This brief details the Milwaukee Police Department’s experiences optimizing its surveillance technologies—including benefits and challenges—and provides recommendations for law enforcement agencies using or planning to integrate video analytic technologies in their surveillance systems. Between 2016 and 2019, we worked with MPD to optimize its surveillance system. Improvements included software and hardware upgrades, relocating the program to another division within MPD, the installation of new high-definition cameras, and the integration of two video analytic technologies (automatic license plate recognition and gunshot detection technology). The research team conducted semistructured interviews with MPD staff, who reported that video analytics benefited the department in several ways, but there were many challenges that inhibited the technologies from reaching their full potential.
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