CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Ogden Police using live video feeds to aid in situations like hoax lockdown

Mar 30, 2023, 3:00 PM

ogden police and other agencies are pictured at high school...

Police maintain a presence after responding to false threats of shots fired at Ogden High School in Ogden on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. Police agencies along the Wasatch Front and northern Utah responded to similar reports of school violence on Wednesday morning. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

OGDEN, Utah — Ogden High School was just one of several schools that went into lockdown on Wednesday after a call falsely reported an active shooter. Ogden City Police swarmed the school and called their access to the school’s live video feed a “tremendous” help in the situation.

The OCPD was able to give the all-clear on Wednesday after sweeping the school for threats.

The director of OCPD’s Area Tactical Analysis Center, David Wheloth, joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss the lockdown and the department’s access to live school video feeds.

The Ogden High lockdown

Wheloth said the OCPD and the Weber and Ogden School Districts entered into an agreement years ago. The partnership allows police access to OSD schools’ live feeds.

That agreement came in handy on Wednesday.

According to Wheloth, when police got the now-debunked call reporting an active shooter, an analyst began pulling up the live video feeds at Ogden High.

The analyst searched through the feeds to find anything that could help the school resource officer and responding officers.

“What we were seeing — or what we weren’t seeing — were any activities that would support what the caller had claimed,” Wheloth recalled.

There were no panicked people running through the school and no one in the school was carrying a weapon.

The Tactical Analysis Center

According to Wheloth, a center like OCPD’s Tactical Analysis Center is unusual for a city the size of Ogden.

But, the center doesn’t just provide resources to the city of Ogden.

“Any law enforcement entity that needs our support, we’re open to that.”

Wheloth said the OCPD has hundreds of cameras their center can tap into.

Most of those cameras protect city assets and aren’t very beneficial to police because of their tucked-away locations.

But, cameras in parking lots, trailheads and within the business district are beneficial, Wheloth said.

“If we have an incident up there, we can go and access the recordings or if it’s an unfolding event, like what happened yesterday, look at the live views and communicate to the first responders who are on site.”

Privacy concerns

Critics of the Tactical Analysis Center have expressed concerns about police having that much access to the public.

But Wheloth said the police department doesn’t give blanket access to the center. Instead, it’s limited.

“We want to remember that with any resource, there is room for abuse and we don’t want that to happen.”

Listen to the full segment here:

 

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Ogden Police using live video feeds to aid in situations like hoax lockdown