Norcross Police to Get Surveillance Cameras
Buford Hwy, Lillian Webb Park and Thrasher Park will soon by under 24-hour watch.
Norcross Police will soon be able to log onto a website to access real-time video of Buford Hwy, Thrasher Park and Lillian Webb Park, thanks to a new relationship with Iron Sky, a high-tech surveillance company.
The surveillance system, which will include 11 cameras, a wireless network and a secure web page that allows officials to access the information from a laptop, was paid for with money from the sale of seized drug property. The City plans an entire network of security cameras for the future.
“This is technology that never sleeps on the job—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year,” said Dallas Stidd, Norcross Police Chief, in a release. “It is basically another set of ‘eyes’ for us,” he said in a separate note.
The system is a “turnkey” system, meaning that one provider designs, installs and provides the ongoing service, according to Iron Sky General Manager for Georgia, Bob Carter. “A crass way to say it is that it’s a ‘one throat to choke’ scenario,” he said. With other companies, many different providers meant a headache when problems came up with the technology, according to Carter, because companies tended to point the finger at someone else.
Lilburn, Decatur, Midtown and College Park also have Iron Sky systems. Midtown Blue Col. Wayne Mock says his community is measurably safer thanks to the camera system. "I've been in crime enforcement for 45 years," said Mock, "And I know there's two sides of the story--then there's what's on the tape." He said the Iron Sky system has been good for both deterring crime and for documentation.
Mock said that over 800 arrests have been made using the camera footage since November of 2005 and that crime is down 52 percent in Midtown.
Iron Sky said that after the first pre-construction meeting, the entire system would take about 9 to 10 weeks to install.
The system is based on Google Maps, and it has the ability to integrate two other police systems—the dispatch system and the vehicle location system—putting all three on one map for the dispatcher.
The technology would allow the Norcross Police to zoom in on licence plate numbers or on individual faces. The police would have the ability to review the video footage in real-time or to play tape back at a later time. Carter said that there is no legal problem with this since the cameras are installed along streets and in public places.
The footage would not only be used to patrol areas when all is quiet, according to Stidd. He points out that in times when the downtown area might become congested, like the Art Fest, the police will be able to get a bird’s eye view. “That way we can send in the manpower to alleviate the situation before it becomes an actual issue,” he said in a release.