New Orleans Installs Surveillance Cameras

By Mary Foster, Associated Press | March 9, 2005

NEW ORLEANS -- The man marched down the street in daylight, armed with a paintball rifle that had been converted to shoot with lethal force. He then blasted a newly installed camera in hopes of ridding the drug-ridden neighborhood of police surveillance.

But the shooter's image was saved on the camera's hard drive.

"All it did was get him arrested," said New Orleans' chief technology officer, Greg Meffert, with a chuckle. "The camera immediately notified the police and tracked him until he was caught." And when they got him, they found he was wanted on a murder warrant.

The arrest was the first success story from a new crime-fighting system of cameras that New Orleans is installing citywide.

The bulletproof cameras can monitor an eight-block area, communicate with the authorities, and provide evidence in court. Police hope the system will catch criminals in the act and serve as a deterrent in a city long plagued by drugs and murders.

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Monty Solomon
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