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City of Cincinnati Security and Surveillance


Cincinnati is the third largest city in the state of Ohio. Since 2008, the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) has expanded its citywide surveillance efforts to manage over 200 cameras and enhanced collaboration with many agencies using the Omnicast video surveillance system.

The City of Cincinnati, which is often referred to as the Queen City, has nearly 300,000 Cincinnatians living in the downtown core and over 2.2 million residents in the surrounding metropolitan area. This influx of citizens has made Cincinnati the third largest city in the state of Ohio, and the 65th most populous city in the United States. Situated on the border between the states of Ohio and Kentucky, the city of Cincinnati lies in a wide basin on the north bank of the Ohio River, and draws in over 2 million visitors each year.

The company

The Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) understood the importance of having video surveillance and other advanced security technologies to keep its citizens safe; investing in its first Security Center Omnicast™ in 2008. Over time, the benefits of the video management system prompted the CPD to expand their Omnicast system to fire districts. Since then, they have been expanding their citywide surveillance efforts and enhancing collaboration between departments to keep communities safe.

The challenge

“By no means does the VMS take the place of the police officers, but it gives us the ability to view more areas. Omnicast allows us to see what’s happening in real-time and respond efficiently.”

Barry Whitton, Computer Systems Analyst, Technology and Systems Section, Cincinnati Police Department


Today, the City of Cincinnati has close to 200 cameras spread throughout five city districts which are all managed from the Genetec Omnicast video surveillance system. Having the ability to instantly playback video directly from the live video frame during an emergency, has been the most impactful time-saving feature for the CPD Real Time Crime Center (RTCC), whose officers handle all investigations.

Beyond the RTCC, other Cincinnati city departments such as the 911 Dispatch Center and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and maritime entities have access to the system. Operationally, even the Cincinnati Public Works and Traffic Engineering Departments are using the system to monitor weather conditions on city thoroughfares, spot hazardous debris on roadways and monitor major roadway construction projects.

The solution

Collaborating with other agencies

The CPD has partnerships with various city agencies. One of them is the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority who provides permission-based access to systems which monitor their properties.

Speedy response and investigations

If there’s an incident, RTCC operators can view real-time video and then see what happened only moments before. Then, it’s a few more mouse clicks to bookmark and protect the video.

In-the-field mobile viewing

The CPD uses the mobile app to monitor covert investigations, “so they can be watching live video right around the corner from the operation, and react quickly when necessary,” explained Whitton.

Secure system access

The City of Cincinnati set up strict user privileges and audit reporting to ensure that only those with permission access certain cameras and system functionalities.

Security Center Omnicast