Sophisticated surveillance helped police nab the suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings, so Eyewitness News checked out the technology being used by officers in Hartford every day.
Officers were busy on Monday preparing for one of the biggest events of the year.
With the Hartford Marathon just three weeks away, and one of the bombings over the weekend happened before a 5k...but even before the mayhem, Hartford police had many eyes in the sky.
“You can bet that much of the stuff you see here is being used in NY to track the suspects involved in that and I can promise you that's what's going on there,” Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley said.
Eyewitness News visited Hartford's "Real Time Crime Center." The center, which is comprised of high definition cameras spread out throughout the city, shows how officers know who to look for and where.
“From purse snatching all the way up to homicides, we run the gamut here,” Foley said.
Within minutes of Saturday’s bombings in New York City, surveillance was gathered by police and shared with other departments.
What was captured on the regional network can also be in the hands of homeland security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration or even news outlets, in seconds.
“The software can pick out anything. Let's say we lost a kid in a red shirt, we can get all the kids in red shirts and eliminate everyone from the video, except for those people,” Foley said.
With Saturday’s terror starting before a 5k in New Jersey, and the Boston Marathon bombings three years ago, local officials realize we're sandwiched between the two scenes and preparations are being made for next month's Hartford Marathon.
“We'll have the entire route, the entire park on video the entire time,” Foley said.
But that's not all. Additional preps with first responders will bolster these cameras that have the ability to precisely zoom from yards away anywhere in a 360 radius.
“Since this 5K got hit over the weekend, you can imagine this week, we'll all be meeting here in the Real Time Crime Center doing safety planning with all the police departments and emergency medical people,” Foley said.
While officers were planned to be on every block of the marathon route, the very nature of the course makes it a soft target. And that's why police continue to say some of the most helpful information will ultimately come from the thousands of eyes and ears on the streets.
“We're stuck in this mode right now and I don't think we're getting out of it anytime soon,” Foley said. “We all need to be vigilant, we all need to keep our eyes open and we need our citizens to help watch for us and keep us safe.”
Now in terms of patrolling, right now, Hartford is not doubling up on duty patrols. But many officers said they're starting to carry their gun off-duty and that's something they haven't done in the past.
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