Wisenet Cameras Help King City Police Reduce Violence and Improve Safety
“The Wisenet cameras are working wonders. Last year, we had 32 shootings and three homicides but since the cameras were installed, we’ve only had one shooting.”
- Chief Robert Masterson, King City, California
King City is a city in Monterey County, California, United States with a population of about 13,000. In recent years, King City’s homicide per capita rate for victims between 18 and 22 years of age was the highest in the state of California, as the city had become a point of contention in a turf war between rival Latino gangs. This is the situation Police Chief Robert Masterson, King City, California walked into when he came on board in July 2016. To address the problem the city formed a committee of community members charged with producing a plan to reduce youth violence. After working for six months, the committee came up with a 23-point strategic plan, and one of those points was to install video surveillance cameras throughout the city, which Chief Masterson says became a primary focus for his department. “I saw a benefit of cameras from a prevention standpoint just to deter crime. There was also an investigative aspect that was attractive as well,” Masterson says.
The King City Police Department selected and installed 93 of Hanwha Techwin’s Wisenet PNM-9081VQ 20megapixel multi-directional cameras starting based on a recommendation from systems integrator, SurveillanceGrid. With four 5megapixel sensors, the vandal-resistant cameras offer triple codec H.265/H.264/MJPEG, combined with Hanwha Techwin’s unique video compression technology WiseStream II, to provide ultimate storage management without sacrificing image quality. Bandwidth efficiency is important because the cameras send video wirelessly back to servers located in a command center within the King City Police.
In terms of placement, one of King City’s priorities was to install cameras in locations where the police department would be able to capture video of anyone coming into or going out of town. This was important because most of the shootings were perpetrated by people from outside the city. PNM-9081VQs are typically located at intersections the police department determined to be a high priority for traffic flow and points of activity. Three of the cameras face the intersections, with the fourth looking at the pole itself for self-preservation of the camera system. “SurveillanceGrid showed us the resolutions between the Wisenet camera and others on the market, and it was obviously a much better resolution with more frames per second, which provided us better visibility with cleaner and clearer images. And the Wisenet cameras gave us a much more detailed image at night,” Masterson says.
Another 52 cameras are planned to be installed throughout the city in phase two 2019. “We’ve been working to change things, and the Wisenet cameras are working wonders. Last year, we had 32 shootings and three homicides. But since the cameras were installed, we’ve only had one shooting since the start of the year,” Masterson says. Video is mostly used for investigative purposes. If an incident occurs, the first thing the police department does is review video to see if any relevant information was captured. With information gathered from a camera mounted at a local business, King City Police Department was able to find a vehicle involved in a shooting rather quickly, despite having a limited amount of video to review. As King City looks to transform itself from a point of contention in a violent gang war to a safe place to live and work, Wisenet cameras have played a key role in the city’s positive results so far.