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OEMC Wants (Digital) Private Eyes

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The city’s emergency management agency wants to add thousands of privately-owned video cameras to its surveillance network. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has introduced an ordinance giving OEMC more authority to partner with businesses and homeowners with cameras. The council’s committee on fire and police backed the ordinance today.

John Argipolous directs the OEMC.

ARGIPOLOS: The theme in essence is we obviously can’t put cameras everywhere in 232-square miles of Chicago. If you have a camera and you have a network capability pipe-wise—what I mean by that is the internet— we’re interested in taking your outside video.

The video will travel to the Office of Emergency Management over an encrypted internet channel. OEMC says it’s tested the technology out with three private organizations. It says it’s the first American city to combine video from public and private cameras for surveillance.

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