400 Cameras Coming to Detroit Freeways to Combat Crime
A network of 400 cameras is set to monitor Detroit’s freeways. Its goal is to assist the city’s police in investigating violent crimes and highway shootings. The city council approved a $30 million grant from the state to install and maintain the Freeway Video Feed System Grant. It will cover 68 miles of highways in Detroit, including I-94, I-96, I-75, M-10, and M-8.
The Detroit Police Department (DPD) advocated for the cameras, citing the need for enhanced freeway crime investigations. This is especially true, given that there is an average of over 50 shootings annually in the past three years. The department highlighted the challenges posed by freeway shootings. They say freeway shootings have tripled since before the pandemic, with 60-70% of cases lacking known suspects. The high-speed nature of these incidents makes identifying witnesses and suspects difficult. It also causes issues with evidence recovery and accurate driver descriptions compound the investigative challenges.
Integrating real-time camera connections.
To address this issue, the police initiated Operation Brison in 2021. It’s a collaborative effort involving 30 different law enforcement agencies to reduce freeway violence. The $30 million grant from the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is expected to play a pivotal role in deterring and solving violent crimes on freeways. The funds will be utilized to develop, construct, manage, and operate the freeway video feed system.
In 2016, the Detroit Police Department (DPD) collaborated with eight gas stations, integrating real-time camera connections with the police headquarters. This marked a pioneering collaboration among local businesses, the City of Detroit, and community groups known as “Project Green Light Detroit.” The primary goal of this initiative is to enhance the DPD’s endeavors in deterring, identifying, and solving crimes.
The proposed system involves placing cameras at 200 locations, with two cameras at each spot. This was alongside a network of license plate readers for capturing plate and vehicle information. This includes automated alerts for wanted vehicles. The strategic placement of cameras at key locations like interchanges, city limits, and exit and entrance ramps is intended to optimize coverage. The system is anticipated to be operational by late 2025.