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Real Crime, Real Time: Hartford Police Using Enhanced Surveillance Cameras

Real Crime, Real Time: Hartford Police Using Enhanced Surveillance Cameras

Hartford is joining a growing number of cities across the country by monitoring real time data through surveillance cameras and other high tech data gathering systems.

The city launched its new Real-Time Crime and Data Intelligence Center earlier this year that has police department staff members watching banks of flat-screen monitors that broadcast feeds from surveillance cameras. The center also houses computers that contain data from license plate readers and gunshot detection systems.

Staff uses the real-time data, such as video at businesses or even schools, to inform officers at crime scenes about locations of suspects. The video feeds and other information, gleaned from criminal databases, can be sent directly to an officer’s cellphone.

Transfering information back to top

“It’s such a great asset having everybody under one roof,” said Sgt. Johnmichael O’Hare.  “It’s all about transfer of information.”

O’Hare, who oversees the monitoring center, said since opening in February, the technology has already provided crucial information in hundreds of crimes and has led to several arrests.

The first Real Time Crime Center opened in New York in 2005. In addition to Hartford, cities that have opened centers in the past year include Springfield, Massachusetts and Wilmington, Delaware. In Connecticut, Bridgeport is planning to open a center.