Thursday, July 11, 2024

Over half of Toledo Police Skycop cameras not functioning correctly


TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – The 13abc I team learned that Toledo’s eyes in the sky are in poor condition. Toledo police say more than half of Skycop cameras are not working properly. Some don’t broadcast live video, others don’t record at all.

They were the latest in video in 2012, but Toledo Police say the Skycop camera program is out of date.

When someone tried to steal Jasmine Tucker’s car on Kenilworth Avenue in February, she landed on the hood of the car and drove two more blocks until the driver hit a curb and her body hit the bar.

“Just think about someone with a sledgehammer and they just hit you and you’re like … It was god-fearing,” Tucker said.

A Toledo Skycop camera happened to be mounted on that pole, so the crime clearly should have been on tape, but when the I-Team asked about the video, we were told that the hard drive was bad and there was no footage. Turns out this is just the tip of the iceberg with camera problems.

“The camera system is currently at the end of its service life. It would be like putting a shot at a gunshot wound. It just won’t help. The entire system needs to be replaced, ”said Lt. Kellie Lenhardt of the Toledo Police Department: “The cameras are at the end of their life. “

Toledo police say the nearly 10-year-old program needs to be replaced.

The problems are as bad:

The Toledo Police Department has 91 camera locations. Officials can only access the video from 40 locations, and the live video can only be accessed from 25 of those locations. The other 15 must be downloaded manually. The video from 51 locations is not accessible.

They are analog cameras that use antenna technology to send signals back. Several antennas are defective.

“When it storms or trees overgrow, many of these antennas don’t work, effectively turning off multiple cameras,” said Lt. Lenhardt.

The Skycop camera program started in 2012, and the city invested over a million dollars in the program. The hope was to have them monitored 24 hours a day, but that’s not happening at the moment.

Toledo Police say they are monitored live Monday through Friday on the day shift and one person is monitoring them at night. Officials can go back and review videos if the camera is working.

“The reality is that the cameras are a decade old, if not older. If you can think of a decade ago how much technology has changed since then. Our cameras are not excluded, ”said Lt. Lenhardt.

Toledo police checked replacement cameras. They would have updated the technology but would have added costs. Will the mayor’s office and council find the money to keep the program going?

“This is a matter of safety and security for our Toledo residents,” said Lt. Lenhardt.

When a new camera program comes online, you may not see the blinking blue lights that are currently on the cameras. The idea was originally a criminal deterrent. But some now see it as a signal to people in an unsafe neighborhood, a place they shouldn’t be. That’s part of the discussion the police have when a new breed of cameras comes to life.

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