BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — It might look a little Orwellian to an outsider, but Bridgeport on Wednesday unveiled its new BSAFE video security center, a state-of-the-area command post city officials hope will make Bridgeport one of the country’s safest cities.
“This is the future,” said Public Facilities Director Jorge Garcia, surveying the wall of 15 flat screen monitors displaying maps and live feeds from a city school. “This is scaleable. With this, I can tell you how much solar is being used, which doors are locked and unlocked. Everything. It’s infinite.”
The system, believed to be the first of its kind in Connecticut, integrates video security technology. It is equipped to integrate more cameras, sensors and other technology — both public and private — in the future.
Housed in a 1,600-square-foot room with three operator positions and a supervisor station at Margaret Morton Government Center, the system will act as a central hub for all types of alarms, and eventually will tie in fire alarms, camera networks, and 911 systems.
The system cost the city just shy of $1 million in grant and city funds, Garcia said.
“This is leading edge technology,” said David Antar, president of A+ Technology and Security, which devised the center.
The “fusion center” system could be used in any number of situations from a school lockdown to a 911 call to a snow emergency or fire, he said. Once activated, it can accommodate feeds from public facilities, schools, police and fire and private entities that wish to sign on.
The city was criticized for its less-than-adequate security systems in the wake of a June shooting that left nine injured and one dead at the Trumbull Gardens housing complex in the North End. The new system will be critical in identifying suspects and gathering evidence in such incidents, said Assistant Police Chief James Nardozzi.
The goal is to have 2,000 cameras across the city linked to the system, which should be active soon, he said.
“We can make our children safer,” Nardozzi said. “If this is another tool to help achieve that, I think it’s worth it.”
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