HONOLULU (KHON2) — Phase one of the city’s upgraded Chinatown surveillance system is now online. It boasts state-of-the-art capabilities like 360-degree coverage, on-screen tracking and much more. It’s goal is to help police catch criminals in the act and deter crime in Chinatown.
From multi-colored LED lights and sirens to high-definition clarity, night vision and on-screen tracking the new Chinatown Camera project is far superior to the previous system installed back in 2003.
“Definitely 100% better,” said Major Calvin Sung, of the Honolulu Police Department.
“The old system was analog system using the coax cables,” Sung explained. “This is the digital system and also the camera has 360-degree coverage and also we have a PTZ capability, which means pan, tilt, zoom capability so we can actually zoom it into the particular person. or license plate number.”
Sung said phase one of the project is complete.
Including seven cameras installed at locations notorious for criminal activity:
- Hotel/Maunakea (HPD substation)
- Pauahi (near public bathroom)
The city has high hopes that this new high-tech system will curb crime. In all, 52 cameras are to be installed at every intersection throughout Chinatown.
According to Sung, they are still training and testing the system. But he said the cameras record 24/7 and footage will be saved for a minimum of 30 days.
The cameras will be monitored round the clock by HPD and once they are fully operational, Sung added that they plan to invite community volunteers to help with monitoring.
“It’s definitely going to help us with identification and also video evidence, definitely help the officer and community convicting the criminals out there,” explained Sung.
And if they see something happening, they can dispatch officers and use the system to try to stop it until they get there.
“We can activate the lights and activate the siren in case of emergency,” he said.
“To deter and draw attention to that area,” KHON2 News asked.
“Correct,” affirmed Sung.
Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock, Chinatown Business & Community Association president said the new camera system does make her feel safer.
“I feel like the CC camera will protect me by watching that the guy doesn’t come behind me and hit me in the head,” Shubert-Kwock said. “So I can’t be more pleased. So thank you!”
Sung said they hope to upgrade the software to help with detection soon.
“For example, there’s a large crowd and then that particular camera angle’s going to pop up into the bigger monitor so we can track it a little bit better,” he explained.
“So basically, it’s like a smart camera, or smart computer, that can pick out things that say, ‘Hey you should be paying attention to this, this looks fishy,'” KHON2 said.
“Correct,” Sung replied.
According to Sung, the only issue they’ve faced with the system so far is connectivity.
He said because the cameras are wireless they take a lot of bandwidth. So they’ve experienced static and delays with video coming in.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
According to Sung, phase two of the project will begin soon, followed by phase three. The whole project should be completed by 2024 and cost about $980,000.