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Mayor Brown Provides Surveillance Camera Update
City’s New State-of-the-Art Anti-Crime Technology Presented in Demonstration; System Will Support City’s Crime Rate Decline
Mayor Byron W. Brown today presented a demonstration of the city’s soon-to-be completed citywide anti-crime video surveillance system.
The 60-camera neighborhood crime prevention system will be an integral part of the Buffalo Police Department’s Wireless Security Camera Network. The equipment will provide the Buffalo Police Department and first responders with access to real-time video in emergency situations and evidence in criminal proceedings. The second phase of the citywide system will include the installation of an additional 40 surveillance cameras, bringing the system up to 100 surveillance cameras deployed throughout the city.
“This anti-crime video surveillance system fulfills my commitment to provide our Police Department with the most advanced technology available, while providing our residents, business owners and visitors with a comprehensive security system that will make them even safer,” said Mayor Brown. “This initiative will further strengthen our Police Department’s continuing effort to reduce crime across the City. With violent crime declining 12% in 2007 versus 2006 and overall crime declining 7% over the past two years, including a seven-year low of homicides through the first quarter of 2008, our anti-crime tactics are clearly having an impact on criminal activity in Buffalo.”
The placement of the cameras throughout the city is determined by Buffalo Police Department crime data and every Council District will be included in the system.
Forty-three of the sixty cameras have been installed and are operational. The system’s video surveillance monitoring center has been built out on the second floor of Buffalo Police Headquarters, which was opened for viewing following Mayor Brown’s announcement. The surveillance monitoring room will be staffed 24/7 by limited duty police officers.
"As I have stated before, these high tech cameras will take our crime fighting to a new level, “ said Commissioner Gipson. “We worked very closely with the City of Chicago, who has one of the nation’s most sophisticated video surveillance systems. Since it’s newer, Buffalo’s system will be more state-of-the-art than Chicago’s.”
Mayor Brown was joined by Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson, Deputy Commissioner Dan Derenda, BPD Chief of Staff Joseph Strano, Captain Mark Makowski, who oversees all City Homeland Security matters and Raj Mehta, Interim Commissioner of the city’s Department of Management Information Systems.
“This new high-tech surveillance camera system is another tactic being employed by the BPD in support of other ongoing initiatives, including the ongoing and successful Mobile Response Unit,” said Mayor Brown. “This specialized anti-crime unit targets areas of high crime, illegal guns, gang activity and drug trafficking throughout Buffalo. These tactics, and other anti-crime police activities, including adding approximately 100 new police officers this July to the Police Department’s ranks, are designed specifically to improve our quality of life and make Buffalo safer and more livable for every city resident.”
Johnson Controls, Inc. was the lowest responsible bidder to respond to a Request for Proposals issued by the Mayor’s Office, the Buffalo Police Department and the Department of Management and Information Systems on June 15, 2007. They formed a team with video camera experts the Avrio Group and local installers, Ferguson Electric.
The equipment includes: sixty (60) surveillance cameras and supporting software ($2,534,895.00); analytics for sixty (60) surveillance cameras ($180,000.00); video surveillance monitors, workstations and software for a video surveillance room ($212,520.00); and an outdoor events video monitoring trailer ($37,500). The contract also includes a $41,300.00 Performance Bond, bringing the total project cost to $3,006,215.00. The purchase of the system was made possible through the use of NYS Aid Incentive to Municipalities (Efficiency Grant) funding and, upon the Mayor’s request, was formally approved by the Buffalo Common Council and the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority.
“With overall crime in Buffalo down 7% over the past two years, I am confident that our anti-crime efforts, enhanced by this new camera technology, will succeed,” said Mayor Brown. “As I stated when we launched the system’s pilot project, this initiative is a priority of my Administration as we continue to examine best practices and other methods to reduce crime and improve our residents’ quality of life.”
Violent crime continues to decrease in the City of Buffalo. Through December 2007, all four categories of violent crime – Homicide, Rape, Robbery and Assault – are down by 12% collectively versus the same time period in 2006. For the past two years, crime in the city has dropped 7%.
Since it began operations in January 2007 (and through 4/21/08), the Mobile Response Unit has made 3,641 arrests, issued 9,701summonses, impounded 974 vehicles, seized $286,687 in cash and removed 242 illegal weapons from the streets.
© 2001-2011 City of Buffalo
Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios