Thursday, May 20, 2010

Smile, You're on Candid Camera

ACHD has a network of cameras at various intersections around Ada County. In fact, you can view the various intersections on line. What you can't do, of course, is actually manipulate those cameras to see different views or closer or further away. That is a function of ACHD's traffic management center.

About three months ago, ACHD Commissioner's signed an agreement with the Ada County Sheriff's Office to allow the Ada County Dispatch Center to control the ACHD cameras after hours. The Sheriff felt this would be a valuable tool for them to provide enhanced law enforcement to the community.

Turns out they have some good examples of how using the cameras helped Ada County citizens.

Dispatchers witnessed a 3 on 1 battery in progress in front of one of the Boise downtown bars (a regular occurrence I understand). Dispatch was able to send the Boise Police Department during the incident who made the arrests and got the victim to the hospital.

Someone torched the old East Junior HS building recently. The dispatchers, using the cameras were able to direct the Boise Fire Department and call for extra help. This allowed dispatcher's to help the firefighters by having not only the audio, but the video as well.

There was a foot pursuit near St Luke's Hospital. Since we don't have helicopters in the Boise area, dispatchers followed the pursuee by camera and was able to help the police make the arrest.

It's nice that the taxpayers are getting their dollars stretched through cooperation.

If you run across a malfunctioning traffic signal, you can report that signal to I prefer however, to call the traffic management center directly at 387-6190. If the signal has the new controllers in place, oftentimes the signal can be restored instantaneously.

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At May 21, 2010 at 2:21 PM , Anonymous easter said...

Am interested in how you feel about such use of the cameras C. Baker.

As a "govt out of my business" type of person, I would expect you oppose big brother 'always' watching the citizens.

At May 23, 2010 at 5:14 PM , Blogger Sara said...

The images from the cameras are not taped so one couldn't go back and track someone down. The cameras are not used to remotely ticket red light runners or speeders like they do in other places. Having the cameras track the traffic flow allows for instant modification (where the controllers are updated and they will all get there fairly soon) of traffic signalization to get rid of traffic jams.

All in all, a good balance I think.


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