Mayor Brown Announces Enhancements to City Surveillance System

July 21, 2011 Updated Jul 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM EDT

By Jesse Osborne

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Mayor Brown Announces Enhancements to City Surveillance System

July 21, 2011 Updated Jul 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown on Thursday announced that visibility of the citywide 24-hour surveillance system is now enhanced through signage across the Chippewa Entertainment District.

Brown and the Buffalo Police Department also released video footage that demonstrates a successful arrest and coordination between law enforcement and surveillance operators.

“The arrest the past weekend shows that our surveillance camera system of over 120 cameras is successfully enhancing our anti-crime efforts,” said Brown. “This video clearly demonstrates a textbook operation that resulted in a criminal being apprehended from one of Buffalo’s most popular entertainment districts because of advanced security technology.”

On Sunday, July 10, 2011 at approximately 1 a.m., a city surveillance camera captured video footage of a suspect being arrested after police responded to call about a man with a knife just minutes before. The video shows collaboration between city 911 dispatchers, responding police officers, city camera surveillance controllers and officers on the ground working detail on Chippewa Entertainment District.

The city has begun to install signage in downtown Buffalo to make residents aware that 24-hour camera surveillance is being conducted for their safety.

“The signs raise awareness of city surveillance through visibility,” said Brown. “We want Buffalo residents to know that they are safe while in the Chippewa Entertainment District, and throughout the entire city, because of our camera surveillance system. We continue to examine methods to reduce crime and improve residents’ quality of life.”

The “first of its kind” citywide system, the Buffalo Integrated Wireless and Intelligence System assists the Buffalo Police Department in crime prevention, supports the city’s commercial districts by providing additional public safety support and enhances Buffalo’s Homeland Security activities. 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.

In August 2007, a Pilot Project for camera surveillance was installed with an integrated high sped wireless broadband component. The pilot examined the technology of the camera system and determined its overall effectiveness. In December 2007, Phase I of the surveillance camera initiative was launched. The portable surveillance camera was also announced, which provided an important added security component to the Buffalo Police Department’s oversight of large-scale public events.

In April 2008, Phase II was announced, which brought the total number of cameras throughout the city to 100.

“These surveillance cameras are integral part of our daily operations and make us stronger,” said Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda. “The cameras allow us access to real-time video in emergency situations, hard evidence and greater time efficiency.”
The surveillance monitoring room at Buffalo Police Headquarters is staffed 24/7 by limited duty police officers.

These measures are part of ongoing initiatives by the Buffalo Police Department to reduce crime including enhanced food, bicycle and Segway patrols. Crime continues to decrease in the City of Buffalo. Overall crime is down by approximately 11.4% since January 2006, and violent crime has been reduced by 8% in the same period of time.