City’s CCTV command center cites breakthroughs

Barely a month since its soft launching, the city’s Public Security and Surveillance Coordinating Office Command Center reported breakthroughs in the operation of closed circuit cameras installed in strategic locations in the city proper.

Command Center Operations Head Cris Mandi said the state of the art security surveillance facility has been able to solve a number of robbery cases in business establishments, vehicular accidents as well as pickpockets.

Specifically, Mandi cited the robbery incident at a business establishment in Mayor Climaco Avenue where at least 10 people were arrested and eventually charged for the loss of over P100,000 in cash.

Other incidents prevented and or cases solved include pickpocketing in downtown streets as well as vehicular accidents where due to the presence of surveillance cameras, accountabilities have been clearly pinpointed.

“We were also able to take action on suspicious-looking persons (lurking the streets or establishments),” Mandi told the press briefing Monday in City Hall, adding that the surveillance cameras also made possible real time reporting of traffic accidents on streets paving the way for faster police response.

But despite the early breakthroughs, Mandi said the additional cameras covering all major intersections is imperative to ensure full coverage and security in all areas of the city’s central business district and the surrounding barangays.

Also, the proposed ordinance requiring all business establishments to install CCTV in their premises should be pursued to strengthen the security and surveillance system.

With all these plans on the pipeline, Mandi is looking forward to the implementation of the ‘no contact apprehensions of violators of traffic rules such as counter flowing and the like as well as the anti-littering and anti-smoking laws and other regulations or city ordinances and laws.

The Security Surveillance project, launched last May 7 is a priority project of Mayor Beng Climaco under her Security Health and Education program. The command center,  is a  state-of-the-art nerve center of all surveillance cameras being installed in the different strategic locations in the city proper, making Zamboanga the first local government unit in Zamboanga Peninsula to have established such a modern security and surveillance facility. Mindanao-wide, Zamboanga is second to Davao City. (Sheila Covarrubias)