City of Hartford Expands Safety With Ongoing Innovations

In 2015, the Hartford Police Department in Connecticut established its Real-Time Crime Center and Data Intelligence Center. Made possible by state and federal grants and asset forfeiture, the Crime Center operated out of a Chevrolet Tahoe for three years until the new location was finished. Now the Crime Center includes the Milestone XProtect Smart Wall with thirty 55-inch, 4K video monitors, each connected to a high-powered workstation, which runs the Milestone XProtect Smart Client on every screen. The Center is staffed almost round-the-clock by civilian crime analysts who monitor the 450 PTZ video network cameras from Axis Communications that are located throughout the city.

Using the Milestone XProtect Screen Capture, the analysts are able to view video, as well as data feeds from a ShotSpotter gunshot detection system, 9-1-1 dispatch system and social media mining tools that monitor potentially violent or hostile events. The analysts use live information to assist officers with crimes in progress and recordings forensically, to solve crimes after the fact. Milestone Mobile was also rolled out to some officers and detectives to record evidence from a crime scene or capture real-time video of a crime in progress and relay it back to the Crime Center.

Additional cameras will continue to be rolled out in phases until the entire city is covered. The police department is also working with Vulcan Security to explore the possibility of installing vehicle-level cameras, as well as integrating body cameras. The expanded system will serve as a force multiplier for the department. In turn, the department plans to staff the Center with 11 more analysts in the next few years.

The images are crystal clear; our system is seamless and so responsive. I can cite a million examples of how we’ve used it to save time and assist officers. – Sgt. Johnmichael O’Hare, Hartford Police Department

Milestone’s IP video management software (VMS) combined with Axis network cameras provided a significant upgrade to the Hartford Police department’s ability to prevent and effectively respond to incidents throughout the city. Milestone VMS is designed with an open architecture, enabling powerful integrations with third-party analytics software and technologies that help the police department save time and maximize effectiveness.

With hundreds more cameras now in place, the police department can view video from nearly the entire city. The responsive system enables analysts to quickly pull up video and view images to assist officers, whether they need to read a vehicle’s license plate or track someone running down a street. In the future, city officials plan to give local business owners and community groups the opportunity to install Axis cameras at their facilities. Owners would then be able to view video online, while officers and analysts would have access to the video should an incident occur in the area.

The ability of the Milestone VMS to integrate with third-party systems was key for the police department, which has recently expanded to include every residential zone in the city limits. In addition to a number of other forensics, the city uses real-time analytics on cameras at public works buildings to detect objects left behind, potential threats, or to track theft.

The Crime Center integrated BriefCam video synopsis into the system, which helps law enforcement and security entities of any type to extract valuable, actionable information from the video. BriefCam enables rapid video review, search and analysis of video data for locating events of interest more quickly than ever before.

BriefCam has been a game changer for us. It’s helped us take our system to the next level. We can do things with BriefCam we couldn’t do before – to take large volumes of video data, examine it very quickly and share that information with our officers. – Sgt. O’Hare

Cullen and his team have started integrating a system called The HawkEye Effect, which ties the Milestone VMS to the city’s existing ShotSpotter system. ShotSpotter acoustically detects gunshots, and when a shot is detected, HawkEye Effect takes the exact coordinates from ShotSpotter and drives all positional cameras in the vicinity either to predefined escape routes or right onto the location where the shooting occurred.

HawkEye Effect gives us a much better chance of catching a perpetrator escaping the scene, either in a vehicle or on foot. In certain scenarios, it could result in us actually spinning cameras to view the aftermath of a shooting. It’s a powerful integration to Milestone that wouldn’t be possible without the open platform. – Tyler Cullen, Director of IT, Vulcan Security

The flexibility of Milestone XProtect Corporate has also allowed the Hartford Police Department to set up temporary, pop-up command centers for major events, including the Hartford Marathon and the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Both deployments were extremely successful at maintaining the safety of participants and spectators.

See the Milestone video interviews at the Hartford police department

See also:

Video surveillance technology credited for catching alleged child predator

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