Police Department Surveillance Manager Interview

By Charles Rollet, Published Feb 28, 2019, 10:11am EST

Former Memphis PD Surveillance Manager, Lt. Joseph Patty retired months ago, but kept busy during his decades on the force, working to build up the city's surveillance infrastructure from a couple dozen to thousands of cameras to help fight the city's high crime rate.

Patty spoke with the Wall Street Journal in 2017, discussing Memphis' use of Hikvision cameras. Now, Patty speaks with IPVM about his experience building that system and looks at the following topics:

  • 2,000+ Hikvision camera network a 'valuable asset in fighting crime'
  • Aggressive build out
  • 600+ camera locations citywide
  • Citizen buy-in
  • $2.5 million in donated cameras
  • Cameras mean a drop in crime
  • Favorite form factors
  • Leveraging Ring
  • Combatting crime with analytics and LPR
  • Working with IT
  • Self-monitored
  • 24/7/365 Command Center
  • Where Policing technology needs to go

****: *** **** **** you *** ***** ************ Manager ** ******* **?

* *** ******** *** manager *** * *****, but * ****** ** the *&* **** *** years ***** ** **** where ** ********* **** of *** ********** ** used *** *** *******. I ******* ** ******* 26, ****.

****: *** *** *** come **** **** ***? Were *** ** ******* with ** ******** ** the ********** ** *** you ** ************ ****** ***** ************ *******?

* ***** ** ***** in ****** **** ** special ******. *** **** I *** ***** ** do ***** ******** *** the ******** ******* * had ***** ******** *********. That *** ***** ****** 2000. ****’* **** *** me **** *** ** realm ***** * ****** for *** **** ** my ******. * *** that *** **** ***** and **** *** ******** in *** *** ******** and ***********. ****** ***** for ***** * *****. Then **** ***** ** into *** ***** ************ Manager ********. * ***** a ****** *** **** half ** ****** ** the ** ******** *** I ****’* **** ******** about **. ** *** all ** *** *** training. *’* *** **** of *** *** ***** to *** * ******** twice, ** *’** *** you **** *** **** I’ll ***** **.

****: *** **** ************ staff *** *** **** in **** **********?

** ** ****, ***** was ********* *** ***** and ******** *****, * had **** **** *******. We **** * ******* unit *** *** ***** Center. ** ********** *** grid ** ******* ** the ***** ******. ** was ****** *******, ***** surveillacnce ******* ***** *******—********** that **** ** ** the ***** ******, ** was *** **** ** keep ** ** *** running.

****: **** ****** **** an ***** *** ** manage.

** *** ** ***** lot, ***.

****: **** *** *** scope ** **** ******/************/******* plate ****** **** **** you ******* *** **** was ** **** *** left?

** *** ** ****** surveillance ********. *** ******* * ***** ** those. * ****** **** develop ***** ********. ** R&D’d ** ********. ** had * ** *** Sky *******, ***** **** these ****** ****** **** cameras. **** **** * Flir *******. **'* * 2-man **** ** ** the *** *** ** has ******* *** *******. We *** ** ****** Skid ***** **** ***** panels *** * *********** boom *** * ******** station. **** **** *** natural *********, ***** ** the **** **** **** we ***** ******** ************. We *** ** ***** cars **** *** ** them ** *** ****. Then *** ****** **** came **. ** *** 10 ******* ** ********** on ***** **** * came ** *** ** on *********. *** **** I ****, ** *** over *,***, **** *** on *****. ** ***** a *** ** *********. We *** * ******** program ***** ****** ***** donate * *** *** K9 ****** ** * horse *** * ******* officer. **** ** ******* having ******* ******** *** businesses *** ******* ******** cameras *** ****** "****** put **** ** ** our ************.” ** *** $2.5 ******* ***** ** cameras ******* ** *.* years. ****’* *** ** built *** ******* *** so **** *** ** hard. *** ***** ******* were **** ***** ****** at **. ** *** a ********. ** *** 3 ******* **** ***** choose **** ** **** wanted ** ****** *********. They ******’* **** ** into ****** *** *** a ****** ** ******. It ** *** ** the **** ********** ******** programs *’** ***** **.

