BALTIMORE (WJZ)– You’ve probably taken notice of some of the cameras all across Baltimore and wondered, who is watching this video?
Police use the wide-video network to stop criminals before they do more harm.
The network is composed of 750 cameras across the city. A few nights ago, some of those cameras captured a scary scene, where suspected robbers started shooting at officers.
Minutes before, a camera above predicted something was going to happen. The system is called CitiWatch.
A worker at a remote location spotted the two suspects lurking outside the 7-Eleven near Charles and Saratoga Streets.
The moment they walked in, the camera zoomed in. It was an armed robbery, but police already knew that.
Within minutes, officers arrived, and they stormed the store, where the suspects then shot at them.
“It’s a blessing. It’s an absolute blessing that we don’t have officers shot,” said T.J. Smith of the Baltimore Police Department.
CitiWatch has been in operation for 12 years.
Lieutenant Samuel Hood of the department said the monitors’ vigilance has prevented attacks in the past.
“You know you have spider senses yourself, if all of a sudden someone is watching you up and down, you’re like what’s going on with that?” Lt. Hood said. “My heart sank because we have all been in these situations and we hope that they are able to respond.”
The CitiWatch center is in an undisclosed location downtown, the staff are all retired police officers and they monitor the cameras 24/7, 365 a year.
Lt. Hood says all the cameras are in public spaces, including the one that captured the shootout. Police are still looking for the suspects, but there’s a sigh of relief that the officers are OK.
Officials say many of the cameras are privately owned and certain institutions likes Johns Hopkins have allowed them to tap into that network so that the monitors can watch what’s happening across the city.
Police say there’s evidence that may help detective find the suspects in the 7-Eleven shootout.