Ohio scraps its state-wide camera integration project

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03/09/2011

It's always disappointing when good ideas don't materialize. I was very excited to blog in October about Ohio's plans to integrate thousands of video cameras to provide law enforcement and other officials with improved ability to view cameras owned by public and private entities. Here's what I wrote in my blog about the Camera Integration Project:

And, it’s heartening to know that the government (local and federal) as well as private organizations have the ability to learn from past incidents, aim to change it, and actually receive the resources to do so.

Well, now I'm disheartened that the funding for this initiative was pulled. According to this article the primary reason was money. Obviously. It's always about money.

Ohio Homeland Security director Rob Glenn told the Associated Press that the state can use the $234,000 that was originally set aside for the integration project "to develop a capability that benefits everybody."

One consideration is implementing GPS and computer modeling systems that could provide more useful information to state agencies both before and after disasters such as tornadoes or flooding, he said.

Emergency management is obviously critical for all states (and our country as a whole), but so is making the video systems in place actually useful to a wider body of officials. And, it has an emergency management component. Can you imagine the situational awareness from being able to quickly pull up a camera, hundreds of miles away, and be able to determine what resources are needed?

What do you think? Was Ohio's decision a good one?