****: **** ************ ********—******* and ***—**** *** ****?

** ******* *** ********* products. **** **** *** only **** *** *** H.264 *** **’** **** using **** **** *****. We ***** **** *** a *** ***, *** NVR. ** *** **** through *** * *******, we ******* ** *** out *** ** *** for **********. ********* *** 99% ** *** *******.

****: *** ***** *** talk ** ******** *** the *********, ***** *** negative *****?

**. **** ***** ** a ********** ****. *** nice ***** ***** *** system, ***, ** **** everything ** ** *** pole. ********** ** ** the ****. **'** * detached, ************* *******. ***** quarters ** *** **** enclosures **** ** **** a ******** *******. **’** never *** *** ******** breach.

****: ***** *** **** negative ***** ********* *** other *******-***** ************* **** received, **** *** **** thoughts ** *** *******?

******* ******* ***** ********* products ** **** ******* we **** ******** **** enclosures **** *******, * recorder, **** ******, *** a ** ******, ** we ****** * ***** platform **** *** * good *********** **** *** video ************. ****** **** time ********* *** * good *.*** *********** **** that ** ****** ** use. **** **** ** continued ** *** ********* in *** ********** ** we ***** *** **-*********** network. ******* ****** *** taken *** ********* ***** to ****** ***** ******* was ** ** **** and ******** *******. ******** our ****+ ****** **** with ****** *** ********* locations ********** *** **** has **** * ******** tool *** * ******** asset ** ******** ***** in *** **** ** Memphis.

****: **** *** **** gotten *** ******** **** the ****** ** ***** rights ****** ***** ******* in ****** ******?

**** **********. *** ******** was ***** ******* ** the ************. ** *** all ******* *********. ** pushback ** ***** ************ at ***.

****: *** ***** **** any **** ** ********/********** relationship **** *** ****** sector ** **** ******* or ****** ******** ** share ******* **** ***** be ******* ** ******* a *****/******** **** ** issues?

** *** ******** ***, other ********, ************ **** that ****** **, **** asked ** *** ***** footage ** *** ******* to **** **** ***. We **** * ***** video **** *** **** also ** *** ** citizens *** ******** **** footage *** ***’* **** how ** *** ** it. *** *** **** will **** **** **** that. ** ** ************, we **** *** ** the **** *** *** if **** *** * Ring ****** ****** ** a ********* ****, ** could ** *** ******* that *******. ***'* ******* Ring *** ****'* *** the ******* ** **** while *** **** ******* the ****** ******** **** the **** *****. *** never **** ***** ******* were *****, *** **** track *** ****.

****: *** *** *** select/evaluate ******** *********** ** work ****?

********* ** **** ***** put ******** * **** and **’* *** ** out ** ***. ** a ********* *** *** to **** ******* ********, had ** **** *** licensing, *** *** *********, etc. **** *** *****, it *** **% ** the *** **** ** local ******* ******. **** time **** *** * great ***** ******* **** were ********** *** *** a **** ***. **** patented *** *** ****’* mounted ** * **** or * ********. ******* was ****** *** ***** place **** *** *** enclosure **** ******* *** lights.

****: *** *** **** have ******** **** ******** integratrors—lack ** ** *********, being ****************** ********, ***.?

***, ** *** * other *********** *** **** just *** * **** of ** *********, * lack ** *******, * lack ** *********** ** understand **** ** **** trying ** **. ** had **** *********** *** when ** **** **** the ******** **** **** said '**, ****, *** don’t **** **** **** stuff, *’** **** *** my *****.'

****: *** *** **** strictly ** *** ****** of **** ******** ********** partner ** *********** **** it **** ** **** security **** *** *** city ** *** *** do********,********, *** ******* ********/*********?

