WPS applying for funding to upgrade and expand traffic camera system

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The Windsor Police Service is applying for $200,000 in provincial funding to upgrade and expand the traffic camera system across the city.

The funding application is the third phase of the Ontario Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Grant program, helping to replace outdated equipment, enhance current technology, and expand CCTV camera coverage.

Windsor has already received funding from the program following two previously successful grant applications.

The Ontario government announced in 2020 that $6 million would be made available over three years, grant money to cover 50 per cent of the costs associated with buying and installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and supplies. The rest of the cost would be covered by the individual municipality.

Matt Caplin, Director of Information Technology for the Windsor Police Service, says while this traffic camera modernization project has been going on since 2020, they are constantly looking at where they could make improvements.

"So this round of grants is looking at servicing underserviced areas with respect to the city's fibre optic network and traffic cameras, primarily the east side," he says. "So Wyandotte Street East, Riverside Drive East and some of the south end of the city that is underserviced by the city fibre optic network right now."

Caplin points out the traffic cameras are used by both police and the city.

"There is a lot of residual benefits to this, like traffic studies. When you optimize traffic, you have environmental improvements. These rounds of grants are paying dividends on a number of levels and it's allowing more insight into traffic flow around the city," he says.

Caplin says fibre optic cables are needed to install the cameras.

"That fibre optic cable can not only be used for cameras, it can be used for traffic management, networking, data, voice around the city for municipal government and multiple levels of government. It really modernizes the way the municipality is able to operate," he adds.

Windsor has around 80 traffic cameras already in place.