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

Surveillance Storage 101 on Mar 23, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance storage. Inside we cover: Surveillance Storage NVR / Recorder Storage Camera /...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance analytics. Inside we cover: Why Use Video Analytics Video Analytics Warning Where...
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 dominate video surveillance. They stumbled repeatedly, failing. Now it is...
The US Fight Over Facial Recognition Explained on Jul 08, 2020
The controversy around facial recognition has grown significantly in 2020, with Congress members and activists speaking out against it while video...
New Axis M30 Cameras Tested on Mar 26, 2020
Axis has released a new generation of, for them, relatively low cost M30 series cameras, claiming to deliver "sharp video quality even in poor...
Video Surveillance Cameras 101 on Feb 25, 2020
Cameras come in many shapes, sizes and specifications. This 101 examines the basics of cameras and features used in 2020. In this report, we...
Camera Course Summer 2020 on Jun 30, 2020
This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology testing. Lots of manufacturer training...
Glossary / Acronyms for Video Surveillance on Feb 10, 2020
This directory provides definitions and explanations for over 90 common video surveillance industry terms, including links to related IPVM...
Video Surveillance History on May 06, 2020
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to an emerging AI cloud era and now impacted by...
Kogniz Health Thermal Screening System on May 15, 2020
Kogniz, a Silicon Valley AI surveillance company is claiming to offer "real-time fever and exposure detection". We spoke to Kogniz and inside,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Ban Rules Released: Use Dahua or Hikvision, No Government Contracts on Jul 13, 2020
The US government has released the rules implementing the "Prohibition on Contracting with Entities Using" Dahua, Hikvision, and Huawei based...
JCI Sues Genetec For Patent Infringement on Jul 13, 2020
Surprisingly, security giant JCI has sued their partner, security software developer Genetec, for patent infringement. Inside this note,...
Remove Dahua and Hikvision Equipment "Immediately" Or Else Banned From US Government Contracts on Jul 10, 2020
The US government has directed contractors to remove covered equipment, such as Dahua, Hikvision, and Huawei Hisilicon products, "immediately." If...
ZeroEyes Presents Firearm Detection Video Analytics on Jul 09, 2020
ZeroEyes presented its Firearm detection Video Analytics system at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from ZeroEyes...
Directory of 164 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Jul 09, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers to help you see and research what options are available. There are...
Clinton Public View Monitor (PVM) Mask Detection Tested on Jul 09, 2020
Face mask detection, or more specifically not wearing one, is expanding amidst the pandemic. Clinton Electronics has added this capability to their...
These Florida Real Estate Agents Are Now Selling "SafeCheck USA" Temperature Detectors on Jul 09, 2020
The "Kakon Brothers", William and Nathan, are self-described "south Florida Power Agents specializing in Luxury Real Estate" who "have closed over...
Avigilon ACC Cloud Tested on Jul 08, 2020
Avigilon merged Blue and ACC, adding VSaaS features to its on-premise VMS, offering remote video and health monitoring that was previously limited...
Hikvision's India Dominance Faces Threat on Jul 08, 2020
While Hikvision has become a dominant video surveillance provider in India, recent tension between the governments of India and the PRC is...
The US Fight Over Facial Recognition Explained on Jul 08, 2020
The controversy around facial recognition has grown significantly in 2020, with Congress members and activists speaking out against it while video...