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Madison to add 100 surveillance cameras throughout city

By Mary Jo Ola, mola@wisctv.com
Published On: Apr 19 2013 06:08:52 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 20 2013 02:45:08 PM CDT

Channel3000.com

Madison Technical Services Manager Rich Beadles shows live video views that feed from cameras throughout downtown, bus transfer centers and parks.

MADISON, Wis. -

Surveillance video of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects was downloaded 300,000 times a second Thursday, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the cameras that caught it played a critical role in finding the men believe to be responsible.

Following the Boston bombings, the City of Madison has plans to install about 100 new surveillance cameras in the next year.

Madison Technical Services Manager Rich Beadles said the city has a couple hundred cameras scattered throughout downtown, bus transfer centers and parks.

The cameras feed video in real time to police and other agencies. This year, Madison set aside $100,000 to install new cameras.  The new cameras will be added to 30 water wells and bus transfer centers.

"We hope we never have an incident like the type that's taking place in Boston, but certainly if you have an incident where there are a lot of people gathered and everyone now has a digital camera on their electronic devices.  It really helps getting those pictures in quickly," said Joel DeSpain, public information officer for Madison police.

DeSpain said the cameras have helped solve crimes like a shooting in Penn Park and another on University Avenue.

"It really gives us the ability to watch crime as it happens, sometimes get officers into a place quickly," DeSpain said. He added that combining the images from surveillance cameras with social media helps increase the number of tips they get.

The CBS News story on the release of the Boston suspects' photos was shared 8,000 times on Facebook and 844 times on Twitter.  CBS also reported the FBI's website experienced record traffic as people viewed still and video of the two men.

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