“The ability of VideoFOCUS to get us leads has been instrumental in securing convictions and reducing crime in Fresno.”
“Technology is changing so fast and Salient Stills is good at staying on top of it.”
Supervisor of the Street Violence Bureau Felony Assault/Robbery Unit, Fresno Police Department, CA, USA
Fresno Police Department Capitalizes on City's Cameras With Forensics Technology
The Fresno Police Department employs about 800 sworn officers to protect the community. In 2007 the residents of Fresno enjoyed the lowest crime rate in 43 years. To put this in perspective, in the past six years the population of Fresno has grown by more than 45,000 people, yet there were 10,936 fewer crime victims in 2007 than in 2001. The mission of the Fresno police department is to provide a professional, effective, and timely response to crime and disorder and to enhance traffic safety.
Meanwhile, the city installed over 100 cameras, primarily in high traffic and new crime areas. As part of its video policing and other proactive initiatives, the cameras are monitored 24x7x365. So, if the police monitors see something interesting within the camera field of view, they can zoom in and have a better idea of what is going on. Rose and his team realized that this video could yield leads and other evidence if they had the right tools to access the video.
A few years ago, Rose and the Fresno Police Department began using the VideoFOCUS forensics system, from Salient Stills, to create usable images and video. "It was relatively painless getting set up," said Rose, who also noted he can have others trained and working on the system in "…one to two hours, tops."
Since the Fresno Police Department began its video policing program, they have been using VideoFOCUS and hope to settle a number of court cases. Rose cited one example when his team assisted the robbery unit in checking video and pulling images from a CCTV surveillance system, eventually leading to convictions in three separate cases.
Rose is able to get images from VideoFOCUS, export the still and video leads, and get it out to the officers and media quickly. These images often include visual details of clothing, faces, license plates and other helpful clues. "The ability of VideoFOCUS to get us leads has been instrumental in securing convictions and reducing crime in Fresno," said Rose.
"If I need to, I can save the video to DVD, review it and have still photos in 20 minutes, depending on the need." The images can also be saved to any police department computer, and the quality of the video forensics images remains the clearest Rose has seen.
Using VideoFOCUS, the Fresno Police Department can quickly inspect and zoom into smaller areas of videos and stills. New filters are available for both still images and video, including sharpen, equalize, blur, levels, color adjustment and camera stabilization.
While Fresno's previous system was too big, confusing and expensive, VideoFOCUS now helps his department take a video, de-multiplex it, and capture helpful images in minutes. The de-multiplexer feature can quickly separate several video feeds and allow investigators to review the best crime scene footage for usable, digital still images.
Using innovative image processing algorithms, Salient Stills' imaging software remains unsurpassed in quickly processing still and video surveillance data, while preserving their integrity.
"For court, the high resolution allows us to get really identifiable photos of suspects. That's the real value," said Rose.