***, *** ** **. I ***** ** ** trade ***** **** *** West,*****—**’* * *** *********** only ***-**** **** ****. I’d **** ********** **** way. *** * **** IPVM. ****’* *** * learned. ** ****** **** was **** *************, ***, and ** *** ****** only * ***** **** away. ** *** * great *******. *** *** me, * ****** ** know *** ** ** evrything, *** ***** *** box *** *** ** all ********. *** ****** have ** ** * well-informed ********** ** *** want ** ** **** job. *** ***’* ***** just *** *******, *** vendor. **** *** ** to **** ******, *** should **** ****** ********* that ***’** ******* **** what *** **** *** not *** ***** *** around. *** *** ****** have ** **** ** how **** ** *****.

****: *** *** **** a ********* ** ********* network *** *** ****’* cameras?

** *** ****. ** first ** *** *********, but ** ** ****, we ********* ** *** to *** *** ******** network.

****: **** **** *** department ****** *** **** the *****?

**** *** **** ** sharing *** ********* **** our ** ****. ** was ********* ** **** them **** ** **** doing *** **** **** "We’ll **’** ***** ** separate ** *** ****** it." *** *** **’* both ** *** *** surveillance ********** **** ****** it. ***** *** ******* things **** *** ********-*******-******* that **** ** ** internally ******.

****: *** *** ******* remote ******* ** ******?

***, ** ******** ****** viewing ** ********** *** other *** *********** *********** within *** ******.

****: ** ** *** you ******** ******* ****** ****** method?

** **** * ***.

****: *** ** *** network ********* ********? *** do *** ******* *** communicate?

*/* ** ******** *** another **% ** *** wireless *** ******* **% is ***** ** ******. We’ve **** ******** ***** around **** *** ** still *** ** *****. It’s * ***** ****** product ***** *** ***** how ** *** **.

****: *** *** **** switch *** ****** ** equipment (*******, ***, ********, etc.) ****** **** ****** and ** ** **** made *** ****** *** were *** ***** **** the ******.

***** *** **** ***** switches, ** *** *** make *** ***** ******** switch *** ** *** out ** *********. ***** a ****** ****’* ***** a ******* **** ** wanted *** ** **’* swap ** ********* **** did. ** ***** **** he ********* ******* *** the ********* ***, **********.

****: ****, ** ***, external ************* ****** *** the ****’* ************ ******* go *******?

** *** *** ******* through **** **. ** wasn’t ** ** *****. The ******** ** *** network **** ***** ****. They **** ******* * lot ** ********—******* *** the **** ******** ** managed ********, *** *******.

****: *** ***** *** you ******** *** ****** and ******** **********?

** ***** *-* ***** a ****. * ****** wanted ** **** **** was *** ****** *** greatest. ******** ***** ** put *** **** ****, if ** *** *** a * **, ** might *** *** * 4MP **** ****. ** always ***** ** **** up **** *** **********. That’s *** ** *** so ********* ** ** to ***** ***** *** read ****.

****: **** *** **** typical *** ** **** cameras?

** ** *********. ******** from **-** ***. ** were ******* ** *********, so ** ***** ** frame **** *** *** rate ***** *******. **** we ******* ***** **** 3G, ** ***** **** was * *** ****.

****: *** **** ****** of ********** **** ***** into **** ***/******/*******/***** ************?

****, *** *** ****** surveillance ***** *** ********** with ****. ******** *******-**** had * ****-**** ** system. *** ************ ** poles, *****’* *** * lot ** **** ** there, *** **’* ****** on *** **** **** an ** **** *** we’d ****** ** *** NVR ** *** *** on *** **** ** well—not ********** *** ** critical *****. ********** *** on *** ****. ** did *** **** ****. Unless ** *** *** of *** ******* **** were ********* **** ***** or ****** **** ** would ***** ***** ****.

****: *** *** ** all **** *** **** camera ********** ** *** you *** *** *** party ********** ** ***?

**********. ** *** *** our *** **** **********. There’re * *** ** crimes ****. ** **** 42 **-**** *** ******** in *** ******. **’* an *-****** ***** ****. It ***** **** *** in *****. **’** ******* 24 ***** * ***. Everything ***** **** **** crime ******, *** ******* the ****** *******, *** license ***** *******.

****: **** **** ******* for ******* **** **** popular **** *** **** building ***?

**** ** ***** ******* they **** ****** ****, but ** ** *********, we ***** **** ** fixed. ** ***** **** PTZs **** ********* ******* in *** ***** ********* when ********* ******** **** live **********. *** ** the ***** *******, * prefer *** ******** *****.

