The Atlanta police department will open a video integration center this spring that is designed to compile and analyze footage from thousands of public and private security cameras throughout the city, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Images from as many as 500 cameras are expected to be flowing into the center by mid-summer.
The new venture, which will integrate data supplied by private entities such as CNN and public agencies such as the Federal Reserve, and the Georgia Department of Transportation, and the local public transit system represents a whole new level of electronic surveillance. The Atlanta Police Foundation raised a half-million dollars to supplement the $2.6 million in federal funds the city will use to build its new center. The center will use software that can identify suspicious activity and guide officers right to the scene of a crime as it's occurring. In effect, the software will multiply the eyes and ears of the five to seven people per shift who will initially monitor video footage around the clock. “Monitoring is somewhat of a fallacy,” said foundation president David Wilkinson. “Analytics will help control the cameras.”