D.C. police are now watching live images from dozens of surveillance cameras posted in high-crime parts of the city, hoping to respond faster to shootings, robberies and other offenses and catch suspects before they get away.
Since August 2006, the city has installed 73 cameras across the city, mostly on utility poles, at a cost of about $4 million. But until recently, officers were using them mainly as an investigative tool -- checking the recordings after crimes were committed in hopes of turning up leads and evidence.The District is following cities such as Baltimore, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, where police have actively monitored live camera scenes for years. London is often credited with having the most extensive network -- 500,000 cameras that make up the "Ring of Steel," dating to the early 1990s. "I'd love to have the whole city wired like London," said Lanier, adding that she didn't anticipate that becoming a reality.