OEMC, Public Building Commission Seek Expansion of Operation Virtual Shield

Mayor’s Press Office, (312) 744-3334
Kevin Smith, OEMC, (312) 746-9454

The City’s groundbreaking Operation Virtual Shield camera network will be further expanded and new layers of security added under an intergovernmental agreement introduced Wednesday by Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Under the proposed agreement, the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications and the Public Building Commission will work together to expand the surveillance camera system by placing additional cameras along the lakefront. Under the expansion the City also will pursue the development of advanced analytic software for the cameras.

“The City of Chicago has long been a leader in the application of advanced technology to the crucial mission of security and public safety,” said Mayor Daley. “These cameras give city officials real-time intelligence, serve as a deterrent against illegal activity and provide investigative data. By bringing more cameras to the lakefront, we make it more secure and make Chicago as safe and prepared as any large city can be.”

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications has been the driving force in bringing Chicago the most advanced technology possible, and the Public Building Commission has demonstrated expertise in the development of Operation Virtual Shield, its cameras and the fiber optic network that links the cameras to the OEMC. The cameras, funded by grant dollars from the Department of Homeland Security, allow city officials to access the images from the OEMC with benefits in security, law enforcement, traffic management, crowd control and weather assessment.

Further, the development and application of advanced analytic software will make the camera system still more effective and alert, as the software will be able to identify suspicious behavior and alert officials, allowing the officials to investigate further and take action as necessary.

“In the City of Chicago, public safety is achieved by combining teamwork and technology,” Daley added. “With the approval of this intergovernmental agreement, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and the Public Building Commission will be able bring the latest advancement to bear and keep Chicago on the cutting edge of public safety.”