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Chicago’s Big Camera Surveillance Network Gets Bigger

Mayor Rahm Emanuel backs adding three new locations to Chicago’s surveillance camera network.

There will be a few more eyes on Chicago’s financial district in the coming months, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city’s Public Building Commission (PBC) approved adding three new locations to the Windy City’s surveillance camera network at the PBC’s meeting June 14.

As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Board of Trade, Federal Reserve and AT&T switching center in Chicago will all be outfitted with cameras that will be paid for using a $650,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant.

Emanuel, chairing his first PBC meeting, called the additional cameras “necessary,” citing the buildings’ importance to Chicago and national security concerns as key reasons for adding the equipment. Emanuel also said that the infrastructure was already in place for the technology.

Chicago’s surveillance system has been expanding in recent years. In 2007, the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications teamed with IBM to develop a citywide intelligent security system as part of Chicago's Operation Virtual Shield, a project that encompasses one of the world's largest video security deployments.

The newly approved additional surveillance cameras will be connected to the fiber network that was created for the security system.