewarding to see the results in such a short time.”
Video cameras located in targeted locations at hospitals, intersections and the Century Sheriff’s Station capture events live and feed real-time images directly to its newly implemented 9-1-1 dispatch command center. Dispatchers now can proactively inform deputies of potential incidents, or crimes in progress – shortening response times to often-repeated gang incidents from 20 to two minutes.
In addition, responding deputies gain critical information prior to their arrival, which increases their safety.
Safe Cities Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, facilitated the donation of products and services from some of the leading manufacturers and distributors in the nation, including Firetide, Belkin International and Best Buy. With their assistance and coordination, the Leverage team was able to design, build and deploy the ASAP system within just three weeks.
System implementation has yielded several arrests
As a direct result of the implementation of the wireless surveillance system, Century Station deputies already have made several arrests, including an incident after a drug deal was spotted in progress in a park next to a neighborhood school.
The immediate success has received attention from many of the department’s 40 contract cities and unincorporated districts, which already are working to develop strategies to deploy ASAP or some of its components within their communities.
The video surveillance system soon will include the wireless transmission of automatic license plate recognition data. The data can be run immediately against local and national law enforcement databases to check for stolen or wanted vehicles. Upon positive “hit” or alarm notification, area cameras can be configured to pan to a designated position to capture vehicle behavior. Clear nighttime video makes sure that this crime fighting resource will be available 24/7.