coptopThe city of Desert Hot Springs, California just unveiled their newest city works project to help increase surveillance and make it easier for police to keep the city safe. The city hopes that by increasing the way people use surveillance, they will be able to help the police catch criminals.

What makes this system different than most surveillance systems: “This is the first truly mobile, high-speed data network anywhere, and it’s definitely the first one for police vehicles for public safety,” said Justin Benoit, chief technology officer with Lockheed Martin who said he consulted with other vendors.

This 1.2 million dollar system includes 30 cameras in public areas as well as in 16 squad cars. Accessible from both the police station and from wireless laptops that transmit data over a secure network, the system will give police a panoramic view of the surveillance sights with touch screen zoom capabilities. If they see something suspicious, they can simply touch the screen on their laptop and zoom in on any suspicious people or activities.

“It’s a huge leverage, a plus factor for us that we can remotely be able to provide the information and the data live time to our staff, and they can use it to be safer and to respond effectively,” police Chief Pat Williams said Tuesday.

One resident, Tom Wilhem, 49, stated that he thinks this type of surveillance is useful: “They can see what’s going on, which will help the officers. They’re out there kind of blind without it,” he said. “We have the technology. Why not use it?”

(Via My Desert)

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bludotA few months ago we reported that Blu Dot, a Minneapolis based design firm planned to plant their signature chairs around New York City, and to use GPS technology to see what would happen to them. Would people grab them? Would they adopt them into their homes? Would they sit on them? Using a combination of GPS technology and covert surveillance, Blu Dot found out.

“The key to this idea was involvement,” Michael Hart, founder of Mono, said. “Not just them taking the chairs, but the whole community with this notion of an experiment and ‘Where will the chairs go?’”

The design firm hired video company Supermarche to document the entire operation – complete with code names, hidden video cameras, and treetop perches where they would videotape unsuspecting people interacting with the chairs. Some chairs were sat in, others were nabbed, others were adopted in homes. The videographers found that colorful chairs were snatched up more quickly, while plain chairs were considered institutionalized and therefore sat in, but not taken as often.

Check out the video and see what people have to say about  curb mining!

(Via The Wall Street Journal Blog)

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woods-house_1532906cEver since Tiger Woods’ car accident has made its way into the news, the media has been thrown into a frenzy speculating about what really happened that night. However, Tiger has yet to explain what really happened to him that night.

In a recent article, the Examiner brings up a good point; whether or not Tiger Woods ever reveals an explanation to the public, it’s very likely that additional surveillance videos or photos will come out that will offer the truth on its own. The chances are that other residents of the upscale Isleworth community  have surveillance cameras that could have recorded what happened. It would be very feasible for the Florida Highway Patrol to obtain warrants that would give them access to the footage on these surveillance cameras, an that would be all that is need to solve this mystery.

1259509304_woods-elin-accident_290Did Tiger’s wife attack him with a golf-club out of rage and jealousy? If that is the case and surveillance evidence does come forth, Mrs. Woods will have domestic violence charges against her made. So the question remains, when is the Florida Highway Patrol going to take the obvious step to collect surveillance camera footage in the area to use in the investigation?

(Via the Examiner)

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nunPolice are hoping that they will find a criminal responsible for robbing two nuns by releasing video footage of the crime.

The two nuns were doing some grocery shopping when they were approached in a parking lot by a man asking for money. One of the nuns, named Sister Mary De Leon, refused to give the man money and instead referred him to many of the town churches for help. However, the suspect had other things in mind, as he snatched De Leon’s purse and jumped into a van that was circling the lot. The two nuns attempted to chase the crook, but where unable to stop the vehicle.

Luckily the whole thing was caught on tape by the parking lot security camera. Police have released the footage of the crime in the hopes that someone will help bring these heartless men to justice.

(Via ABC News)

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detroit-securityDue to a poor economic climate, The City of Detroit has been forced to cut its police force by more than 25 percent. With the unemployment rate going up, the local police that remain are overwhelmed and understaffed. In areas where its residents can pay, private security companies are fast becoming one of Detroit’s most rapid growing businesses. “People put a premium on security when unemployment and crime go up,” says Larry Dusing, founder of Dusing Security & Surveillance.

Dusing Security is one of the companies that provides security for the once prosperous enclaves of Detroit like Palmer Woods, Boston-Edison and Indian Village. The company investigates the reports of suspicious activities and break- ins.

“If you notice a guy stopping and staring [at a house],” Cooper says, “he’s obviously up to no good.”
The members of the “Historic Indian Village Association,” a local residents’ group, split the cost of private security — about $30 per household each month, which they consider to be worth it since it protects them from something that the local police doesn’t have time to do.



(Via Time)

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maple_seed_device_3Students at the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering have created the world’s smallest monocopter. Its design was inspired by the maple seed that spins when it falls, but this design has an ingenious improvement: a tail rotor. A tail rotor is usually used to keep a helicopter from spinning, but in this case, it keeps the maple seed device spinning. This lets it keep flying, hovering, and lets us control where and how it flies.

The tiny device fits in the palm of your hand, and is a very important advancement in aerospace engineering. This new design is especially useful since it can be used by the military in situations like surveillance maneuvers for defense, fire monitoring, and search-and-rescue purposes.

(Via: GovTech)

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camera-screensNowadays, surveillance cameras are everywhere. With all the recorded footage, very little of it is actually watched and reviewed. Most of the time no one checks the video footage until there is a significant event such as a break in or home invasion. Usually  the only constant monitoring is by a security guard watching an entire property, looking for anything suspicious.  That being said, most of the time these security guards will miss the details. 

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We’ve all heard the expression “caged like an animal,” well for one dog on a Long Island that was a stereo type he was not willing to fit into. He just kept going and going until he was able to escape the Veterinarian office he was locked inside of at the time. But this was no small feat, the canine had to get past a dead bolted door and 6 foot fence in order to escape.

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metrobusdcIn Washington D.C., the Metro Transit system’s trains, buses, and subway stations are now being equipped with surveillance cameras. The Metro system is receiving $28 million from the Department of Homeland Security to fund this project, most of this amount will be used for installing the cameras on mass transit vehicles.

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0409_federal_way_transit_center

Federal Way Transit Center

Last week in Seattle, law enforcement used the GPS feature installed in most cellphones to track a murder suspect as he fled from the scene at the Federal Way Transit Center. Merlin Bell was suspected of shooting and killing Devon Winston Parks. Witnesses told police that they had seen Bell speaking with Parks before the shooting and then identified Bell as the shooter.

Police were able to obtain Bell’s cellphone number and worked with T-mobile to track his cellphone while the police searched for him. Soon after the shooting a police dog found Bell hiding behind a bush with a revolver hidden nearby. Furthermore, police were able to identify Bell in an MTA surveillance camera shooting. Police say that the surveillance footage reveals that the victim has been in a defensive position. Overall, the insurmountable evidence presented against Bell was enough to put him behind bars under second-degree murder charges.

This story is another example of how A-GPS technology, now common in most cell phones, is helping law enforcement do their jobs more efficiently. It’s becoming very clear that GPS, combined with the CCTV surveillance cameras installed in many transportation systems are helping the authorities bring in dangerous criminals at a faster pace than ever before possible.

(Via Seatlle 911)

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