'Severe Deficiencies' for Baltimore City System

By: Ben Wood, Published on Dec 11, 2013

A "hodgepodge of basic query services and secretarial work” containing “severe deficiencies, including understaffing” is the conclusion of Baltimore Police Department’s strategic plan for improvement about their much bragged about Citiwatch system for “complete domain awareness.” In this note, we review the report and the key issues identified.

The Baltimore Police Department's Analytical Intelligence Section includes the Crime Analysis Unit, the Watch Center, the CitiWatch Unit, and the Comstat Unit. The report offered critiques for all of them. It says the main problem with the Crime Analysis Unit is that it is understaffed and receiving inadequate data from the other Intelligence Section Units. The unit, with six employees is understaffed by 40 employees, according to the report.

“Neither the Watch Center nor the CitiWatch Units are reaching their potential as valuable intelligence resources," the report says. "The Watch Center should function as a real-time, intelligence fusion center, while the CitiWatch should function as the Department’s lead on citywide CCTV and other electronic intelligence resources.” Citiwatch cost $10 million for the first 300 cameras and costs $1.4 million annually to operate.

Instead, staff from the Watch Center are overrun with “tasks that could be done by police cadets or clerical staff.” Baltimore wants analysts to do more analysis, not clerical work. The police department wants to hire more people who can do that clerical work.

Lack of Timely and Accurate Data Coming In

"Much of this stems from the present lack of ability for field officers to conduct remote data entry, but also from poor data practices – namely a proliferation of databases outside of RMS, a massive data entry backlog, poor prioritization of data entry in the Records Unit, missing or incomplete data in existing databases including RMS, widespread use of unofficial data, and errant CAD reports that are never corrected by officers on scene," the report says. 

Duplication of Efforts?

The report questions whether there is a duplication of efforts between the Watch Center and CitiWatch. The Watch Center is a command center that was initially only activated for special events, but now runs 24/7. Like Citiwatch it can monitor all of the city’s cameras. However it’s not clear if they can also pull in LPR, GPS, and social media data and access other agency cameras like CitiWatch.

Solution

Baltimore’s plan is to increase staffing and consolidate its intelligence activities. The police department says it will also clearly define and separate the distinct duties of CitiWatch and the Watch Center, according to the report.

The Watch Center will branch off to be more of a fusion center and a central location for the police department’s intelligence databases and will be renamed the Strategic Intelligence and Threat Analysis Center. CitiWatch will take over all operations related to surveillance cameras and will also be renamed.

Our calls to the Baltimore Police Department to talk more about how they plan to help CitiWatch to reach its potential were not returned.

IPVM Analysis

Smaller to medium-sized agencies looking to get these big systems should ask themselves these questions: Do I have the resources to use a 600+ camera system to its full potential? And do I have the resources to handle all the paperwork and requests that will start pouring in now that you have eyes on so many places? We saw this problem in a justice complex with 1800 cameras. Not only did they need 20-30 people monitoring the cameras, but they were inundated with requests for footage for lost cell phones.

The report also raises the question: Is PSIM enough? CitiWatch only touches a small portion of Baltimore Police Department's intelligence operations. There is still database entry, 911 calls that PSIM doesn't address.  

 

Comments (0) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Dahua Critical Cloud Vulnerabilities on May 12, 2020
Dahua has acknowledged a series of cloud vulnerabilities that researcher...
Access Credential Form Factor Tutorial on Feb 10, 2020
Deciding which access control credential to use and distribute, including...
JCI / Tyco Security Products Layoffs on Jun 05, 2020
Johnson Controls / Tyco Security Products has confirmed COVID-19 related...
BICSI For IP Video Surveillance Guide on Feb 11, 2020
Spend enough time around networks and eventually someone will mention BICSI,...
Access Control ADA and Disability Laws Tutorial on Feb 17, 2020
Safe access control is paramount, especially for those with...
Hazardous & Explosion Proof Access Control Tutorial on Feb 27, 2020
Controlling access to hazardous environments requires equipment meeting...
Use Access Control Logs To Constrain Coronavirus on Apr 09, 2020
Access control users have included capabilities that are not commonly used...
Worst Over But Integrators Still Dealing With Coronavirus Problems (June Statistics) on Jun 30, 2020
While numbers of integrators very impacted by Coronavirus continue to drop,...
Anyvision Layoffs on Mar 19, 2020
Anyvision has conducted a layoff, citing the impact of coronavirus, joining a...
White House Proposes Blacklist of Dahua, Hikvision Users on Feb 04, 2020
The White House is proposing to blacklist Hikvision and Dahua users from...
Convergint Coronavirus Cuts on Mar 25, 2020
One of the world's largest security integrators, Convergint, has made a major...
Dahua Buenos Aires Bus Screening Violates IEC Standards and Dahua's Own Instructions on Jun 30, 2020
Dahua has promoted Buenos Aires bus deployments as "solutions that facilitate...
Axxon Presents VMS 4.4 and AI Behavior Analytics on May 20, 2020
AxxonSoft presented its VMS 4.4 and AI behavior analytics at the April 2020...
Bosch Dropping Dahua on Feb 13, 2020
Bosch has confirmed to IPVM that it is in the process of dropping Dahua, over...
Verkada Falsely Claims "First Native Cloud-based Access Control and Video Security Solution" on Jun 18, 2020
Verkada's false claims continue, this time to be the first native cloud-based...

Recent Reports

Video Analytics Online Show September 2020 Opened - Axis, Avigilon, Bosch, BriefCam, Genetec, Milestone + 30 More on Aug 12, 2020
IPVM's sixth online show will feature 35+ Video Analytics companies...
The German Company Powering Many China Temperature Tablets (Heimann) on Aug 12, 2020
Many fever tablet suppliers market German-made Heimann thermal sensors while...
Salesforce Drops Dahua and Hikvision on Aug 12, 2020
Salesforce has dropped Dahua and Hikvision as customers, forcing the two mega...
Access Control Course Fall 2020 - Register Now - Save $50 Last Chance on Aug 12, 2020
IPVM offers the most comprehensive access control course in the...
Genetec CEO Declares "We Don't Negotiate Payment With Patent Trolls" on Aug 11, 2020
Are patent trolls like terrorists? Genetec's CEO is coming out strongly...
Hanwha AI Analytics Camera Tested on Aug 11, 2020
Hanwha has released their Wisenet P AI camera, adding person and vehicle...
Alabama Schools Million Dollar Hikvision Fever Camera Deal on Aug 11, 2020
The Baldwin County, Alabama public schools purchased a $1 million, 144-camera...
Dahua Taunts Australian Government, Continues To Sell Illegal Fever Cameras on Aug 10, 2020
Dahua is effectively taunting the Australian government by continuing to sell...
HID Releases VertX Replacement Aero on Aug 10, 2020
HID is replacing two established and broadly supported types of access...
NDAA Compliant Video Surveillance Whitelist on Aug 10, 2020
This report aggregates video surveillance products that manufacturers have...
Telpo China Temperature Tablets Tested on Aug 10, 2020
The provider for overseas companies ranging from Canon Singapore to US'...
Dangerous Hikvision Fever Camera Showcased by Chilean City on Aug 07, 2020
Deploying a fever camera outdoors, in the rain, with no black body, is...
"Grand Slam" For Pelco's PE Firm, A Risk For Motorola on Aug 07, 2020
The word "Pelco" and "grand slam" have not been said together for many years....
FLIR Stock Falls, Admits 'Decelerating' Demand For Temperature Screening on Aug 07, 2020
Is the boom going to bust for temperature screening? FLIR disappointed...
VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...