UPDATE (10/11/2023): On Wednesday, IMPD released the following statement regarding its relationship with Watchman Security:
“IMPD and Watchman Security have an existing public safety relationship, which predated the new technology announcement made by Watchman Security. Watchman Security shares information with IMPD’s Real-Time Crime Center reference suspicious or criminal activity using Watchman’s various technologies. As with other information from security companies, IMPD officers use the information as lead or investigative information. IMPD appreciates the on-going relationship with Watchman Security and will continue to partner with third-parties to enhance public safety for Indianapolis.“
– Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Original story below.
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indy security company is rolling out a new gun detection program using artificial intelligence.
Right now it’s focused on the northwest side of the city but the hope is to use it across the entire city.
“This is like Neighborhood Watch 2.0,” said Austin Smith, CEO of Watchman Security.
However, the neighborhood watch won’t be patrolling the streets, they’ll be sitting in what’s called a neighborhood command center. That’s where employees will monitor feeds from hundreds of cameras.
Smith calls it the “OneWatch” program.
“It gives you the ability to detect things before incidents occur,” Smith explained.
The center will be using an artificial intelligence program known as ZeroEyes to spot guns within seconds of them being brandished. Human monitors will determine if it’s a threat and then dispatch police to the scene.
The program applies the software to existing security cameras. The AI software detects a firearm which then alerts the command center. If it is a threat, building security and local police will get an alert.
“It doesn’t hurt to get a little more help. It doesn’t hurt to get a little more resources and that’s what this is,” Smith said. “It’s just another resource to support what’s already being done.”
The system also has built-in protection to prevent false alarms. Each alert and image goes through three steps of verification.
“We have the AI, we’ve got human verification and then we also have our center verifying and then we pass it to IMPD,” Smith explained.
Smith said his company is already monitoring more than 600 cameras across the northwest side of the city. The hope is to test it out and then spread it across the entire city.
The program does come with a cost which Smith said hasn’t been determined yet. However, he did say there would be affordable plans for those who need it.
You can find more information on the program here.