Automatic Policing in Tennessee

By Deane Barker on November 22, 2011

Gigabit Cops: Here’s a description of some of the automation the Dept. of Public Safety in Chattanooga, Tennessee has enabled using their cities new gigabit network.  This is either awesome or terrifying, depending on your point-of-view.

Automation is a major part of this new set of tools. With new sensors installed on streetlights and about 200 security cameras installed throughout the city, streetlights can automatically be turned on when something fishy’s happening. Officers can also turn on lights at will, or set an entire neighborhood’s streetlights flashing to warn of emergencies.

There’s a pedestrian bridge over the river leading to Coolidge Park that’s been a known hotspot for criminal activity. It’s a dark part of the park at night, and an easy place to deliberately stay out of sight. After responding to a number of incidents beneath the bridge over the years, police have tapped into the new high speed network to use security cameras on site to automatically alert officers when suspicious activity is detected. Officers can even tune into the feed from those cameras from within their squad cars, or remotely turn on lights in the area.

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