OCOEE, Fla. – The Ocoee Police Department is planning to test out a new video system that will give officers the ability to monitor surveillance camera feeds and even rewind the feeds from any source that chooses to share its feeds.
Many businesses across Ocoee have surveillance cameras in place but right now, the police department cannot see any of the video feeds.
Likewise, cameras are perched at intersections and above highways but the department doesn’t have access to those either.
Using the Real Time Crime Video system would give police access to those public and private feeds, if the owner approves.
As part of the police department’s contract with the video system company, it would solicit approval from business owners, according to Ocoee Police Department Deputy Chief Vince Ogburn.
“Every call it could be priceless,” Ogburn said. “Every business that calls, as minute as it is, it could escalate into something else. We’re in the business of safety, making sure people stay safe and protecting people.”
Ogburn said the department currently has no access to any cameras outside the police department.
“There’s never been anything to give us the ability to work with a business and say, ‘Can we offer the system to you so that we don’t have to call you after the fact for details?'” Ogburn said.
The biggest benefit is that crime analysts would have the ability to rewind the video to watch a crime that just occurred and get an accurate picture of a suspect instead of just a vague description.
“There’s always human error, but I think this right here will negate that a little,” Ogburn said. “We’re relying on real videos as it’s happening. When you’re looking for a white car, there’s always four other white cars in the area. Just like you have to kind of dig down when you have multiple people wearing the same things when there’s a huge crowd. But this kind of hones you in a little bit more on that individual.”
Typically when a crime is committed, police have to hunt down surveillance video. They have to find cameras that may have recorded the crime and then work with employees to see the video.
Sometimes that takes days.
“If they know how to operate the system or sometimes they have to wait for someone to come in and show them how to operate it,” Ogburn said. “If it’s on the weekend you can have to wait until that Monday. But this platform will be able to get it right then and there.”
Tuesday night, Ocoee city commissioners are expected to approve a 30-day trial period of the Real Time Crime Video system.
Ogburn said after the system is installed, officers and analysts will test and evaluate the system to decide if the police department should invest in it permanently.