Monday, September 29, 2014

While On the Bay: Smile, You're On Candid Camera

NRP boats now have live video streaming capability
The Maryland Natural Resources Police recently added another tool to help fulfill its role as the state’s maritime homeland security agency.

NRP boats now have live video streams. Before, the video feed on boats could only be stored locally and downloaded once the boat was docked.

Candy Thomson, public information officer with the NRP, said officers patrol a lot of area, with 140 vessels covering the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000 square miles of watershed.

“That’s a lot of water, and often they’re patrolling alone, so often, backup can be quite a distance away,” Thomson said. “With real-time video, our communications center can look at it, can be there for them, not only for their safety, but also watching a scene develop.”

Besides officer safety, the live video feed also could help in matters of public safety. Thomson said the live video feed will help the NRP in emergency situations.
Despite the "police state" aspect of this, I don't have any problems with the NRP having this capability. It's pretty much the same as police having a dash cam and a live feed.

I would also guess they don't have the man power to have any significant number of these feeds monitored.

Despite having 140 boats, it's relatively rare to encounter an NRP boat outside the high traffic areas around the major cities. A few years ago, the fleet was largely grounded due to high fuel costs. I haven't heard of that issue recently however.

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