Panoramic Surveillance Captures Fine Detail in Crime Lab

Greenwood Crime Lab

As valuable evidence is collected and cataloged by police in Greenwood Village, Colorado, video surveillance ensures safety and accountability in the police department’s crime lab.

A general upgrade to the Greenwood Village Police Department’s crime lab provided the opportunity to complete a surveillance system overhaul as well. Most “civilians” might not suspect that a police department building would require added surveillance. Considering, however, the amount of forensic evidence stored inside this particular facility, as well as the kinds of evidence – firearms, narcotics, recovered cash, etc. – it’s easy to understand the critical need to establish security on the premises.

Protecting evidence from external threats is the primary goal. On the flipside of that, general employee accountability, monitoring departmental procedure, and thorough record-keeping generated a need for a total surveillance update. And compared to the original CCTV system in the crime lab, which offered only live viewing, it was a radical update indeed.

The crime lab needed to expand their surveillance reach over the facility, as well as add some new, more sophisticated equipment to increase the use and intelligence of the CCTV system. Previously, security video had never been recorded at the facility. Furthermore, none of the exterior areas had been monitored, so outdoor cameras would be a much needed addition.

“We had a system before but it was very archaic and outdated. There was no dimension to it; no recording capability except for live viewing by the dispatch center. It couldn’t detect motion and was in limited areas, where crime lab property and evidence is housed,” remarked Commander Joe Gutsgell, division commander of the Greenwood Village Police Department’s Investigations Unit. “We wanted to move away from this one-dimensional system to one that allows viewing of the building exterior as well as inside our vehicle processing bay and evidence room.”

Safe Systems Inc. in Louisville, Colorado, provided their technical expertise when recommending upgrades for and installing the crime lab’s video surveillance system. They chose Hikvision products for this application, based on their experience of reliable performance, excellent customer support, and a cost-effective product line-up.

The new system utilizes a 360 degree fisheye camera, multiple megapixel cameras, and a 16-channel Network Video Recording Device (NVR). Since the completion of the installation, Greenwood’s men and women in blue have been enjoying a host of benefits with their new surveillance system. Commander Gutsgell remarked, “It’s been a great system in terms of quality and being able to pull things up. If I’m trying to reach one of my criminalists, I can just pull up the system and see, oh, they’re in-taking property into evidence.” In general, keeping an eye on things at the lab is now virtually effortless.

All said and done, Greenwood Village Police Department’s crime lab is making good use of a fluid, comprehensive, state-of-the-art surveillance system, with features that will serve them well for many years down the road. Commander Gutsgell was happy to report that the new system got the lab – in his own words – “out of the dark ages” in the surveillance area.