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Who has access to images from security cameras downtown?

Jim Ware

Television monitors in the lobby of the Wilmington Police Department’s headquarters at 615 Bess St., Wilmington [Map this], display live images from surveillance cameras in the downtown business district and two city parking decks for anyone to see around the clock.

Eleven of those cameras were “purchased for the specific purpose of detecting and deterring criminal activity and public disorder in high-crime areas,” said Lucy Crockett, spokeswoman for the police department.

While the police department can’t actively monitor all the cameras 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Crockett said, the department makes a particular effort to monitor the cameras before, during and after bar closing time, which is 2 a.m.

WPD Capt. Marshall Williamson told the StarNews earlier that police will use the cameras to investigate crimes after they occur, and during large events.

The technology allows police to pull up camera views on their Mobile Computer Terminals in their cruisers, so officers will be better prepared when they arrive on the scene, Williamson said.

Images from an older WPD surveillance camera in the city’s parking deck at Market and Second streets also can be viewed at the department’s headquarters, Crockett said.

In addition to cameras operated by the police department, the city Parking Department has more than 50 surveillance cameras in the two city parking decks – at Market and Second streets, and at Second and Princess streets.

Downtown Parking Manager Betty Gurganus said WPD has access to all parking deck cameras, which also can be viewed on the monitors at police headquarters.

In addition, parking employees are able to view the parking deck cameras and the WPD camera mounted on the Market Street parking deck facing the intersection at Market and Second streets, Gurganus said.

She said the Market Street parking deck at 0 Second St., Wilmington [Map this], has more than 40 cameras and the Second Street deck at 100 N. 2nd St., Wilmington [Map this], has about a dozen cameras.

The city also has surveillance cameras at the city Operations Center at 245 Operations Center Drive, Wilmington [Map this], and at the stormwater sweeper storage facility on Marstellar Street.

The images from those cameras can be viewed on the screens at the WPD, as well as on certain computers, said Carla Isom-Thorpe, business administrator for the city’s Department of Public Services.

“Primarily folks with access are department directors and managers of the respective camera locations. Each person’s computer is set up to only allow access to certain cameras their position requires,” Isom-Thorpe said. “For example, I only have access to view the cameras at the Op Center and at the stormwater sweeper shed.”

Most of the more than $300,000 to buy the 11 WPD cameras came from a U.S. Department of Justice grant received in 2007, said Malcolm Phelps, the department’s grant manager. In accepting the $257,481 grant, the city agreed to match $54,960, Phelps told the StarNews earlier. Those cameras went online in summer 2009.

Locations of Wilmington Police Department surveillance cameras downtown:

Second and Dock streets.

2nd and Market (northwest corner on Second, and southwest corner).

Front and Dock streets.

Front and Market streets.

Front and Princess streets.

Front and Walnut streets.

Front and Orange streets.

Front and Chestnut streets.

Front and Grace streets.

Market and Water streets.

Grace and Water streets.

User-contributed question by:
Adam Smith

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2 Responses to “ Who has access to images from security cameras downtown?”

  1. On December 11, 2009 at 11:15 am Citizen wrote:

    You do a great job responding to questions… But dont ya think by listing the areas of coverage and saying “we cant watch them 24/7″, kinda gives the criminals a heads up on where to commit crimes and where not to?

    Wilmington Cam Networks

  2. On December 19, 2009 at 8:29 am C wrote:

    Yeah, the criminals are at their computers monitoring myreporter at star news online so they know where to go. Regardless, those cameras also record full-time. Law enforcement can go back and review the tapes.

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