RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A new, high-tech video surveillance program is helping fight crime in central North Carolina.
The Rocky Mount Police Department’s requested from the city earlier this year for a partnership with FUSUS.
The department said in its request, “Oftentimes residents are unwilling to provide information to officers out of fear of retaliatory violence. Currently, the Department must canvas an area of the city when a crime occurs to see if there are any cameras available. Access to the video can only be done if personal contact is made. Access to cameras in these areas will provide much-needed evidence when there is no one around to talk.”
Rocky Mount police said in a press release that 14 days after the program went online, they arrested 37-year-old Lewis Jackson for a Monday night shooting. They pointed to FUSUS as a key tool in finding their suspect.
“When you hear stories like that, it really validates all the hard work that we’re putting in on behalf of the cities,” said FUSUS CEO, Chris Lindeanu.
FUSUS works by providing police with a streamlined video surveillance platform. Police can access city cameras along with cameras in schools or businesses. It can give them a real-time look at a crime in progress.
“We actually take siloed systems that work on their own accord very well and we make them work collectively,” explained Lindeanu.
A Rocky Mount city memo showed the technology provided police with the potential to access 1,000 camera feeds at a time. Police could view and record these feeds.
CBS 17 asked Lindeanu how the company balances privacy and public safety.
“I think the important thing from our standpoint is to ensure that people’s civil liberties are protected, while also augmenting the tools that law enforcement have to keep them safe,” he said.
Lindeanu knows it’s a fine line. It’s why business owners or schools opting in decide under what circumstances they want video shared.
“It gives these businesses an opportunity to become actively involved in security,” he said.
City records show Rocky Mount agreed to pay FUSUS $65,000 for the first year of its use. The total contract cost is $195,000 over three years.
“We can allow those agencies to do more with less we can ensure that the officers that they have on duty are being maximally effective,” said Lindeanu.
CBS 17 reached out to Rocky Mount police to learn exactly how they were using this technology. They did not respond to our requests for an interview.
Buncombe County Schools, Forsythe County, and Winston-Salem police are also using FUSUS.