FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Surveillance images can be crucial to help police solve a crime, but how well they work starts with the business.
The Fort Wayne Police Department said about 60 percent of the surveillance images it gets are poor quality. Forensics got state-of-the art technology last fall that can make a big difference by clarifying pixels and brightening the image, but they’re only as good as the images they get.
“If you have an old system that’s a decade or more older, you may want to consider upgrading to a more modern, digital system,” Detective John Helmsing, an FWPD forensic examiner, said. “Then when you get it, make sure you’re setting it to the highest capture rates because that’s what’s important for forensic clarification.”
The Smoke House Tobacco Outlet had a good camera system and captured several images of the suspect in Monday’s homicide there.
Even though they look a little grainy, these are a lot better than before Helmsing clarified the image to make the pixels more sharp.
They are also cropped and blown up, which is why they aren’t crystal clear.
The department also got a better system last fall to copy video from the businesses. It allows a transfer of the video or picture in the same quality at which it was recorded. Before, when the file was saved, it would be compressed and lose some quality.
Helmsing said a business could get a pretty good camera system for less than $1,000 dollars. The key is to upgrade the system before something happens.
“What you see is you’ll have an incident occur and then that’s when they upgrade their system,” Helmsing said.
Main Street Bistro and Martini Lounge in downtown Fort Wayne installed a high-quality surveillance system right off the bat.
“It’s just a smart business decision,” Johnny Curous, the general manager, said. “It’s important to be current with technology so you have clear pictures if anything should happen.”