Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Indianapolis Police Work with IndyGo Bus Cameras to Solve Crimes

By Al Edwards - 12.26.2007

INDIANAPOLIS--IndyGo Transit recently completed a camera installation that officials say is bettering its security partnership with the local police department.

IndyGo, the largest transit system in Indiana with nearly nine million riders annually, completed installing 1,800 cameras to its fleet of 237 buses recently as part of a two-year project. The cameras fall in line with the system's partnership with the city's crime prevention efforts, which includes assisting the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

In early December, police used one of the bus's cameras to solve a burglary. The bus's exterior camera recorded the house's door without damage, and 20 minutes later the camera recorded the door with damage. Police used the footage to determine the time of the incident.

"We have a couple of things a month that we share back and forth right now," said Mike Birch, director of safety and training for IndyGo. "They can also use it for routine things in terms of traffic observation."

Working with the local police department is crucial for IndyGo, which doesn't have its own security, Birch said. The partnering initiative and the technology boost transit safety, he said.

"Part of our safety and security plan was bringing our camera system up to par," Birch said. "We depend on 911 service and the police department to lend us assistance when there is a problem or an emergency."

Accident claims have dropped 50 percent since the beginning of camera installation in 2005, Birch said.

IndyGo used a $3 million federal transit security grant to complete the project.