****: *** *** **** still **** *** ****** cameras?

**’* * ****** ******. It’s ******, **, *** HDTVI.

****: **** ******* ************** are ***** **** * municipal-level ********** ****** **** one ******’* **** **, say, * ****** ****** or ** ****** ********?

***, **’* * ******* different *****. **** ******* you **** *** ******* and *** ********* *** need ** ** **. It’s **** ***********. ********** that ** ****. **** for ****** **********. ****’* part ** *** ****** was ** *******. **** have *************** ** ***** single ****** ***** **** and **** *** ** know. ***** ***** ** no *** ** ****** that ********. ** *** old ****, **’* **** have ** **** ***** camera ** ******** *** say, "** ** **? Is ** ******? ** the **** *****? ** does ** **** *********?" Back ** *** ********* it **** **** *-* hours * ***.

****: *** ***** *** your ******* **** *** to ***** *** * problem? **********, ******** ** * drug **** ** ******** a ******* ** *** theft ** *** ** vandalism?

*** ******* ***** * crime ***** ****** ***. We **** ****** ** many. * ***’* **** you ** ***** ******. We’re **** ** *** at ******** *** *********. But ***** ******** **** in ***** ****** *** from ************* ****** *** access ** ******* **** has ****** **** *****. When ** *** ***** cameras ** *** ** automatic **** ** ***** in *** ****. *** it ********** ***** ***** than ** *** ****** we *** *** ****** up. *** ****-***** ******* up ** *** ***** in *************, **’* ********** a *********. **** ** something **** ***** ** have ******** ** **.

****: ** ******* ***** any *********, ***, ** facial *********** *** ********?

********* *** ****. **’* like ** *** **** facial ***********. **’** ****** at ******* *********, *** haven’t ****** *** ******* on ******** ***. **’** used ***** *** **** analytics ************. *** **** *** license ***** ******* ** the ********. **’** **** put ******* ***** ******* up ** ************* ** they **** ** ***** the *****. ****'** * very ********* ****. ******* will ***** ****** ** night. ******* ** ** poles ***’*.

****: **** *** *** process *** *********** ****** placement ********** *** ****?

***** ********. **’* *** it *** ***** ** statistics *** **** **’* put *** ******* ***** there *** *** **** crime. *’* **** ** the *** *** *** the ******** *** **’* go *** *** *** a **** ** ** a ****. **’* *** thing ** **** ** a ********* ** * map, **’* ******* ***** to ******** ** **** there *** **** * place ** *** ** a ******. ********* ****** would **** ** **** push **** **** *** a ****** ** ** it *** ** * rough ****. ** ***** went ******* *** **’* go **** * ***** car. **’** *** **** cameras **** *** ** gang *******. * *** up *** ****** ** a **** ****-******** ****—****-*******, and ** *** **** 7 ***** **** ** AK-47 **** ***** *****, but ** **** *** took ** **** ** our **** *** ******** it ** ****** ***** and *** ** **** up. *** *** **** whose ***** ** *** it ** ** ***** of *** **** ********. And ** *** * different ****** ** **** guy ******* **** *** sidewalk **** *** **-** and ** **** **** to ******** *** *** make ** ******. ******* he ****** *** **** drive.

****: **** ***** ***** of ******** **** **** you ****** **** **** system?

**’** ****** ******, ********, burglaries, ***********, ****** *******, drugs. * ***** **’** caught ***** ****** ***** there ** ** *** cameras. ** **** **** 22 *******-********* *******. **’* an ********* **** * PTZs *** * ********* board ** ***, ** listens *** * **** and **** ************ ***** the **** **** ****. Anything *** ** *** feet. *** **’** **** several ******* ******* *******. There’s * ********** ******** as *** ******* ** mapped ** ****** **** and **** ********** ******** the ******** *** **** what’s ***** ** **** they **** **. **’* not **** * ********* system, **’* ***** ************, too. **’* ********* ** R&D’d *********.

