Sophie Bolich

MPD Seeks Partners For New Camera Network

Partnerships with residents and businesses allow MPD to tap into network of surveillance footage across the city.

By - Aug 10th, 2023 03:40 pm
Paul Schwartz (left), Cavalier Johnson, Mike Maistelman and Jeffrey Norman at a press conference. Photo taken Aug. 10, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Paul Schwartz (left), Cavalier Johnson, Mike Maistelman and Jeffrey Norman at a press conference. Photo taken Aug. 10, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman, Mayor Cavalier Johnson and other city officials gathered Thursday morning to announce the launch of Community Connect Milwaukee, an investigative tool touted as “a real-time crime center in the cloud.”

The opt-in program allows businesses and community members to register their security cameras with the Milwaukee Police Department via an online platform called Fusus. The result is an interactive map of cameras across the city and, in some cases, direct access to surveillance footage.

“Building real partnerships between our residents, businesses and our police department is key to a successful public safety landscape,” Norman said. “Community Connect Milwaukee will enable us to operate more efficiently to create a safer city for all of our residents.”

Participating camera holders are able to choose between two levels of involvement.

“Camera registration” informs MPD of a camera located at the address, but does not give investigators direct access to footage. In the case of a crime, officers can contact camera holders directly in order to view video evidence related to the incident.

“Camera integration” takes that one step further, allowing MPD to access camera feeds in case of a nearby emergency. Camera integration requires a fususCORE device, which can cost between $350 and $7,300 — depending on storage capabilities and subscription plan.

Community Connect Milwaukee promises to increase officers’ efficiency, enhance emergency preparedness and assist in hastening investigations — all while maintaining privacy.

The mayor, anticipating questions about the latter, posed a question at Thursday’s press conference. “Is this some sort of dystopian technology that infringes on rights and privacy?” he asked.

“The answer to that question is no,” he answered. “There are cameras presently all over Milwaukee, and police investigators frequently seek images from those cameras to establish facts and identify criminals.”

The public website for Community Connect Milwaukee shows 36 integrated cameras already online as part of the program. Several of those likely belong to the Milwaukee Public Market; the market is a vocal supporter of the new technology.

“We’ve seen a resurgence in economic activity and private investment in our district since the pandemic,” said Paul Schwartz, executive director of the Milwaukee Public Market and its owner, Historic Third Ward – Business Improvement District #2. “We want to continue to see that growth, and we’ve done so by taking initiatives and a proactive approach to safety and security measures.”

Schwartz said there are approximately 130 cameras throughout the market and nearby parking areas.

The program’s upfront cost was covered by funding from the Milwaukee Police Foundation, as well as a private donation from Mill Valley Recycling in Walker’s Point; however, it will come with an annual price tag of $125,000. MPD said it’s hopeful that the amount will be covered by donations.

Milwaukee’s program is modeled after the same technology currently in use in Atlanta; the city’s network has 17,627 registered cameras and 16,314 integrated cameras. In January 2022, Atlanta Police credited the technology with facilitating the arrest of a shooting suspect.

For more information, visit To register or integrate cameras, visit

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Categories: Public Safety

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