Jacksonville getting ready to spend $3.4M on surveillance upgrades

Cameras and other programs will be part of new real-time crime center

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville is getting ready to keep an eye on you.

The City Council introduced legislation Tuesday to approve a new plan that would upgrade city-wide surveillance cameras and use them in conjunction with other high-tech crime-fighting tools.

The plan is to create real-time crime center that would tie surveillance cameras from across the city to a gunfire-detection system, called ShotSpotter, that's already in place.

INTERACTIVE MAP: View our interactive map below to see all the locations where the city currently plans to make surveillance system upgrades.

ShotSpotter notifies police when gunshots are detected by microphones installed in high places, such as church steeples and rooftops, around the city. The new system would then turn on cameras in those areas so police can see and hear what's happening at the scene in real time. 

Of the nearly 1,700 city cameras already in place, most are positioned inside buildings. Chief Nick Burgos with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's patrol division, said the system will only use outdoor cameras. He said authorities are already testing out a few cameras.

"Once all of the cameras are up, we will have an additional 100 cameras, but there will be two cameras per location," Burgos said. He noted that police only have the capability of monitoring up to 16 cameras at once.

The city council will discuss this matter in committee over the next three weeks. Council members could vote on the matter in a month. Funding for the program has already been set aside in the mayor's budget, which was approved earlier this year.

The real-time crime center is located just west of downtown Jacksonville at the same site where the Florida Department of Transportation operates its traffic camera system.


About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.