Vicksburg getting high-tech cameras through project NOLA to combat crime

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 8:36 PM CDT
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VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - The city of Vicksburg is hoping a new state-of-the-art surveillance camera system will help reduce crime in the city.

City leaders voted to partner with the New Orleans Nonprofit Project NOLA to install the new technology.

Expect to see more eyes in the sky in the city of Vicksburg as leaders get ready to install high-tech cameras to combat crime.

“We have camera systems already for the city of Vicksburg, but they are not in any comparison to the NOLA Project,” Police Chief Penny Jones said.

Chief Jones is eager for Vicksburg to install a more advanced and sophisticated surveillance system.

She says Project NOLA will help the city do just that. The nonprofit works with individuals, associations, and municipalities to place cost-subsidized High-Definition Crime Cameras, Gunshot Detectors, and License Plate Recognition Cameras in needed areas.

“The cameras are so high tech that we can zoom in and actually see what a person is holding in their hand,” Chief Jones said. “We will be able to break down a certain vehicle. If people call about a white vehicle that has passed through the area, we can break down the stats so that we can put a white car in, four-door and a little description about it, and it actually pulls up that particular vehicle.”

Under the program, the cost of the cameras is covered by a grant, and after five years, they are donated to the city.

Vicksburg leaders will be responsible for paying an annual fee per camera for Project Nola to receive, record, and transmit camera video to local law enforcement.

“Project Nola came out of us taking a trip to New Orleans, the University of New Orleans, and looking at the system, which allows us to put up cameras at no cost to us but will cost us to have the cameras put in place in the city and allow NOLA to monitor the camera 24/7. At the same time, we have access to the data and everything,’ said Mayor Flaggs.

Nearly a dozen cities in Mississippi are actively participating in the program.

In fact, one Vicksburg neighborhood independently signed up for Project NOLA cameras to go up in their community.

Vicksburg’s Mayor says it is to install 30 to 50 cameras in addition to the city’s current surveillance system.

“Now we just have to be able to show the location and at the same time analyze the data and compare it to the 911 call,” said Mayor Flaggs. “So, if you have a high 911 call volume in your neighborhood, you have a camera coming.”

“Police can’t be there all the time,” Chief Jones said. “We have to come up with creative ideas to help come across, so this is just one of the tools. They are going to be a lot of other projects we are going to work on to help deter crime in the community. The camera just won’t be one; definitely, hiring more police officers and more boots on the ground is what we need.”

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