LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Cameras are set up at more than 400 locations across Long Beach as part of a new monitoring system implemented by the police department.
“We’re putting more eyes on the street without putting more bodies out there,” Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said.
The extra eyes both in the air and on the ground are meant to protect officers by catching criminals in the act but officials say it won’t replace field officers.
The cameras are placed in public areas such as parks to keep an eye on any potential threats.
The network can also access privately-owned cameras, used by businesses or residents who have invested in the camera equipment that links up to the system.
All the cameras throughout the city feed into a centralized location where officers track what’s happening on the city streets — as it happens.
“Every city employee responding to any kind of a dispatch has an awareness of what they’re getting into before they get there,” Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said
“We’re not sitting here monitoring any location unless there’s a reason to monitor it, given from crime or Homeland Security,” McDonnell said.
The chief said the feeds will give life-saving information to officers and link them to other data like criminal history and license plate tracers, within a matter of seconds. Soon, officers in the field will get the real-time video feeds in their patrol cars.
The system, dubbed “Long Beach Cop,” was funded primarily through federal grants.