D.C. integrates varied city camera systems

Washington, D.C., is taking steps to make all of its municipal video surveillance cameras work as one. The city is reportedly making high-tech strides to link some 4,500 cameras around the city into a command center at the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, and the city plans to add even more than those initial 4,500 as time goes on.

According to a report from the Washington Post, that number could be up to 5,600 CCTV cameras as soon as this fall. The Post reported that many of these cameras are at city facilities and aren't currently monitored by police, and are instead monitored by security guards at those local facilities.

The city is also planning to add video analytics later this year at certain sites, the Washington Post reported. The total cost of the surveillance network upgrade and integration is expected to cost $9.6 million. The first phase will cover D.C.'s Housing Authority, the city transportation departemnt and the Office of Property Management, but the biggest chunk of cameras in this first phase will come from D.C.'s public schools, which have an estimated 3,600 cameras.

Darrell Darnell, who heads D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said the eventual goal is to be able to monitor the cameras in real-time and make real-time responses.

Similarly, New York is working on a 3,000 camera project for Lower Manhattan, and Chicago has been busy with a similar integrated system.

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