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Security team watching NATO activity from secret location

Illinois National Guard CaptaDustCammack left Troy LU.S. Secret Service talk Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC) Thursday May 17 2012. The MACC

Illinois National Guard Captain Dustin Cammack, left, and Troy Land of the U.S. Secret Service talk at the Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC) Thursday, May 17, 2012. The MACC is the central point of communications for the agencies involved in security efforts for the NATO summit. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 1, 2012 11:36AM

From a secret suburban Chicago location, officials from more than 40 different agencies sit side by side with a giant central screen before them.

If necessary over the NATO Summit weekend, everyone in the room will be able to view live video feeds from security cameras that are already up and running throughout the city.

The goal of the Multi-Agency Command Center — with agencies including the FBI, Chicago Police Department, Illinois Department of Public Health and ÎIllinois National Guard — is to quickly take in and share all kinds of information over NATO weekend.

The center was open for a media tour on Thursday, though only on the condition that its precise location not be disclosed.

Chicago Police Capt. Hootan Bahmandeji showed how, on his laptop, he could call up a specific camera and have immediate access to “a bunch” of real-time street-scene videos over more than a dozen locations.

“We’re using all of our resources, whatever helps out,” Bahmandeji said.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice said that any camera available to the Office of Emergency Management Center would be accessible, including one at Grant Park, where protests are planned.

The video though was just one tool available to the center, which also will have a feed of various incidents happening over the weekend including power outages on certain areas.“Everybody’s represented here to cover every possibility,” said U.S. Secret Service Spokesman George Ogilvie.

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