****: **** ***** ******* have * **** *** and * **** *** in *** *******?

***** *** **** **** body **** *** ****** 600 ******* **** ****. Those *** *** **** of *** ****** * managed. * ******* ** that ****** * *******, but * ****’* *** it ****, *** * yielded ******** **** ********** to *** ** ******* team. *** ****'* ** important *****—*** ** ** bring **** *** **? A **** ***** *** MPD *** *** ** import *** ** *** data **** *** **** cams *****.********** ** ******* ******* they *** ***** ***** service *** ** *** really **** ** **** upload *** **** *******.

****: *** **** ***'** a **********, **** ********* do *** ********* ********* to **** ******* *** cameras *** *****?

* ** *** ******* to *** ********** ******** myself, * ****** ** what *** ******** ***** and ********* *** **** solution *** ****. ** is ********* ** * consultant ** ** ******** with ** **** ************ as ******** ** *** can **** ********** ******* what *** ******** *****.

****: **** ********* ****** the ******** ** ***** in?

*** ******* ******* *’** seen **** *** ***** is ****, **** **** we *** ** *******, the ****** **** *** grew ***** ** *** monster. * ****** ****, but **** ****, ** managing ** *** *********. And ** ****** ** farm **** ** **** out. ****** ********** ** such *** **** ** it. ******* ***** ** how ** *** *** all **** ***** ****. Analytics **** **** ********* helps * ***. *** in *** ***********, **’* hard ** ** **** in * ****** ****. How ** *** ** that ***** ****** **** a ***** ** ** on * ****** ******. That’s ***** ** ** going ** **** ** develop. ******* ******* **** a ******* *** *** the ****** *****’* *** right ***. **** ****** be ********* **** ** catches. * ***** ** need ** **** ********* all *** ********* ** officers **'** *****—**** ****, tasers, ***. ** **** somewhere ** ***** *** these ****** ****. ********* Software ** * *** deal, ***. ** **** a ***** ********** ********* to ********* ********. *** our **** *** *******, requests **** *******, ** FOIAs, *** *******. ** all ***** ** ** redacted. ** ****** *** officers ****** ******** ** do ***** *** ** definitely * **** *** the **********. **’** ***** to **** ** **** in **** **** **********. We **** ** **** the ******** ** *** beat **** ** ** their **** ******. ********** should ***** **** ** relay ****-**** ***** *********** to *** *******. ****** like **** **** *** subject **** ****? ****'* the ********* ** ******? Is *** ******* ***** or ***? ****’* ***** the **** ** ****** to. *** ***** ** didn’t ***** ** *** drones. *** ********** ** using ******. *** ** much ** **** ****** be *** ****’** ***** them. ********* *** ********* the *** ** ****** by *** ***********, *** they *** **** ** they ***. * ***'* think *** ***** *****’* understand *** **********. ********* write **** **** **** think *** ********** ******, but ****’** ******** ******** law ***********’* ******* ** provide ****** ****** ******. I ***** **** **** will ****** **** ****.

Comments (32)

Great info and perspective from an LE point of view.  Appreciate the interview and article Dan

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Thank you, Chris. We've got more end-user interviews on the way.

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Perhaps Lt. Patty can answer the unanswered riddle posed years ago in:

Hikvision Logic: Crime Down, Cases Up?

to wit:

“Hikvision, the world’s leading supplier of innovative video surveillance products and solutions, has teamed up with the Memphis Police Department (MPD) to protect the residents of Memphis in Tennessee, the U.S. Using a variety of security solutions to prevent and reduce crime, since 2007 MPD has deployed hundreds of analog and IP cameras and dozens of recorders from Hikvision to keep the city safe. With incidents now being captured on high-quality video, MPD has noted an increase in criminal cases being taken to court.” - Hikvision Press Release

So much for the deterrent theory.

And one would expect that if these cases were resulting in convictions, over a 8 year period, that crime would go down, just because of the reduction of criminals.

In addition, if crime had actually gone up, say because patrols were reduced to pay for cameras, wouldn't it be natural for cases to go up as well?

