St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office partners with Project NOLA’s crime camera system to better protect the parish and respond even quicker to crime; Residents are invited to become part of the system

Posted: September 23rd, 2014 | Filed under: News Releases

projectNOLAProject NOLA has partnered with the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office to bring the group’s highly successful crime camera system to the parish to help authorities respond even quicker to crime, announced Sheriff James Pohlmann and Bryan Lagarde, Executive Director of Project NOLA.

“We see only good things coming from this partnership, with a better chance of quickly identifying suspects in criminal acts,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “This will give us a lot more eyes around the parish,’’ he said of the live feeds and play-back ability of a crime camera system.

Sheriff Pohlmann also emphasized that, “Time saved by having this valuable information immediately accessible to the Sheriff’s Office, rather than having to go door-to-door looking to find a video surveillance system in an area where a crime occurred, would aid in making a speedy arrest or even possibly saving a life by getting the perpetrators off the street.”

“We invite St. Bernard Parish residents, business owners and neighborhood associations to look into the possibility of becoming part of this crime camera system,’’ the sheriff said. “The Project NOLA program can expand the already great relationship we have with parish residents.’’

Lagarde, a former New Orleans police officer, said his group is “excited about the opportunity to assist the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office to continue to make the parish a safer place to live, work and play.’’

To participate, residents or business owners may call (504) 298-9117 to purchase a Project NOLA HD crime camera kit for $295, or may call and sign up their own third-party camera as long as it is compatible with the Project NOLA system.

All participants will pay a $9.99 per month maintenance fee to Project NOLA to cover costs of video data streaming, server costs and related expenses. Those buying crime cameras from Project NOLA can install them on their own or pay $150 to have them installed by an electrician.

To take part a participant must have the Internet at their home or business where the camera would be.

As with the New Orleans-based Project NOLA system, no federal dollars or tax money is being used to fund this program.

“We believe the Project NOLA non-profit HD crime camera system is the most cost-efficient crime camera system in the world and that our New Orleans network of crime cameras has become the largest HD city-wide system in America,’’ Lagarde said

Introduced in New Orleans in 2011, Project NOLA now has more than 1,100 cameras on homes or businesses in the city and also recently announced a similar partnership with the Westwego Police Department in Jefferson Parish.

Crime cameras are placed on private property, pointed towards a public street or park, and connect to the host’s broadband Internet connection to transmit a video feed to the Project NOLA control room.

Often recording over 27x higher resolution than typical surveillance systems, those who host a Project NOLA HD crime camera may view and record their camera’s feed via compatible smart phones, iPads, tablets, and PCs.

Much like Project NOLA’s New Orleans program, an HD crime camera would be placed on a home or business in St. Bernard Parish and the video may be used by law enforcement in the event of a crime or crisis.

Participants who host a crime camera may view and record their own Project NOLA camera’s video feed.

A difference between the New Orleans-based program and the new one in St. Bernard is the Sheriff’s Office will have direct access to the cameras, allowing officers to view the live camera feeds for suspicious activity and to relay real-time supplemental information to units responding to an emergency.

Sheriff’s detectives or narcotics agents will also be able to directly access recordings of criminal incidents to identify suspects or vehicles used in crimes.

Such real-time video information provides footage to investigating officers before they even arrive at crime scenes.

Project NOLA has helped clear numerous investigations in New Orleans, ranging from homicide to theft, via arrest or an arrest warrant issued.

The group works extensively with property and business owners, churches and schools, civic groups, special improvement taxation districts and governmental entities.

Developed with a concern for privacy, the Project NOLA crime camera system only maintains recorded video footage for about 10 days before being overwritten. Only three Project NOLA staff members have access to the protected system, and each staffer has signed a nondisclosure agreement.