Police: Surveillance cameras will be part of Flying Pig security - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Surveillance will play role in Flying Pig security

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Surveillance cameras proved to be invaluable in solving the Boston Marathon bombing, and as Cincinnati prepares to host the Flying Pig Marathon on Sunday, cameras will be part of the security apparatus.

Cincinnati Police have declined to discuss exactly how those cameras will be used, but gave FOX19 a rare look into their surveillance operation.

There are more than 100 surveillance cameras throughout the city, and they're monitored at the department's Real Time Crime Center in Price Hill.

Computer Systems Analyst Barry Whitton says more cameras are scheduled to go online.

"We are looking at some software that will be available, hopefully in the next few months that will allow us to partner with some other entities that already have existing video systems," said Whitton.

 A growing number of downtown businesses are using cameras. In fact, The Banks development has some 30 cameras in place with plans to install 90 more. Police have access to video from those cameras, and the partnership saves the city money. 

"Camera systems, if you want quality cameras, can be a little bit pricey, and it's not just the cost of the camera - it's the infrastructure in getting the camera video back to the Radcliff Operations Center," Whitton explained.

Whitton says cameras have proven to be effective crime fighting tools.

"It does not replace the police officer on the street, but it does supplement what we have, and it gives us a way of looking at things that we were never able to look at before."

However, Nick Worker with the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says proliferation of surveillance also raises privacy issues.

"All this surveillance might be an illusion of safety, as opposed to real safety, because if everyone walking down the street everyday is a potential suspect, then it might actually hinder some of the traditional investigative techniques that involve solid intel and people on the ground to investigate specific threats," said Worker.

Security will be on the minds of many as thousands of Flying Pig runners cross the finish line on Sunday near U.S. Bank Arena. The runners and the crowds that cheer them on will be watched closely by surveillance cameras.

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