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City encourages more people to participate in SafeCam Platinum program

Updated: May. 2, 2019 at 4:38 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - At the city’s Real Time Crime Center, grids of surveillance footage line the walls as technicians monitor both emergency calls and requests for video.

“We’ve responded to over 3,200 calls for service, mainly for the police department involving law enforcement investigations, and in 70 percent of those cases we’ve been able to find relevant footage to assist law enforcement and public safety in general,” says Collin Arnold.

The city has more than 400 cameras strategically placed around New Orleans, but a program called SafeCam Platinum allows the public to now partner with the city.

“That means that a homeowner, business owner - and even if you represent a worship center, anywhere you’ve got power and internet you can put up one of these cameras and connect them with the city,” says Anthony Campo.

Jamal Mitchell installed a SafeCam on his North Prieur home, and he says it gives him peace of mind.

“You do have that second set of eyes and know the fact that you can call 911, and they can open it up and look at the cameras at that point,” says Mitchell.

Campo, the program manager, points out that participants own their cameras and their footage, but they give the city access to the cameras if there’s an incident.

Mitchell shows us how he can watch live video from his camera on his cell phone, while the Real Time Crime Center accesses the video of us interviewing Mitchell in front of his home.

When a 911 call is made, a technician at the Real Time Crime Center can pull up video from cameras within a tenth of a mile radius of the incident and assist police, fire and EMS.

“In New Orleans East, we were able to actually track down a group of individuals that were breaking into numerous cars in the East and track them down with cameras from both the city owner and public private partnership SafeCam Platinum cameras,” says Arnold.

The city’s Director of Homeland Security, Collin Arnold, says the cameras in that case helped police make an arrest. Meanwhile, the cameras can also be used to help detect flooded areas during a downpour, alerting emergency crews out in the field.

“The real future of this program is the community and the community involvement,” says Arnold.

If you’re interested, it’ll cost about $300 plus an installation fee and around $18 a month for a camera.

“As of right now, we have about 150 of these cameras here to the crime center, and we hope it grows. I would love to see a camera on every corner,” says Mitchell.

If you want to sign up for a camera, go to Safecamnola.com

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