Joins officials for demonstration of MTA’s new, state-of-the-art Closed Circuit Monitoring Facility; Receives briefing on MTA’s Grand Prix operational plans
ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 1, 2011) - Governor Martin O’Malley today toured the new state-of-the-art Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Police Monitoring Facility in Baltimore. In May of this year, the $2.4 million facility opened utilizing federal transit security funds. With the upcoming Baltimore Grand Prix, the MTA will be sharing 125 cameras with city and state law enforcement agencies to monitor transit stations in downtown Baltimore, and help protect visitors in town for the race.
“Our top priorities are creating jobs and protecting the public’s safety,” said Governor O’Malley. “Thanks to our federal partners, we have built a better, more connected Police Monitoring Facility that will help us continue to reduce crime. Together, we can build a robust and interconnected closed circuit television system that secures our private and public infrastructure and provides first responders with the tools they need to protect our people.”
The new facility allows the MTA to monitor 529 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras that provide real-time coverage at 20 Subway and Light Rail stations. By 2014, the MTA will have hundreds more CCTV cameras to cover 37 transit rail stations.
Recently, the Governor announced that total crime in Maryland is at its lowest level since 1975. Thanks in part to the use of CCTV cameras, MTA has seen a 26.4 percent reduction in violent crimes in 2011 compared to 2010. Real-time information observed at the Facility is provided to field officers, including suspect descriptions, direction of travel of specific trains or buses, and station views. For criminal suspects sought by the MTA, images captured by CCTV cameras are put in Be-on-the-Lookout notices and shared with law enforcement agencies throughout the state. In 2010, the MTA used video images in 26 criminal investigations. Of those cases, 18 were closed with the assistance of CCTV video.
The O’Malley-Brown Administration continues to make steady progress to enhance the state of Maryland’s homeland security and emergency preparedness, including developing a plan for sharing video feeds across agencies and jurisdictions. The State has located and inventoried more than 8,400 state-owned CCTV components, and laid the groundwork for uniting multiple CCTV camera systems into a statewide network. The Administration has also vastly increased the number of video feeds available in the Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) from 45 in 2009 to 341, making live feeds available to traffic and emergency response personnel. The State will upgrade, replace and build additional CCTV cameras to cover MVA Facilities in Maryland. By partnering with the Transportation Security Administration, hundreds of new or upgraded CCTV cameras will be installed at BWI Airport by spring 2013. In July, the Administration launched a region-wide “If You See Something, Say Something” transit ridership security awareness campaign to encourage Maryland residents and visitors to report suspicious activity.
Governor O’Malley was appointed to the nation’s first ever Council of Governors by President Obama on January 11, 2010. The Council was established by the President through Executive Order to further strengthen the partnership between the Federal Government and State Governments to protect the nation against all types of hazards, including protecting the nation’s transportation and digital infrastructure. The Governor is also co-chair of the National Governors Association Special Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety and serves on the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Council, where he looks forward to drafting recommendations that will help shape national homeland security policy.