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The RNC is over, but the cameras remain. The City Council met to discuss their future on September 20th 2012 and the Mayor declined to send anyone, resulting in an upset council and public. The topic was considered again on October 4th and the council was fairly soundly against the cameras, going as far as getting an attorney involved to try and combat Mayor Bob Buckhorn who unilaterly decided to keep the cameras without input from the public or the City Council.

Tampa is watching you thanks to the 2012 RNC

Tampa installed dozens of high-def CCTV cameras in advance of the 2012 RNC which took place August 27th through August 30th. Despite the event being over, the cameras have remained up. The convention is over, but the eye in the sky continues to watch. The cameras are fairly easy to spot, but to save you the time we have canvassed the downtown area and mapped out the cameras. If you're using a mobile device we can show you the closest cameras to where you are and even where to look.


View camera map


What it looks like

  • RNCCTV works as a standalone iOS app

    Just bookmark and choose to save to home screen

  • RNCCTV highlights nearby cameras

    Red means the camera can probably see you (unless obstructed).

  • The CCTV cameras look like this

    Thanks to the wireless network antennas they all stand out

Camera and network specs

Aware Digital was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to install about 90 high-def cameras around the downtown area and a wireless network to connect the cameras. 63 of the cameras have pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ in CCTV lingo) capabilities which means that they can be remotely aimed and the zoom is an impressive 20x optical. 31 fixed point cameras have been installed, mostly to watch the Tampa Police Department and its parking garage. We have concentrated on mapping the cameras meant to watch you.

According to the city's RFP, the project includes:

Storage

Videos will be stored for four years on Blue-Ray discs. The cameras starting recording on August 5th 2012 and were required record through September 1st at minimum. There is a City Council meeting on September 20th to discuss the future of the cameras.

There is software monitoring all the cameas that can "intelligently" recognize abnormal behavior (see BRSLabs AISight for how this works). Up to 300 moving objects (AKA citizens) can be tracked in a single frame.

Usefulness

The RNC was the first major party political convention in modern history without a large protest presence. Law enforcement officers outnumbered protestors by at least 5 to 1 and at times 10 to 1. There were only two arrests made during the four day convention, significantly less than would be made in any normal four day period in Tampa. The $2,000,0000 camera installation did not aide in these arrests and helped solve zero crimes. For most of the convention the cameras were witnessing empty streets, broken only by large patrols of police.