About the Oxford Police Department

Oxford Logo

Located on I-20 between Atlanta and Birmingham, the city of Oxford, Alabama has a population of 22,000 local inhabitants. Due to the city’s location, however, it sees an additional 33,000 travelers who either drive through the area or stop to shop in the city’s large retail districts. The Oxford Police Department works to maintain law and order within the metro area while simultaneously monitoring and preventing potential criminal activity in the greater surrounding region.

“The East Metro Area Crime Center is an unbelievable instrument to help fight crime, not just in this municipality, but throughout the state of Alabama.”

John H. Merrill
Alabama Secretary of State

Oxford Crime Center testimonial

The Challenge

Oxford Crime Center Challenges

Oxford lies surrounded by several smaller cities and towns that deal with high levels of recorded criminal activity. Statewide crime measurements routinely include Oxford among the neighboring areas resulting in declining statistics for the city. This negative press damaged the reputation of a thriving and successful retail sector. Officials concluded that the most effective approach would be to assist those neighboring areas in their fight against crime. This proactive strategy would then reduce crime throughout the entire region. To achieve this end, the city of Oxford decided to build the new East Metro Area Crime Center (EMACC).

The mayor’s office and the Oxford City Council brought about the proposal to build the EMACC with a budget allocation of 4 million dollars. 23 different state and federal agencies would work in the new EMACC daily. Law enforcement would use the new Crime Center to regularly monitor IP cameras throughout the region and assign resources as necessary. In extraordinary circumstances, additional agencies could utilize the EMACC to address anything ranging from special events to disaster relief.

Knowing that the Crime Center would need to be able to display dynamic content from hundreds of IP cameras located in the area in real-time, Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge spoke with law enforcement colleagues who directed him towards Haivision. When compared to several other vendors for the proper visualization technology, Haivision’s ability to provide a complete, turn-key solution stood alone. After receiving a hands-on demonstration, Partridge concluded that a custom solution from Haivision would easily meet every one of their requirements stating, “The ease of the technology was what I liked about it. I like the fact that you didn’t have to buy an expensive video management system to run the board itself.”

The Solution

Oxford Crime Center Video Wall

The East Metro Area Crime Center opened on Friday, May 24th, 2019. The EMACC was constructed to feature three distinct spaces: a briefing room, a 16-desk employee work area, and an operation center with eight stations facing a 5×3 55” LCD video wall. All content across the 15 displays is controlled through Haivision video wall software via a 24” Touch Control Point pad or any web browser with proper login access.

Behind the scenes, an Alpha FX Core video processor manages each incoming signal from the EMACC’s various workstations alongside video feeds throughout the region. Dispatchers and operators within the facility then direct feeds and information to the video wall as incidents occur or intelligence-gathering is required. This functionality through Haivision video wall technology is ideal for the needs of the Oxford Police Department as they must have eyes on the hundreds of IP cameras strategically positioned throughout the region as well as the mobile camera trucks designated for special event coverage.

From the control room, dispatchers can monitor Oxford’s high-volume retail areas for criminal activity. If an incident is observed, dispatchers can then reference visual resources, such as real-time maps displayed on the video wall, to direct available units to the scene. By quickly accessing cameras in each area, vital information can be relayed to officers, firefighters, and emergency workers arriving on the scene. This mission-critical information can prove lifesaving for all first responders.

Oxford Crime Center Video Wall Solutions

The Result

The new EMACC and its advanced Haivision visualization system have already proven instrumental in the department’s ability to rapidly respond to crime throughout the region. For its primary function, facility resources have been designated to serve local and regional law enforcement. In the event of any high-profile crimes such as robberies, kidnappings, and homicides, resources will be then directed to serving the needs of those critical cases that require immediate attention.

In a secondary function, the capabilities of the EMACC will be leveraged to address a wide variety of emergency operations. Agencies ranging from local fire departments to the FBI and DEA will utilize the EMACC to address issues such as inclement weather, natural disasters, and extraordinary events like dignitary protection. In these events, both state and federal agencies will utilize the facility’s technology for enhanced intelligence and reporting to address the situation. Oxford’s new Crime Center will not only assist in reducing crime and addressing the public safety needs of its local population but will undoubtedly play a key role in adding to the safety and security of the surrounding region and neighboring cities.

Historically, the department fought crime through traditional police work by combining investigative and patrol divisions to address incidents as they occurred. With the new EMACC, the Oxford Police Department can now react with improved speed and situational awareness. These new capabilities will increase response times, improve officer safety, and diminish crime throughout the region. This new technology represents the forward-thinking direction law enforcement is taking, as indicated by Chief Partridge who said at the unveiling, “What you see is law enforcement in the 21st century and what we think, over the next ten years, you’re going to see across our state and across our country.”

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