Austin Police Department tracks crime using video cameras, real-time monitoring
Police in Austin, Texas, are using video cameras and real-time tracking of the video to effectively fight crime. The department relies on Hitachi Data Systems’ Hitachi Visualization Platform (HVP) in its efforts.
HVP serves as the backbone of the Austin Police Department’s (APD) ongoing High Activity Location Observation (HALO) program. HALO uses HVP video cameras planted in strategic locations to monitor the areas and detect criminal activity.
As the cameras record footage, a crime center monitors the cameras in real time and allows APD to provide immediate support to officers and supply detailed information on monitored places where 911 calls have occurred.
“We saw it as a way to proactively support the feet on the street, so to speak, to aid our officers in surveillance, crime deterrence and emergency responses,” explains Troy Gay, assistant chief for the APD.
There are three tiers of camera pods used in HVP, but all are integrated 3MP cameras with edge recording and video analytics capabilities. The camera pods also have integrated communication devices with built-in 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and GPS.
They’re surrounded by high-strength polycarbonate housing enclosures and have multiple mounting options. Also included with the platform is the HVP 100 Gateway, an intelligent edge device included in the HVP that allows integration for private, third-party integration.
“Hitachi Data Systems’ solutions aim to drive significant progress in areas of public safety, ranging from more connected city infrastructure to increased intelligence, helping government agencies combat crime,” says Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.
APD installed the first cameras for HALO in targeted locations around Rundberg, a small yet crime-dense area in Austin. The second phase of its HALO project involved setting up cameras around Sixth Street and the Warehouse District in downtown Austin.
The HALO program has grown in scope from 41 cameras to 1,000 cameras across Austin, including some in school districts. APD also plans to integrate private-entity cameras into HALO.
The HVP 100 Gateway will allow them to do just that.
“We look forward to continuing this journey,” Gay says. “We’ve made significant strides to date, and with the right technologies and thoughtful planning, we will be able to achieve new possibilities for our truly great city.”