New surveillance system to help fight crime in St. Louis neighborhood

St. Louis, MO. – August 9, 2011 – Alderman Antonio French and Police Chief Dan Isom today will unveil a new wireless video surveillance system that’s been installed in St. Louis’ 21st Ward. They will be joined by State Representative Jamilah Nasheed and other community leaders for the ribbon cutting ceremony, including a demonstration of the high-tech cameras and a tour of a new "command center" where law enforcement will monitor video feeds from fourteen camera locations throughout the Ward.

This project, funded through the 21st Ward’s One-half Cent Ward Capital Improvement Program, was initiated by Alderman French to fight crime in his ward, which last year saw 14 homicides.

"We’re very proud to unveil this new security camera system, as our latest effort to help keep the citizens of the 21st Ward safe," said Antonio French, who is serving his first term on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. "These cameras not only give us the ability to quickly respond when crime is being committed, but it will significantly deter crime with criminals knowing they’re now being monitored on the streets. We’re on pace to reduce murders in 21st Ward by 70%, and this new initiative is expected to help further reduce overall crime significantly."

A total of fourteen cameras are being installed this summer, with nine cameras being activated this week, and additional cameras being added to the network in the weeks to come. Camera locations on the street were selected based on the highest-need areas determined by local police, which met the infrastructure requirements for the equipment. New cameras will soon be installed in O’Fallon Park, a revitalized public space which was once a troubled pocket for crime.

All video camera feeds will be monitored in a physical command center based in the 21st Ward offices, enabling police to watch the area closely from a multi-screen workstation and alert authorities to any suspicious activity. The workstation is equipped with a graphical map application, which visually signals when there’s significant activity and allows officials to easily pull up the video feed for that area.

"This command center will be a fully functional police substation," said St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom, describing the newly converted 21st Ward office. "Our Department is providing a dedicated police officer to serve as a neighborhood officer for the Penrose and O'Fallon neighborhoods and to monitor video feeds and respond to needs quickly. We’re pleased to support the Alderman’s work to protect this community."

This project was initiated in the Fall of 2010, when the St. Louis Board of Public Service selected ADT Commercial, the industry’s leading security systems integrator, to build the security camera system. "We were honored to be chosen for such an important assignment for one of America’s great cities," said Dan Schroeder, Vice President of Sales for ADT Commercial, "This state-of-the-art system utilizes the highest quality cameras. The advanced technology in these cameras will soon enable them to quickly detect events or crimes and automatically focus in on these areas of concern. These are innovative tools that can help local officials respond to threats fast."