Electronic eyes credited with curbing crime

Technology makes up for smaller police force

INDIANAPOLIS - Within the last few days, cameras installed on Indianapolis Housing Agency property were used to spot crime that led to arrests, part of the agency's push to use technology to counteract a cut in its police force.

Last Friday, a woman was arrested on a public nudity charge at Barton Tower in downtown Indianapolis.

Police said the woman came there to visit a friend and then removed her clothing and began riding a bicycle.

The Indianapolis Housing Agency has nearly 400 surveillance cameras that are increasingly relied on as the agency's police force dwindles.

IHA used to have 32 officers, but a federal funding cut decimated the unit, now down to 4 full-time employees.

The daily recordings cover a larger territory than police can reach. The technology provides the ability to document crimes and speeds up investigations that lead to arrests.

Many of those crimes are of greater significance than those caught on camera in recent days.

Since 2005, IHA has expanded its camera coverage to 15 of its properties throughout Indianapolis.
  
Department of Justice statistics show a decrease in crime in those buildings from 978 cases in 2005 to 692 in 2013. As of April 20 this year, the number stands at 168.

Police have recorded thousands of hours of crimes in progress involving homicides, robbery, vandalism, drugs, guns, theft and runaways.

Cameras occasionally also record other agencies at work, such as last Friday, when US Marshals made an arrest on robbery warrants from Vigo County.

Watch The News at 11:00 on RTV6 Thursday, when Rafael Sanchez shows you newly released video of recent crimes recorded by surveillance cameras in Indianapolis.

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