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CTA Getting Thousands Of New HD Surveillance Cameras

CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) -- The CTA has announced a $33 million program to install thousands of new high definition cameras, as well as new video monitors at its train stations.

The "Safe and Secure" program would upgrade 3,800 older-model cameras across the CTA system to high definition models. Another 1,000 high definition cameras would be added to the agency's existing surveillance network.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the security upgrade would be funded with revenue from the increased fee on ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

"Just shy of 5,000 – about 4,800 – high definition cameras that are going to be installed throughout the system of the CTA; every line will have it, and the stations," he said.

Cameras also will be watching areas just outside train stations, according to the mayor.

CTA President Dorval Carter said staff will be monitoring cameras when crime occurs at its stations.

"One of the reasons why we're putting monitors in all of our booths for our [attendants] is so that they have the ability to actually see in real time what's happening," he said.

The mayor said CTA cameras make a difference for passengers and police.

"In fact, there are three people in custody right now; suspects who will be charged in a couple days, that pictures from the CTA camera played a key role in the police being able to actually get the individuals," he said.

In addition to the new cameras and monitors, the security upgrades will include new lighting, and other repairs and improvements at all 146 CTA rail stations.

In all, the CTA has more than 23,000 cameras; making its bus and train surveillance network one of the nation's largest.

According to the CTA, its camera network has aided in the arrests of more than 900 people since 2011, including at least 20 murder suspects who were caught on or near CTA property.

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