GARY MAYOR JEROME PRINCE, at podium, with (l-r) Gary Police Chief Anthony Titus and Corporal Larry McKinley.
Mayor Prince wants more residents to install home security cameras and register them with GPD
Gary has a better police force today, Mayor Prince announced Tuesday morning, as he stood in the Gary Police Department’s new Real Time Crime Center. Behind him, police personnel were watching multiple video screens showing live video feeds from cameras around the city.
A monitor showed images from a gas station as the store’s cameras captured views of its fuel pumping islands and parking lot then switched inside the store. That gas station owner is among the 546 Gary businesses that have joined Operation Safe Zone, launched in June 2022, and are sharing video footage from their camera surveillance systems with the Gary Police Dept.
The Real Time Crime Center enhances Operation Safe Zone, providing the platform and technology to integrate the video feeds from businesses, police vehicle cameras, police worn body cameras, license plate readers, sensors from shot detectors, and police mobile cameras located in the city.
Corporal Larry McKinley oversaw the development of the Real Time Crime Center. “Those mobile cameras cover every entry and exit point in the city,” McKinley said. “If a vehicle is used in the commission of a crime, it can be followed throughout the city and also to our neighboring cities of Hammond and Portage.”
Gary Police Chief Anthony Titus called the new crime center a force multiplier. “This allows law enforcement to use technology to be in places that we may not have physically been able to be in at times past. Those cameras are there to assist officers in route to a call and will help them make the proper decisions as they get there.”
Gary’s crime center uses a platform and technology built and maintained by FUSUS, a Georgia company that specializes in public safety software and is one of the nation’s most commonly used platforms in law enforcement.
With each feed of cameras from an Operation Safe Zone business, personnel are shown the location of nearby businesses whose cameras participate in Operation Safe Zone. The operators also monitor incidence reports from the Gary police dispatch system. When incidence reports are from an Operation Safe Zone business, the operators can directly select their specific camera system.
FUSUS also catalogs the location of 1,455 Ring Door Bell cameras registered by Gary residents who have agreed to share footage from their Ring Door Bell cameras, if the police department makes a request to view it.
“This room is watching over us and ensuring that we have a safe and thriving community,” said Joy Holliday, Gary’s Chief of Staff, and the city’s Violence Prevention and Intervention Program Manager. Holliday recognized Methodist Hospitals and Geminus Headstart as the first businesses to join Operation Safezone. “It is these relationships that continue to highlight the importance of all of us working together for a safer and brighter future.”
“There are 22,000 rooftops in Gary; but with only 1,455 residential cameras, more are needed,” Mayor Prince said. “It’s only going to bode well and better for our residents if more get engaged. I ask residents who have a camera that’s registered with the Gary Police to encourage your neighbors to at least invest in a Ring Camera or some other camera system that can be registered with the Gary Police Department.”