INDIANAPOLIS--If you are attending a big event in Indianapolis, you are likely being watched. The Indianapolis Metro Police Dept. announced additions to its network of cameras Thursday. Four new camera trailers can be parked in areas where big events are happening or where police believe they need cameras and don’t already have fixed cams.
“Their sole purpose is to keep you safe,” said IMPD Asst. Chief Chris Bailey, in a Thursday news conference.
The trailers can be quickly parked and deployed. They don’t need a power source, and are powered by solar panels, backed up with generators, giving them 30 days of possible deployment without going back to home base.
LISTEN: Press conference on new cams
“All we need is a location the size of a small car to park the trailer and we can be operational in minutes,” said Commander Matthew Thomas, head of IMPD’s Criminal Investigations division, and the lead of the mobile camera project.
How It Works
“A 36 ft. telescoping and stabilized mast is raised, bringing five different camera views to life,” said Thomas, describing the operation and capability of the mobile cams. “The trailers have the capability to support multiple cameras at the same time, each operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week.”
The cameras stream live video back to detectives and officers who look for individuals and situations that might lead to violence.
“We’ve been able to identify high-risk behavior by armed individuals and dispatch officers to de-escalate those situations before they escalated into violent acts,” said Bailey. A hypothetical example was given of a person who gets bounced from a bar and can’t deal with it. The camera might spot that person going to his car to get a gun or a knife.
The trailers cost about $74,000 each, money that’s coming from the $150 million Indianapolis is putting toward fighting violent crime from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Mayor Joe Hogsett said he believes some of the new crime fighting tech has played a part in the reduction of crime this year as compared to last.
“So far this year our city has seen a 20 percent decline in intentional homicides. That’s the first decline since the beginning of the pandemic and the largest decline in over a decade,” he said. Still the mayor isn’t gloating. “While the number of homicides is anywhere above zero, there can be no celebrating.”
Thomas said to help further reduce crime, the police department is working on establishing a manned center to deal with camera live streams and the potential crimes they might show police, by a year from now.