Chattanooga Police Dept. Adding 8 New Cameras to Real Time Intelligence Center

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Chattanooga police say they have had success with the public security cameras used in their Real Time
Intelligence Center.

That’s why that they are going to add eight more.

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Whether that program is good or bad for the city, depends on who you ask.

The CPD is planning to add another 8 cameras to the 29 they already have deployed around the city.

There’s a complicated and lengthy process to determine the location of the cameras. It’s a combination of violent crime data, patrol officer and citizen input.

“All of that information is tallied, we rank the addresses, and present that to Chief Roddy and Cheif Roddy makes the final decision to where the cameras will go,” said Sgt. William Atwell, head of the Real Time Intelligence Center.

And just how successful have the cameras been?

“The month of July we had 210 incidents that RealTime Intelligence Center investigators either followed up on, monitored live, or investigated, we had 210 incidents, out of those 210 we had 86% usable video evidence,” said Sgt. Atwell.

The cameras and video recordings not only help to identify and lead to the arrests of violent criminals, but also help convict them in court.

There are mixed feelings about 24 hour a day surveillance.

“Most of Chattanooga’s crime is driven by a very small amount of people, and the feedback that we’re receiving from most citizens is positive,” said Atwell.

Megan Parker said, “I think that’s a good thing. I think that if, as a single woman if I was out and about, and if it was later at night and there was any issues, I think that I would feel protected, feel safer.”

“Because of crime. Yeah. And if something happens to somebody, I mean, you’d want to catch the criminals before they do something to somebody else,” said Christy Marzano-May.

And Ayesha Ophelia said, “I tend to think that they can watch my every move, I feel a little uncomfortable with that level of security, but I understand they make some people feel comfortable, so . . .”

The new cameras will be installed in selected areas of the city when EPB extends fiber-optic lines into those areas.

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Ashley is a lifetime Chattanooga area resident, and a 1987 graduate from UTC, with a BA in communications. While there, he was commissioned through the ROTC program, served simultaneously in the 1/181st field artillery Tn. Army National Guard, finished Airborne school, was a member of the Scabbard and Blade military honor society and ROTC Rangers, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, played snare drum with the UTC Marching band, and played in a southern rock band called Southern Atmosphere, while working a full time job as a trainer at the Sports Barn. He also won the Southeastern United States teenage bodybuilding competition during this time. Ashley has been with News 12 Now for 21 years. Prior to working here he was a videographer, director, producer and editor at Falcon Cable TV in Dalton, Ga. for 6 years where he produced thousands of commercials and dozens of hour long features. He also worked as a freelancer and employee at another network affiliate in Chattanooga. He has operated a part time video production business from home for 25 years. He says his passion is telling stories that feature people who give of themselves to help others, and stories that inspire people to make positive changes in themselves and their communities. Ashley is ecstatically married to Debbie Henderson, and has two step sons, a daughter in law, a sister, and lots of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His parents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Ashley and Debbie are active members of Brainerd Baptist Church. His interests include weight training and cycling with his wife, photography, poetry, playing drums, and checking off items from his extensive honey-do list. If you would like to reach Ashley, email him at ahenderson@wdef.com.