Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations and business intelligence solutions, announced that City Council District E in New Orleans has taken an innovative approach to address illegal dumping using Security Center, the unified security platform from Genetec.
Illegal dumping is a problem in most cities around the world but enforcing laws to prevent it can be difficult and resource-intensive. To catch culprits in the act, law enforcement or other city staff have to physically watch known sites and wait to spot illegal dumping activity. 

In response, District E Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen has taken a hands-on approach tackling illegal dumping as a part of a larger push toward revitalizing the community she serves. Nguyen’s team, working in partnership with New Orleans’ Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) and Sanitation Department has begun installing a network of cameras at known dumping sites. All cameras are portable so they can be moved to new dumping hotspots as needed.

“This security technology certainly helps re-enforce the message I’m putting out there: that we can and will enforce illegal dumping offenses in District E,” Nguyen said. “We also have this great partnership with the Sanitation Department, our local Police Department and the RTCC, and that’s extending out into our community as well. I am working hard to get more residents and businesses involved in supporting these initiatives, because keeping our city safe and clean is a shared responsibility.”

The RTCC already uses Security Center to manage its citywide public safety improvement initiatives. To help monitor illegal dumping, the Crime Center’s IT department also set up an event-to-action rule in the Security Center platform to process motion detection in a defined zone of the camera’s field of view. As soon as motion is detected, the system bookmarks it and notifies IT staff so they can evaluate the situation and determine if collection of the debris is warranted. The system also takes a snapshot of the video and emails it to designated personnel on the team so they can identify and investigate any potential dumping perpetrators, and take appropriate action.

In a recent case, this event-to-action led to the arrest of a repeat offender who had previously been convicted and sentenced for dumping 14,000 tires. All snapshots and video evidence were securely shared with the New Orleans Police Department to enable them to quickly identify the perpetrator and complete their investigation.

“Without this technology, finding these offenders comes down to chance or it could take a police officer hours and hours of investigative work,” said Bill Wood, IT supervisor at the RTCC. “Instead, it took us minutes to set up the event-to-action in Security Center, and just about two days from the time we were notified about this offender to the time we were able to apprehend him. We love working with the Security Center platform. It’s very user friendly and helps us cut down that investigation time exponentially.”