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Piedmont PD Reports Reduction in Crime, Thanks to Strategy Involving Video Surveillance

When the Piedmont Police Department was facing a surge in property crimes and residential burglaries in 2011, they needed a strategy. They developed a road to mitigation that included strategically deploying Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) video surveillance cameras for the primary purpose of assisting detectives in obtaining suspect information.

“If we could garner information on the back end of investigations that could potentially lead to arrests, it would serve not only to increase our solve rates, but as a deterrent to future crimes, too,” says Piedmont Chief of Police Rikki Goede.

In answer to the most common question, ‘does video surveillance actually reduce crime?’ Chief Goede has this to say:

“Our crime rates have seen a noticeable decrease since installation… while some of that can be attributed to the cameras, a lot of that is also attributable to our department reaching full staffing levels and significant outreach to our community to become involved in Neighborhood Watch.

I often refer to the cameras as a force multiplier.”

What’s her advice to other agencies looking to video surveillance solutions?

“Be very strategic on the sites you choose to put fixed cameras. Consider augmenting mobile cameras on patrol vehicles with fixed cameras for optimum coverage.” Also, understand the capabilities and limitations of your IT infrastructure in terms of storage and retention, she said.

She also knows that not all video surveillance companies are equal. It was actually improper and hasty camera installations by another company that led Odin Systems to the Piedmont PD, she said.

“Our experience with Odin has been wonderful. I would absolutely recommend them and, actually, already have.”

Rikki Goede
Chief of Police
Piedmont Police Department