 

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Well I will take a “stab” at it. Being in law enforcement for 27 years I know what the article was trying to say but it just fell short of wording correctly. A more correct way of saying that would have been “MPD has experienced an overal decrease in crime in the areas with cameras, while at the same time, more cases are being successfully prosecuted due to strong video evidence.”

An example of this would be an neighborhood had 10 burglaries in the 6 months prior to cameras being installed.  Once the cameras were installed the neighborhood reported only 2 burglaries over the next 6 months.  So we had a significant drop in crime due to the deterrent of the cameras. We also made an arrest in the post camera time using video evidence.  Over the course of the investigation of this suspect we were able to convict him of all 12 burglaries in the last year.  This is one example of how you could have an increase in cases being taken to court while seeing a decrease in crime.

There is also a whole world of theory and fact on how crime is just displaced and never really sees a zero effect.  Factor in the revolving door of the criminal justice system and the fact in Memphis, almost 90% of the criminals arrested here are repeat offenders, the whole criminology world becomes very convoluted.  Is it time for whiskey yet?

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This is one example of how you could have an increase in cases being taken to court while seeing a decrease in crime.

So, in a nutshell, less crime overall due to camera deterrence, but higher arrest and conviction rates for what crime did occur due to camera evidence?

Ok, that’s plausible enough.

But apart from the neighborhood example you gave, did that actually occur, broadly across the city where the new cameras were deployed?

 

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The asnswer would be yes and no.  In some areas the effects were dramatic in others,  minimal.  One thing that has to be done once a camera is installed is enforcement in that area based on live monitoring.  If you install a camera in a high crime area and criminals see that thier is no difference in police presence then the camera has a minimal effect. However if you have pro-active enforcement using the camera and the criminals see a instant response contributed the live monitoring of that camera, then the results are very dramatic.

I tell people all the time that cameras serve as vitural officer on the pole.  However it is just another tool in toolbox.  It is not a magical wand and it will not come down off the pole/building and arrest someone.  You still need the traditional LE tools in your tool box to make the job mesh.  However cameras with blue lights do deter most criminals by moving them along and it gives the citizens a sense of security when they are around.

Great questions and discussion. 

Thank you.

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Great interview. Useful info. I manage citywide system much smaller and its rare that i get good details on what other LE agencies/municipalities are doing.

Based on the amount of shootings etc we have on camera I question whether the cameras really do deter criminals (especially younger criminals). I personally do not feel a sense of security when in an area in my city with a high concentration of blue light cameras. 

Perhaps the location of the camera (and blue light) have some impact on how criminals and people feel in their presence.........

what kind of staffing numbers did you have in your monitoring center? 

 

 

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Cameras, squad car nearby or even an officer standing on the corner will not deter crimes of passion like homicide, that has been proven over and over.  I know that some criminals will commit a crime regardless of who or what is watching them (example everyone knows banks have cameras yet they still get robbed all the time.)

As far as staffing I can’t divulge exact numbers but there are enough to handle monitoring of the cameras, license plate reads, crime stopper calls, gun shot detection cameras, ankle tracking brackets etc 24 hours a day.  I wish we had more but the department is down over 500 officers so the primary function of any police department is boots on the ground to respond to calls for service.

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Great job Joe!!

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Thank you sir!

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...we got 3 different angles of this guy walking down the sidewalk with his AK-47 and we were able to identify him and make an arrest. Luckily he missed the hard drive.

Was there an nvr on every pole? why?

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Because the city lacked any type of communications at the pole we had to build a de-centralized network. All recordings are on the edge because it is impractical and un-reliable to stream video back to a central location over cellular.  There were some areas where the topography allowed us to use mesh network where we would use a hybrid system (multiple locations in proximity to each other but one centralized recorder still on the edge). 

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Because the city lacked any type of communications at the pole we had to build a de-centralized network.

How were the PTZ’s controlled?

When we first started they were mostly PTZs, but as we developed, we moved more to fixed. 

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Mainly by a cellular backbone with some cameras being connected to a mesh network. Remember we couldn’t stream video back 24 hours a day for centralized recordings but we could access all of our cameras via cellular for live viewing when needed. 

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Ok, got it. Thanks!

