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Back to Archives | Back to January 2009 Contents 

Advances & Applications

Where do the good ideas come from? In this column, we offer our readers the opportunity to learn about — and benefit from — some of the cutting-edge technologies being implemented by law enforcement colleagues around the world.

Pivot3 Helps New Jersey Police Department Protect Video Evidence

Pivot3, Inc., announces that the Paterson Police Department (PPD) in Passaic County, New Jersey, has chosen the Pivot3 storage solution as part of a high-definition video surveillance project. The PPD teamed with the City of Paterson to create a video surveillance system to patrol the city’s Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZs) using wireless cameras, large-scale storage, and intuitive video application software to increase the protection of the business community by making better use of the officers on patrol and speeding responses to calls for assistance.

Paterson’s UEZs cover approximately 45 percent of the city’s neighborhoods that are most directly linked to its thriving commercial activity. The goal for the UEZs is to provide video surveillance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to deter and prevent crime.

“There are a lot of new rules and regulations that govern the storage and maintenance of video that will be used in legal proceedings,” said Sergeant Angel Perales of the PPD. “We must protect the chain of evidence at all times, and Pivot3, through its reliable storage solutions, has become our partner in making that happen.”

To handle the large amount of storage required for 36 high-resolution cameras, the PPD deployed 36 terabytes of Pivot3 high-definition storage. The Pivot3 clustered storage is an iSCSI storage area network (SAN) that provides 24/7 availability, high bandwidth, and scalability and is a solid investment for the department since additional capacity can be added easily in the future if more cameras are added or if longer video retention times are needed.

An area of concern for the PPD is that its video files must be adequately protected and stored in such a manner that they are indisputable evidence admissible in court. “When we were introduced to the Pivot3 storage system, we were impressed with its ability to store video and to be automatically protected in case of a system error. Pivot3’s own failsafe operational nature gives us confidence that our video is safe and that it will be there when we need it,” said Sergeant Perales.

For more information, click here, and enter number 25.

Videx Helps Florida Police Department Improve Security

The Temple Terrace, Florida, Police Department (TTPD) needed a way to track entry into secured areas of its facilities and to improve overall security. The existing mechanical locks had been in place since the building’s construction, and there was no accountability for keys distributed over the years. According to Patricia Powers, deputy chief of the TTPD, “The most important access we needed to track was entry into the evidence/property room. We also needed to have locks that could not be tampered with on the exterior doors and elevator to limit unauthorized after-hours access to the offices and storage areas.”

The police department needed a complete security solution that was also economical. It decided to replace the cylinders in its existing mechanical locks with Videx CyberLock electronic cylinders. CyberLocks are now installed in the holding facility, evidence room, exterior doors, offices, storage rooms, and elevator switches.

CyberLock cylinders do not require any wiring or battery at the lock. This was a decisive factor for the department’s implementation of the system. It meant that a complete access control system could be installed without the expensive costs of hardwiring.

Deputy Chief Powers said, “Before CyberLock, officers carried a large ring of keys that were not only noisy and cumbersome, but also expensive to replace if lost or dropped while running after a suspect. Now, our officers carry a single electronic key for access throughout the department. Security is no longer threatened due to the ‘Lost Key’ and key expiration functions provided by the software.”

The police department now has the ability to view reports that show who accessed specific doors and areas, providing them with a higher level of security at their facility. The system is also expanding, with electronic padlocks on the impound shed and new installations at the fire department and city hall.

For more information, click here, and enter number 26.

Memphis Fights Crime with SPSS Predictive Analytics

The Memphis, Tennessee, Police Department (MPD) is proactively fighting crime with a data-driven approach. It uses SPSS’s Predictive Analytics for enhanced crime analysis by mapping, identifying, and linking precinct-level and citywide crime “hot spots,” such as outside of a concert or in a specific area of town, as well as crime trends, such as car burglary on a rainy night. In one specific hot spot, the MPD reduced robberies by 80 percent by incorporating Predictive Analytics.

The MPD analyzes crime patterns, trend maps, and hot spot maps, along with data on police call logs, to identify and understand where clusters of robberies occur. By anticipating criminal activity, the organization is able to better deploy resources, including directed patrol, targeted traffic enforcement, task forces, operations, high-visibility patrol, and targeted investigations.

Larry Godwin, director of the MPD, said, “We are now able to better use our resources to address the needs of our citizens and more effectively fight crime. Predictive Analytics software has also allowed the MPD to improve communication with policymakers and our citizens concerning crime in the city, our efforts to address it, our evolving needs to improve capacity, and the effectiveness of our efforts. Predictive Analytics allows the MPD to direct resources at the most effective location, on the most effective date, at the most effective time.” ■

For more information, click here, and enter number 27.


From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVI, no. 1, January 2009. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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