External security cameras coming to ‘real time crime center’

OGDEN — Attempting a police omniscience seen in only about 20 U.S. cities, the Ogden Police Department is gearing up for a “real time crime center” to be operational soon after its Crime Blimp launches.

The center hopes to eventually be linked with the thousands of private and government security cameras around town, including the city’s own inventory of some 200 cameras.

Utah Department of Transportation and Utah Transit Authority are already on board to share their cameras with Ogden police in the video center planned for soon-to-be-remodeled offices in the department headquarters.

Officials are shooting for an April launch date for the blimp, under construction by Weber State University’s Utah Center for Aeronautical Innovation and Design, which will feed video to a fledgling version of the RTCC. They hope the center is fully operational by July.

A civil rights debate is likely to flare at some point.

“Scary,” was local defense attorney Bernie Allen’s reaction to the coming integrated camera system and the blimp.

“Talk about your Big Brother, it’s ‘A Brave New World,’ ” he quipped, referring to two famous novels about futuristic worlds surveilled by oppressive governments.

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