Orlando tries to rectify downtown IRIS security camera mishaps

Local 6 obtains emails detailing number of security cameras down

ORLANDO, Fla. – City leaders say they are making progress on making sure someone is still watching even when one of the city's IRIS cameras breaks down.

IRIS stands for Innovative Response to Improve Safety, and the cameras were purchased with money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The cameras monitor activities throughout the city, and the video is recorded in case a crime is committed.

Last year, City of Orlando leaders were confronted with more than half of the cameras broken or not feeding video at one time.

According to emails Local 6 obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, 32 cameras were reported down on July 23, 2014.

That number went up to 36 on July 31.

On August 8, 79 cameras were reported down -- that's more than half of the city's 130 IRIS cameras.

The emails showed city workers frustrated with the city's repair vendor, Traffic Control Devices based in Altamonte Springs.

They said they were slow to respond to repair requests.

Since our original story, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's office says changes have been made.

"The presence alone of the cameras deters crime," he said. "Additionally the cameras can provide video evidence used as an investigative tool after a crime occurs.  

Dyer tells Local 6 city leaders have established a task force to study how other cities endure camera breakdowns without missing any video feeds.

Crews are also re-examining the city's fiber optic system to see what enhancements might be needed.

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