Police now turning to tech experts for help to identify suspects on surveillance video – WTKR

Posted: March 4, 2012 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

On TV it looks easy. Fictional CSI investigators zoom into a reflection on a person’s eyeball for an important clue. In real life, it doesn’t work that way. Police across Hampton Roads are often stuck with surveillance video that shows a crime but rarely is clear enough to identify the criminal.

Cameras of all kinds are everywhere; on buildings, buses, trains.

Police hope for eye-level, high-resolution images, but far more often, the videos are blurry.

Norfolk police say a lot of the images are poor quality or too dark.

In most cases, they are not able to use any of the footage. That means that although many of the crimes are caught on tape, some criminals don’t get caught by police.

“Just because there is a camera does not mean it is going to produce good quality video. Having said that, we’d rather have bad video than no video,” says Chris Amos.

So for all that bad video, Norfolk is looking for a high-tech solution. The department wants to hear from companies that can sharpen blurred license plates, fix bad exposures, and even identify masked robbers.

“We know the technology exists. Just watch the History Channel. Watch what they are doing with World War II footage, now they colorize it. The technology is out there to take a grainy video and really, really increase the quality of that,” says Amos.

Police are just looking for information now, they’re not ready to buy.

But Amos says even the most expensive software can be thwarted by a simple ball cap when cameras are installed too high to be helpful.

via Police now turning to tech experts for help to identify suspects on surveillance video – WTKR.

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