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CTA wants to catch criminals with high-definition cameras

The CTA says it’s stepping up efforts to catch criminals on trains by adding high-definition cameras in 850 older model rail cars.

By 2015, “virtually all” trains will be equipped with cameras, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said.

The ones to be upgraded include the 3200-series trains, which run on the Brown Line, and the 2600-series trains, the agency’s oldest cars. Each rail car will be equipped with an on-board recording device and four 360-degree high definition cameras, which the CTA says will provide the same surveillance coverage as that of the seven cameras installed on the newest generation of rail cars, the 5000 series cars.

Two others series trains, 2200 and 2400, won’t get the upgrade because they will soon be replaced by new cars, Chase said.

The 5000 series trains have cameras on every car, and are already running on the Pink Line. They will ultimately replace rail cars on both the Green and Red lines.

The installation of cameras on older trains began last week and will take seven months.

More than 3,600 cameras are currently installed across the CTA system, including train stations. Up to 10 cameras are on each bus in a fleet of 1,800 vehicles. CTA President Forrest Claypool says the cameras are making an impact on crime.

“In the span of eight months – with less than 15 percent of rail fleet equipped with cameras and operating on three of our eight rail lines – images pulled from our 5000 series rail cars have assisted police in the apprehension of at least 14 offenders in connection with 15 cases,” Claypool said in a statement. “With more cameras, we will be able to step up our efforts to fight crime on the system.”

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