To address crime and increase collaborative efforts between the 40+ local law enforcement agencies, Lieutenant Brian Hess teamed up with Mt. Pleasant’s Sergeant Jason Patane to establish Real Time Crime (RTC).
Westchester County hosts approximately one million residents spread across six cities, 19 towns, and 23 distinct villages. To address crime and increase collaborative efforts between the 40+ local law enforcement agencies, Lieutenant Brian Hess teamed up with Mt. Pleasant’s Sergeant Jason Patane to establish Real Time Crime (RTC). RTC is staffed by over 100 investigators from 38 of the counties' Police Departments; they focus on monitoring, deterring and evaluating criminal activity all in real-time through the integration of surveillance devices, machine learning analytics, license plate recognition (LPR), and police databases. This hub gives investigative support to first responders, aids in criminal investigations, and improves officer safety.
Tailoring a solution
was chosen for exceptional clarity, low-light imaging, and durability. MOBOTIX M16 cameras were placed on light and traffic poles to capture vehicle lanes and data for license plate analysis, while the hemispheric field of view of the S16s are used for general overiview.
Deploying intelligent systems
For increased simplicity, standardized kits were created for each location. Each kit included M16s, S16, MOBOTIX IR illuminators, and a hardened server for the license plate capture and machine learning. As a car passes, vehicle information is captured including license plate number, vehicle color, make and model. All captured information is monitored in real-time and archived at RTC, instantly flagging vehicles that are stolen or wanted in connection to a crime - providing a searchable database for investigations. The entire process relies upon the imaging of the scene. "The picture clarity that MOBOTIX provides, even in low light, enables us to cover multiple lanes with a single camera," Lt. Hess said. "They've also proven to be extremely reliable. Which is critical since we don't have time for regular maintenance on 200 cameras, nor do we want to lose any video."
Providing tangible benefits
Prior to installing the MOBOTIX solution, tracking down vehicles of interest was a particularly challenging task. Lt. Hess states, "Before this system we needed a license plate to locate a vehicle. Now all we need is a vehicle's description and we can begin the investigation immediately." At 7 million license plate captures a week, RTC has quickly become one of the nation's premier technological dragnets. To date, it's assisted in recovering 537 stolen vehicles and contributed to over 4,000 cases - including terrorist alerts, missing persons, and persons of interest. The success of RTC proves that a collaborative, proactive approach with technology enables law enforcement to provide new levels of safety for their businesses, residents, and officers.
"The MOBOTIX cameras have great picture clarity. We can see things we were never able to see before - like inside of vehicles, easily make out bumper stickers and discern small details that previously would have been difficult to pick out," said Lieutenant Brian Hess, Detective Division, MOBOTIX.