The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Traffic/Crime Cameras Coming

By Robert Winkler
The Desert Independent

September 30, 2012

BLYTHE, Calif – A new system of surveillance cameras is currently being installed in the city. The cameras will be both fixed and remotely controlled by the Blythe Police. Cameras are slated for the intersections of Hobsonway and Seventh Street, Hobsonway and Broadway, Hobsonway and Lovekin, and Chanslorway and Broadway. An additional installation is tentatively slated for Lovekin and 14th Avenue, and a mobile version will be installed on the Police Department’s impaired driver checkpoint trailer.

Each location will have fixed cameras trained on the roadways to monitor traffic and vehicles and the major intersections will also have a remotely controlled camera that can be aimed toward areas where there are calls for service or suspected criminal activity. The system is designed to be monitored from the existing Police Department dispatch center.

 “This system will be used to capture evidence of crimes and traffic accidents to assist officers in solving cases” said Chief Steve Smith. “With all the budget cuts and less officers on the street, this is just another tool to assist us in doing our job more efficiently,” Smith said.

The project is funded in whole by a grant from FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. Sue Sites of Blythe is the local vendor on the project, and is supplying the equipment and installation. The system, which is based on wireless networking technology, is designed to allow for additional locations to be added as funds become available.

The system is also designed to interface with the proposed Transit System Safety surveillance system. When inter-connected, the transit system safety center and the city will be able to monitor each other’s systems.

Due to bandwidth limitations, real-time public streaming of all cameras is not possible at this time according to sources but they are looking at frame grabs on a timed cycle being put up for public viewing. The system is expected to be up and running by the middle of this October.

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