Murder on Video - The Value of PTZs

By: John Honovich, Published on Mar 03, 2012

While many argue for the end of PTZs, a recent murder demonstrates the value of using PTZs versus multimegapixel fixed cameras for monitoring large high crime areas. Inside this note, we show why through a series of real world surveillance video clips and an analysis of the system's use.

The Raw Video

The police department released segments of the actual surveillance footage. This 90 second video is important to watch to understand the situation and the use of PTZs:

The video is Flash only. If you cannot see it, go to the original page of the video.

At the start of the incident, a PTZ on a pre-programmed tour spots two people walking down the street as shown below:

In the next video segment, on a different camera, the system captures 2 people running down the street:

Now, a 3rd camera shows a person running from two others. There is a person crawling on the floor that appears to be already shot. Note that this camera is being actively controlled by an operator and zoomed in during the time of this clip.

A few moments later with the PTZ zoomed in, the system captures a clear image of a person aiming a gun at another:

15 seconds later, a police car pulls up to the scene and captures the shooter and accomplice:

The whole incident lasts literally just a few minutes.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

The Location

This happened in a housing deveopment / project in Queens NY, shown in the map below:

The complex is long (nearly 3/4rds of a mile) and is densely populated with both buildings and trees, making line of sight difficult.

According to reports, the complex is monitored by the NY Police Department's VIPER program that dedicates police officers to monitor surveillance systems and dispatch responders to threats.

A Surveillance Success

This incident is a clear success story of using surveillance. In the middle of the night with an event that unfolded in minutes, the police were able to identify and respond immediately. The suspects were caught on video in the act and then apprehended moments later. This eliminated the risk of the suspects committing further crimes on the run, the cost of a manhunt and the risk of suspects getting away.

Monitored PTZs Critical

Without PTZs being actively monitored, this incident would almost certainly have turned out far worse. With the large size and complex terrain of the site, megapixel cameras would most likely have captured nothing more than blobs of the suspects. This is especially so at night, where even the best megapixel cameras have no quality / identification advantage over SD cameras. Equally important was the active monitoring of the PTZs. Without this, the suspects would certainly have gotten away and the video evidence of the suspect shooting would not have been captured.

Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
2020 Video Surveillance Cameras State Of The Market on Jan 03, 2020
Each year, IPVM explains the main advances and changes for video surveillance...
Cisco Video Surveillance Is Dead, Long Live Cisco Meraki Video Surveillance on Feb 11, 2020
A dozen years ago much of the industry thought that Cisco was destined to...
NetApp Presents Hybrid Cloud Video Archive on May 11, 2020
NetApp presented its hybrid S3 cloud video archive at the April 2020 IPVM New...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the...
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...
Directory Of 150 Video Analytics Suppliers on Dec 17, 2019
This directory provides a list of video analytics providers to help you see...
The US Fight Over Facial Recognition Explained on Jul 08, 2020
The controversy around facial recognition has grown significantly in 2020,...
Vivotek Presents AI Analytics and LPR on May 19, 2020
Vivotek presented its AI Analytics and LPR at the April 2020 IPVM New...
BriefCam Video Analytics Tested on Jan 06, 2020
BriefCam, acquired by Canon in 2018, is one of the most commonly used video...
Color Low Light Mega Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Speco, Sony, Vivotek on Nov 12, 2019
This is the biggest color low light shootout ever, testing 20+ super low...
Surveillance Storage 101 on Mar 23, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
The 2020 Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Dec 20, 2019
The 300-page, 2020 Video Surveillance Industry Guide covers the key events...
AVTech ~$70 IP Cameras Tested Vs Dahua and Hikvision on Dec 04, 2019
Taiwanese manufacturer Avtech is taking direct aim at low cost leaders Dahua...
Glossary / Acronyms for Video Surveillance on Feb 10, 2020
This directory provides definitions and explanations for over 90 common video...

Recent Reports

OnTech Smart Services Partners With Google and Amazon To Compete With Integrators on Sep 25, 2020
A pain point for many homeowners to use consumer security and surveillance is...
The Future of Metalens For Video Surveillance Cameras - MIT / UMass / Immervision on Sep 25, 2020
Panoramic cameras using 'fisheye' lens have become commonplace in video...
Hikvision Sues Over Brazilian Airport Loss on Sep 24, 2020
Hikvision was excluded from a Brazilian airport project because it is owned...
China General Chamber of Commerce Calls Out US Politics on Sep 24, 2020
While US-China relations are at an all-time low, optimism about relations...
IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 23, 2020
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet...
Norway Council of Ethics Finds Hikvision Human Rights Abuses "Ongoing" on Sep 23, 2020
Hikvision's involvement in "serious human rights abuse" in Xinjiang is...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Sep 23, 2020
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...