Final question:

I spent 10 years in patrol...

True or false, your patrol vehicle was nicknamed the “Patty Wagon”?

;)

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I can neither confirm or deny that.

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Awesome interview. Very informative. Thanks Joe!

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Thank you sir!

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Great; very informative.  Thank you.

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An excellent interview wherein it is clear that cameras function as a force multiplier for law enforcement. Great job, Joe!

It also refreshing to read a positive account of the HIK products at work in a City that needed them.

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Thank you.

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I found a link to a pic of your video wall. Very impressive!

MEMPHIS POLICE REAL TIME CRIME CENTER

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Thank you sir!

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This interview is pure gold.I enjoyed and learnt from every single word. Kudos to the interviewer and to the interviewed

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Thank you sir!

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I see a lot of screens and nobody actually watch them. People just do their job, sitting and looking in their monitors. Was that CCTV made for investigating (pull the recordings, provide the evidence to court - reactive approach) more than preventing (proactive)?

I read about one research. People lose their attention very fast: even knowing about the upcoming incident, only 20% of CCTV operators were able to catch it after 45 min of watching the cameras. I'm wondering how this huge (city-level) operational control centers handle this function? Are they just wasting money on the operators or there's a magic video analytics platform that shows the notification when crime happens?

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I'm wondering how this huge (city-level) operational control centers handle this function?

“Build a Wall, Crime will Fall!”

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Dennis great question.  The large video wall is useful tool but it is not the heart of the operation.  The video wall serves as a large monitor that officers can watch while they perform other duties other than watching cameras.  The video wall during an event such as a large public event, protests or any police event can be a major tool to the department as it allows mulitple people to have eyes on what is being projected on the wall.  During normal day to day operations officers are more concentrated at the desktop PC level as officers mulitask their duties.  You are correct about the dimensioning affect of watching cameras can have on people.  The video wall has cameras views being displayed that are considered critical and it has a host of other applications running that do not require a constant human monitor, instead these systems will both visually and adubily alert users on the floor of an event.  The technology is moving away from watching cameras 24/7 to instead only showing video of predetermined video analytic alarms.

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The video wall serves as a large monitor that officers can watch while they perform other duties other than watching cameras...

Curious, how sophisticated is the setup? Can any officer at a workstation punch up any scene onto the wall at will?  Did you use map overlays and could you pull up 4 related views say at once, easily?

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Yes an officer can pull up anything displaying on the wall.  The video wall has multiple servers that feed various inputs onto the wall, in addition any of the 28 workstations on the floor can share thier screen on the video wall.  Officers can change/move any image on the wall and stretch an image across the whole wall if needed.  Just imagine the video was a giant monitor connected to your PC. Yes we do use overlays as well as part of our smart city solution.  Officers can see locations of cameras, calls for services, real time crime occurring, squad car locations and location of fire hydrants to name a few. 

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Mr. Patty,

As former (and long-time) PD, I would like your take on how you think body-worn cameras and/or city surveillance video (and location of these cameras) should be handled to both:

1.  Allow LE to utilize the technology at their disposal to keep the public safe

and 

2.  Ensure transparency of public records - when the organization that controls the video is local LE?

FTR:  I am pro-LE.... but I am also pro civil liberties.

How can LE work to accomplish both #s 1 and 2 above?

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Great question and the answer is completely subjective and varies among PDs.   Of course all video is considered evidence and property of the PD until it is approved for release.  FOIAs can be denied if the request is related to any ongoing investigation.  Body cam footage falls under the same criteria, however a PD can release videos in order to quickly exonerate or condem an officer of a high profile incident.

As far as a FOIA for camera map locations I sit in the middle of the fence on this issue. I feel there is some need to keep that information secured but I also understand the side of transparency to bridge trust with a community.  Where I worked those decisions were made way above my pay grade and usually sided on transparency.  Most of the FOIA map requests were from the media for stories about how crime is being fought throughout the city with cameras.  In those cases they were given just a list of locations or dots on printed map so they could use it as a visual.  We never released anything other that just the locations.  

In the end,  a well written policy is your best guarantee that the line between public safety and transparency stays equal.

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