Better cameras are solving, preventing St. Louis area crimes

New camera technology on public transportation has improved so much that prosecutors recently claimed they could see suspects planning their crime.

Maxim Hopson

Metro’s Real Time Camera Center is equipped with nearly 1,0000 high definition video screens. “Security force multiplying technology,” Kevin Scott, Bi-State’s General Manager for Security, said. “We have worked over the last four years to put together a layered security dynamic here that ultimately makes our system safer.”

Tuesday morning’s shooting at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Station in St. Clair County, Illinois, will likely come with plenty of evidence.

“The video and audio is phenomenal,” St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Chief of Investigations Sgt. Adam Quirin said of recent footage. He said this latest investigation involves, “…one of the trains that has enhanced video; so we should have very, very good video.”

Quirin responded to Tuesday’s shooting scene, which was just a couple stops away from a ribbon cutting for the transformation of the 5th and Missouri stop.

“We are going to fight for our community,” Bi-State President and CEO Taulby Roach said. “The future means investment, and that investment means the secure platform plan.”

That plan is part of a $54 million investment that will soon come with security gates and fencing. They’ll also add more cameras to the already robust real time camera center.
The July 6 murder of Kenneth Hall, 28, on a St. Charles Rock Road sidewalk was reportedly solved partly because of train cameras.

Prosecutors wrote in court records, “Video footage shows the defendant and others in the group making a plan.” Prosecutors added, “The defendant and others then boarded an eastbound Metrolink train together, leaving the victim behind…and (one suspect can be seen) holding the victim’s firearm that was taken in the robbery.”

“This is a greater asset to the broader region,” Scott said. “…there is a portal process where law enforcement can request footage from our buses and trains and platforms, and we’re happy to oblige.”

Live monitoring has reportedly even prevented crimes, such as an alleged attempted rapist in March, who was identified and tracked.

“We were able to put security onto the train—live feed onto the train—watch the suspect until the train moved back into Missouri where we had the St. Louis Police Department waiting on the platform on Laclede’s Landing,” Scott said.

The next wave of camera improvements and gates, to make sure only paying customers are riding the trains, is expected to start bidding this August.


On Key

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