Councilmember Yolanda Adrean, second from left, helped spearhead the move to get new security cameras and license tag readers in Dist. 8.
Councilmember Yolanda Adrean, second from left, helped spearhead the move to get new security cameras and license tag readers in Dist. 8.

Atlanta City Councilmember Yolanda Adrean announced today, Feb. 16, that the Atlanta Police Foundation began installing the first 50 state-of-the-art video security cameras and license plate readers as part of phase I of the master plan for Council District 8. The devices will be integrated into the city’s Loudermilk Operation Shield Video Integration Center, where police can monitor images from more than 5,700 high-tech cameras throughout the city.

“Public safety and the quality of life for our communities is a primary concern for my constituents and therefore one of my top priorities,” Adrean said. “These cameras and the technology they provide will offer critical data for our police department to both deter criminal activity and solve crimes that occur.”

In December, Adrean contributed $300,000 from her council budget carry forward account toward the purchase of security cameras. Her contribution was matched by the mayor’s office, and private sector investment in cameras from businesses and residents has amounted to $2 million thus far.

The master plan, which is a map of strategic locations where the cameras and readers will be installed, was developed in partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation and the Atlanta Police Department by using data collected from crime statistics and patterns throughout the district.

“This conversation started with my community over a year ago,” Adrean said. “It’s been a top priority of mine. Certainly the recent increase in crimes in certain areas has made the installation more critical.”

The estimated project completion is the second week in March.

Adrean said other councilmembers also are engaged in the conversation of partnering with the Atlanta Police Foundation’s Operation Shield program including Alex Wan, Felicia Moore and Howard Shook.

“This innovative, state-of-the-art technology is expected to be one of the most robust and sophisticated video surveillance systems in the U.S.,” said Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation. “We can never be too cautious when it comes to safety; and through the Operation Shield program, the public has the opportunity to personally be a part of addressing public safety concerns.”

Operation Shield is a collaborative initiative between the City of Atlanta and private-sector donors to help create a safer, more efficient way of policing through the use of advanced technology in video surveillance cameras and license plate recognition readers. Since its inception, the Operation Shield program has made great strides in improving situational awareness for emergency management agencies. It has enhanced public safety response times to regional crimes and has helped decrease crime rates in communities throughout the City of Atlanta.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.