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Mayor Byron W. Brown
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Home » Press Releases » 2007 News Archive » Mayor Brown Demonstrates City's New Portable Surveillance Camera System

Mayor Brown Demonstrates City's New Portable Surveillance Camera System

Portable Camera Will Be Used During Upcoming Downtown New Year’s Eve Celebration; New Portable Camera Part of City’s Security Camera Neighborhood Crime Prevention Security Camera Network

BUFFALO – Mayor Brown and Police Commissioner Gipson today demonstrated the city’s new portable surveillance camera, which will be used by the Buffalo Police Department during the First Night and New Year’s Eve Ball Drop events in Downtown Buffalo on Monday, December 31st.

Images from the portable surveillance camera will be wirelessly transmitted to the Buffalo Police Department’s Mobile Command Vehicle, which will serve as the Department’s command post for the evening.

“We continue to move forward with the installation of a state-of-the-art security surveillance system,” said Mayor Brown. “This initiative is a priority of my Administration as we continue to examine best practices and other methods to reduce crime and improve our residents’ quality of life. The portable surveillance camera system, which is part of the overall 100-camera citywide security system, provides an important added security component to the Police Department’s oversight of large-scale public events.”

The City purchased the new portable surveillance camera as part of the broader City of Buffalo Surveillance Camera initiative. The camera neighborhood crime prevention system will be an integral part of the Buffalo Police Department’s Wireless Security Camera Network. The equipment will provide the Buffalo Police Department and first responders with access to real-time video in emergency situations and evidence in criminal proceedings.

The purchase of the Security Camera Network has been made possible through the use of NYS Aid Incentive to Municipalities (Efficiency Grant) funding. The total project cost for Phase I of the Wireless Security Camera Network is $3,006,215.00. Forty additional cameras will be added in Phase II and will be funded through additional state efficiency grant appropriations.

This “first of its kind” citywide system, the Buffalo Integrated Wireless and Intelligence System, is designed to assist the Buffalo Police Department in crime prevention, support the City’s commercial districts by providing additional public safety support, enhance Buffalo’s Homeland Security activities and provide city residents with free access to a high-speed broadband system.

"These high tech cameras will take crime fighting to a new level, “ said Commissioner Gipson. “Overall crime continues to decrease in the city of Buffalo and we feel these new cameras will make Buffalo a safer place to live, work and visit. The portable camera will give our Department even greater flexibility in monitoring large-scale public events and providing greater security to the public."

“This Integrated Wireless and Intelligence System fulfills my commitment to provide our Police Department with the most advanced technology available, while providing our residents, business owners and visitors with a comprehensive security system that will make them even safer,” said Mayor Brown. “This effort will further strengthen our Police Department’s continuing effort to reduce crime across the City.”

Violent crime continues to decrease in the City of Buffalo. Through November, homicides are down in Buffalo by 30% versus the same period in 2006 (49 in ’07 vs. 70 in ’06) and, through November, all four categories of violent crime – Homicide, Rape, Robbery and Assault – are down by 13% collectively.

This new high-tech system is another tactic being employed by the BPD in support of other ongoing initiatives, including the ongoing and successful Mobile Response Unit, which is a specialized anti-crime unit that targets areas of high crime, illegal guns, gang activity and drug trafficking throughout Buffalo.

Since it began operations in January, the MRU has made 2,518 arrests, issued 5,743 summonses, impounded 644 vehicles, seized $178,921 in cash and removed 162 illegal weapons from the streets.

The number of guns seized by the MRU is in addition to the 878 illegal guns that were removed from Buffalo streets in one day in June during the City’s No Questions Asked Gun Buyback effort.

“With overall crime in Buffalo down 5% over the past two years and violent crime continuing to decline, I am confident that our anti-crime efforts, enhanced by this new camera technology, will succeed,” said Mayor Brown.

The initial system will rely on the City’s 4.9 GHz radio frequency to accomplish the data transport aspects of the project to insure expeditious installation and utilization of the system, but the hardware installed will be readily adaptable to the Buffalo Wireless Broadband Network (for which another RFP has been issued), which will provide citywide wireless internet coverage and act as a data transport mechanism for remote data collections into centralized systems such as the BPD Wireless Security Camera Network.