'Severe Deficiencies' for Baltimore City System

Author: 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 (1): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Police

Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
WSJ Investigates Hikvision on Nov 13, 2017
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has released a detailed investigation into Hikvision's government ownership and cybersecurity problems, hitting the...
Genetec Citigraf Big Data Platform Analyzed on Oct 26, 2017
A big industry debate is whether VMS software is now a commodity. However, Genetec believes it can charge a substantial premium for higher-end...
Search More Important Than Live Monitoring - Statistics on Oct 18, 2017
Search is overall more important than live monitoring to integrators, according to new IPVM statistics.  The key themes found in integrator...
Exporting Video Surveillance Tutorial on Oct 05, 2017
Exporting video surveillance is important when incidents or crimes occur. However, there are multiple ways to export video which have their pros...
ASIS Show 2017 Final Report on Sep 27, 2017
ASIS is in Dallas for 2017 and this is our final show report (compare to our 2016 ASIS show report). When walking in, one is greeted with Dahua's...
Genetec Launches Community Connect Examined on Sep 14, 2017
Genetec has done best in large-scale, enterprise systems and relatively worse in smaller systems such as SMB. Now, Genetec is launching...
Neurala Deep Learning Platform Profile on Aug 31, 2017
Find lost children? If Neurala has its way with its recent partnership with Motorola, that is the aim as shown in their video below: Neurala has...
ShotSpotter IPOs, Facing Low Revenue and Losses on Jun 09, 2017
A rare event for North American security manufacturers has happened. ShotSpotter has IPOed on the NASDAQ, raising $30.8 million. US IPOs,...
Shark Tank Startup Guard Llama Mobile Panic Tested on May 16, 2017
A Shark Tank TV show appearance has attracted big attention for Guard Llama, a security startup touting a 'panic button' paired with mobile app...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
Amazon Cloud Cam Is Poor (Tested) on Nov 17, 2017
Retail behemoth Amazon has entered the surveillance market with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the eyes of its just-announced Amazon Key delivery...
Nest Secure Alarm System Tested on Nov 16, 2017
Google's expansion continues, this time into home security with their Nest subsidiary's move into alarm systems. They paid more than a...
Dahua Forbes 'Next Web Crisis' Vulnerability Dispute on Nov 16, 2017
The buffer overflow vulnerability in Dahua products is not in dispute, in fact we covered it when it was first published. What is in dispute is...
Isonas Cofounders Split, Launch Partner/Competitor on Nov 16, 2017
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when door access security is at stake. But that is exactly what has happened at Isonas. Senior employees...
Hikvision China Criticizes The WSJ on Nov 15, 2017
Hikvision, through the Chinese government's authoritative news service, has criticized the WSJ investigation into Hikvision. In this...
PoE UPS Tested (Energy Reconnect) on Nov 15, 2017
In security, backup power is important, but most often requires UPS systems or extra cabling to devices for low voltage power. Now, some have...
Axis Commits To Long-Term Firmware Support on Nov 15, 2017
With the rise of cyber security awareness, and a general increase in hardware reliability, "software warranties" may prove more valuable than...
Hikvision NVR 4.0 Improvements Tested on Nov 14, 2017
Hikvision has released firmware version 4.0 for select NVRs, touting two years of research and development, and claiming "the new generation GUI...
Vivotek Remote Stack Overflow Vulnerability on Nov 14, 2017
A stack overflow vulnerability in Vivotek cameras has been discovered by bashis, the security researcher who has also found vulnerabilities in...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact