Video Surveillance At Intersections Helps Solve Local Crimes

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POSTED: Friday, September 28, 2012 - 3:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, October 1, 2012 - 10:04am

MISSION - When you pull up to an intersection in Mission, don't forget to smile. You may be on camera.

In various areas around the city, surveillance cameras are taking video. It's video that is being monitored by Mission Police.

"The purpose of this is to provide, first of all, a sense of security, tranquility to the people who are driving on our road ways," said Chief Martin Garza, Mission Police.

For just over a month, the new cameras have been posted at intersections, keeping an eye on traffic flow and more.

"We believe monitoring these cameras will give us the opportunity to deploy patrol personnel to any types of major accidents that could be happening," said Garza.

The cameras will also increase the response time of ambulances and fire trucks.  But what is especially exciting is that these cameras have been a major aid stopping criminal activity.

"We have been very lucky to have solved two big cases within the first week of this installation," said Garza.

The first was an aggravated robbery and the second was a home burglary case.

When a crime happens, police pull up a video stream of the closest traffic light camera in the area. Then they search for the cars that match the given vehicle description.

Just over 30 cameras are filming public areas throughout the city, but this is just a start.

"We have concentrated on the outer perimeter of our city, the four corners and the center of our city, to build an infrastructure that will take us to more cameras within our inner city part of Mission." said Garza.

Chief Garza said the cameras are not the same as red-light video cameras. Even though police are able to see if someone runs a red light, this is not the true purpose for this equipment.

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