BriefCam at Work In Safe Cities

Law Enforcement Agencies Combat Crime, Improve Public Safety, and Foster Economic Development with BriefCam Video Content Analytics


From local police forces to military units and federal agencies, law enforcement worldwide relies on video surveillance to collect intelligence and evidence crucial for preserving order, protecting citizens and increasing security. Most cities and towns have video surveillance systems, but not all of them leverage those systems effectively. By collecting and structuring video data, BriefCam’s video content analytics (VCA) technology enables law enforcement agencies to efficiently visualize and analyze video content.


  • Processes video to make it searchable, actionable and quantifiable. By identifying objects in video footage – such as clothing, bags, vehicles, animals, and other items– and indexing them, hours of video can be reviewed in minutes, easily searched and quickly comprehended.
  • Enables the collection of evidence and intelligence based on a powerful set of distinct search combinations. Offering 27 classes and attributes, in addition to face recognition, speed, path, direction, dwell time, appearance similarity, color, and size, video can be filtered with speed and precision.


  • Triggers real-time notifications when individuals of interest or suspicious activity is detected, based on face recognition and behaviors, such as loitering, jaywalking, entering restricted areas and more. This empowers officers to be more responsive and proactive as situations develop.
  • Increases situational awareness by triggering real-time count-based alerts based on customizable dynamic rules, such as when a specified number of objects or a concurrent number of objects appear in a predefined area within a certain time period.


  • Renders customizable reports and dashboards to indicate human and vehicular traffic patterns. Enabling urban planners and law enforcement agencies to better understand and optimize the flow of people, cars, public transport vehicles, and even bicycles.
  • Detects trends, such as traffic throughput and crowding trends, so law enforcement can assess areas of interest or monitor for potential threats.



The Springfield, Massachusetts Police Department launched its Real-Time Analysis Center (R-TAC) three years ago as part of its commitment to using the newest tools of the digital age to give officers the most current information for real time crime analysis and situational awareness. The BriefCam VCA software is an integral component of the R-TAC because it allows analysts to quickly review footage from traffic cameras at any of several dozen locations around the city. Analysts can condense hours of footage into a couple of minutes and enable police to pinpoint objects of interest, filtering out irrelevant objects.

When a 911 call comes in, dispatchers coordinate the address on the map with the nearest traffic cameras in the area to see if there is footage of potential suspects coming or going. If there’s a description of a car fleeing the scene, they can quickly review footage from cameras nearby, filtering out traffic that does not match the description. Working with information in real-time increases officer and civilian safety as officers respond to incidents. During a recent fatal shooting incident, R-TAC analysts were able to quickly view several perspectives of the crime scene via
different cameras, and deliver timely, accurate and actionable information to the responding officers.

“There’s a lot more it [BriefCam] can do. It’s a phenomenal tool that allows us to operate pretty quickly up here.”

William Schwarz, Director, Springfield Police Crime Analysis Unit


To track and deter crime, the Chicago Police Department has a new high-tech analytics center that leverages tens of thousands of police and private-sector video surveillance cameras, as well as gunshot detection platforms, predictive mapping and data analytics. The CPD combines BriefCam video analytics with other capabilities enabling state-of-the-art investigative techniques. Thanks to video content analytics and traditional police detective work, it didn’t take long for the Chicago, IL police to crack a highly unusual and high-profile case of an alleged hate crime early in 2019.

Jussie Smollett, the actor from the hit TV series “Empire,” had claimed to be the victim of a homophobic and racist attack. To isolate video segments relevant to the Smollett case, police detectives used the BriefCam advanced video analytics tools to quickly search through video segments from hundreds of cameras, according to Jonathan H. Lewin, Chief of CPD’s Bureau of
Technical Services. The video analytics and CPD interviews with suspects led to the arrest of Smollett.

“Video from inside the vehicle, along with a series of public and private cameras on the North side of the city, allowed investigators to track the subject’s movement backwards to where they came from prior to the attack, which ultimately led to their identification.

Jonathan H. Lewin, Chief of the Bureau of Technical Services, Chicago Police Department


The Coeur Cote Fleurie Community encompasses multiple municipalities along the Normandy coast in France, which work together, to streamline operations, development and planning for the territory. Video surveillance plays an important role in the communities’ digital infrastructure, but the review and monitoring of video demands significant time and manpower. The Community implemented BriefCam’s video analysis platform in 2016, to help law enforcement – including the local governments, municipal police, national police and gendarmerie – streamline video review and evidence extraction.

The technology has been used for supporting investigations, detecting traffic violations and recognizing traffic patterns throughout the territory. Law enforcement can search for specific objects or people of interest and for driving investigations where there are few known facts about the target. Real-time alerts can be configured to notify police of traffic violations, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed. This empowers police to respond, if necessary, but also to identify trending violations and consider whether infrastructural changes can be made to prevent this
misconduct, support better urban planning over time and proactively plan for expected changes in traffic.

“By delegating video review tasks to BriefCam, we are able to more quickly understand security incidents and trends throughout the region. The ability to accelerate investigations saves our law enforcement tremendous research and investigation time – especially in cases with large volumes of video footage to review.

Dominique Marchive, T.I.C Manager, Coeur Cote Fleurie Community

Download the BriefCam at Work in Safe Cities Case Study