City unveils $5M crime monitoring center near French Quarter

NEW ORLEANS -- With more than 80 crime cameras installed in crime "hot spots" and 250 more cameras on the way, the city needs a place where technicians and officers can review the video footage in real-time and connect with first responders who are making critical decisions on the ground.

That's where the Real Time Crime Monitoring Center comes in.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, NOPD Chief Michael Harrison and other city officials today announced the opening of the monitoring center in the 500 block of Rampart Street along the edge of the French Quarter.

The $5 million renovated facility will house all of the crime camera footage as well as the video captured from license plate readers that the city is installing. So far, the city has installed 22 license plate readers, with plans for 80 more in coming months.

"The city is safer today because of this facility and this investment in public security," Chief Harrison said.

The cameras, license plate readers and monitoring center are all part of Landrieu's $40 million public safety initiative he announced in January.

In addition to real-time video monitoring, the center will have integrated analytical tools for law enforcement officers, as well as GPS and vehicle-locating capability.

Aaron Miller, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said by spring 2018, GPS will be enabled for every police officer, firefighter and paramedic in the city.

Another key feature of the new monitoring center is the ability to monitor private residents' cameras if they choose to connect their private cameras to NOPD's Safecam Nola project, which allows residents to connect their crime cameras to the city's established network of cameras.

"Police will know how to reach you if there's a crime around your camera," Miller said.

Watch the full update below: