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Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 30, 2009 8 years ago

Company scouts locations

by: Robin Roy City Editor

The company the Sarasota Police Department has hired to install a downtown high-tech-surveillance system scouted locations this week for its wireless devices.

Let’s Think Wireless looked at several buildings on Main Street to figure out which locations would be best for its system. Lt. Jeff Karr, the police department’s project head, did not want to identify the buildings being scouted until he speaks to the property owners. But he did say that they include both businesses and condo buildings.

The police department announced in May that it would install the infrastructure for the wireless Internet-based system at a cost of $150,000 to $175,000. Karr has been hoping private businesses and citizens would supply the cameras, which cost up to $5,000 each.

The Downtown Improvement District allocated $15,000 to help pay for security equipment, but no businesses or individuals have come forward yet to pay for cameras.

“The company is going to temporarily provide two test cameras at Lemon Avenue and Main Street,” Karr said.

The wireless system will still be useful, even if no cameras are purchased, according to Karr.

Because it’s an Internet-based system, the laptop computers that each police officer has in his or her car will have a faster connection to the police department.

Karr visited Newark, N.J., last month to see the system Let’s Think Wireless installed there. Newark is one of the company’s biggest clients, with 150 cameras throughout the city, which have been credited for helping to dramatically reduce crime and bring the murder rate to an all-time low.

The surveillance-camera system can:
• Recognize a moving object that is no longer moving.
• Determine closed areas at set times, such as a park, and will track anyone who enters.
• Count the number of people who enter and exit a building, so officers know if someone did not walk out at closing time.
• Focus on anyone loitering in an area known for criminal activity.


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