Chicago to Link Video Surveillance to 911 Network


The mayor of Chicago plans to add an additional 250 surveillance cameras in public areas and, in a first for any city, coordinate cameras throughout the city with 911 calls. Mayor Richard Daley says the cameras will improve security and fight crime, as well as monitor emergency situations and road conditions.

Chicago already has 2,000 cameras operated by the city, Chicago Transit Authority, and Chicago Housing Authority. Software will link all 2,500 cameras into the city’s emergency network, allowing 911 dispatchers to see real-time images when emergencies are reported so they can direct police officers, firefighters and paramedics. The software will also flag suspicious activity such as packages being left alone or a person falling down.

Monique Bond, director of media affairs for Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), told SSI that a company has not been contracted as of yet to perform the installation of the new cameras.

The mayor’s office also says private companies will be able to connect to the system and add their own CCTV systems to it.

“Cameras are the equivalent of hundreds of sets of eyes,” Daley said in announcing the move. “They’re the next best thing to having police officers stationed at every potential trouble spot. They also serve as a deterrent to crime, and they provide evidence that is admissible in court.”

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