ActivePaper Archive System using cameras across Hobbs goes online - Hobbs News Sun, 2014-09-24

System using cameras across Hobbs goes online

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TODD BAILEY/NEWS-SUN Sgt. Joe Wall looks at a diagram of the Hobbs Freshman Academy and a camera angle inside the school while directing a school resource officer monitoring the school. Through the use of the school’s security cameras, EAGLE IC officials can monitor the actions of anyone inside of the school.

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Hobbs Police Chief Chris McCall describes what the officers in the EAGLE IC can see in regard to any emergency incident where the system is needed.

The City of Hobbs got a little safer on Tuesday.

The police department’s Emergency, Action and General Law Enforcement Intelligence Center (EAGLE IC), officially went active.

The center can use security cameras from throughout Hobbs, including those at each of the Hobbs Municipal Schools, to help HPD, fire department and emergency medical services in any emergency situation.

The system was tested in early August when HPD officials ran active shooter scenarios for about a week at the Hobbs Freshman School.

“This gives our first responders critical and real-time information on what’s going on as they are getting (to the site of the potential incident) and when they are in the building by tying all of the interior cameras together and giving them information they can’t see,” said City of Hobbs Manager J.J. Murphy.

The system is located at the former HPD dispatch area. When the dispatch was moved to a county-wide dispatch system at the Lea County Communications Authority, the HPD dispatch area was vacated.

In late 2013, the Hobbs City Commission approved a $2 million budget to renovate the area for the EAGLE IC system. The system was created by TSG Solutions and was built in nine months. Murphy said Tuesday that he believes the renovation of the project costs around $1.3 million.

“In looking for a place to house an intelligence center, this place fit the bill,” said Tom Newton of TSG Solutions. “With its raised flooring and other items, the dispatch room was a great place to move put this center in.”

In January the commission approved to dedicate the EAGLE IC to 2014 Hobbs High graduate Tori Kleinsteuber, who died from a rare form of cancer called sarcoma. A plaque dedicating the center in her honor is on display outside the main entrance. Her father, Mark, also attended the opening. “It’s pretty awesome to have something named after Tori and allow her legacy to continue to live,” said Mark Kleinsteuber. “She really did love Hobbs and was really a big positive influence on safety and concern for safety for this city. She loves this city and only wanted good things for Hobbs.”

The system, to start, will primarily be active during the school hours. HPD Lt. Brian Belyeu is assigned to head the system with a staff of four HPD officers. During Tuesday’s opening, staff gave an example of how EAGLE IC works. Sgt. Joe Wall and Officer Isaac Martinez were in radio contact with a resource officer at the freshman school. Through Wall’s instructions, the officer walked around the school while constantly being monitored through the system.

The system will also be used for a number of security measures outside of the schools. Belyeu said EAGLE IC is hooked in with cameras at many busy intersections, parks and business areas.

It can be used to deter all types of criminal activity, from identifying shoplifters who have left a department store to wreck-less driving. City of Hobbs attorney Mike Stone inquired on whether an incident, like a car accident at a major intersection, can be recorded and used as evidence.

“Depending on the angle of camera at the intersection it is possible to do that,” said Newton said. “The system is capable of recording items. We have a stack of DVDs or any other things needed for a chain of custody.”

Belyeu said there is a phased plan of expanding the reach of EAGLE IC. Currently it is located at all the schools, city buildings, areas along Joe Harvey Boulevard, Grimes Street, Bender Boulevard and Turner Street and at five parks.

“We are limited in some areas like along Broadway, where we want to add cameras in future phases,” Belyeu said. “From a public safety aspect, I’d like to focus on getting more cameras in our parks, especially like Del Norte and expanding that coverage, as well as expanding coverage at other parks, even along the walking trail along the Lovington Highway.”

Todd Bailey can be reached at 391-5440 or at editor@hobbsnews.com.