Cities Getting Double Duty from Camera Systems

John Gaydos, ADT vice president, government systemsIn this blog we have discussed recent trends in public security cameras. More and more cities and municipalities are installing camera systems, reaping the benefits of having extra sets of eyes throughout the city. Read here about one city in Richmond, Calif.

Most local officials start out wanting a camera system for the increased security and safety benefits, but many are also finding that these systems go beyond security. They can do double duty and help with day-to-day operations of the city. Here are some of the uses that go beyond security:

  • Traffic management

Cameras allow city personnel to monitor traffic patterns and flow on a real-time basis. By monitoring the cameras, officials can spot problem areas and dispatch the needed resources to fix or mitigate the problem. They can quickly identify malfunctioning traffic lights, stalled vehicles and debris obstructing a city freeway or road

  • Resource allocation

Monitoring cameras lets city officials know what resources are needed and where. It helps with staffing by letting city officials know which public facilities and resources are being used. For example, a city in New York state has public safety officers monitor cameras. If there is a sudden influx of people at one of the public beaches additional lifeguards are sent to the area.

  • Emergency and Disaster Response

The aftermath of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis have made many city and municipal governments more sensitive to emergency and disaster preparedness. Cameras can play an important part in quickly identifying and reacting to an emergency. The information from video gives city officials and first responders vital information. They can quickly locate the damage and who or what is involved. This allows for a fast, measured response that can help resolve the situation to help limit damage to people and property.

Monitoring cameras gives city officials a better idea of what is going on in the city at any given moment. These are just some of the benefits of a camera system that go beyond crime prevention and security. This type of system is a substantial investment for most cities, but by utilizing the system as a tool for running the city more smoothly, cities can maximize their investment and improve the quality of life in the community.

-- John Gaydos, vice president of ADT Security Services, government systems