Live feed from cameras in Las Vegas buses not yet available

Updated August 30, 2017 - 5:50 pm

Plans to stream live footage from surveillance cameras mounted inside local buses didn’t help police during a standoff Wednesday afternoon in northeast Las Vegas.

Real-time camera feeds won’t be provided to law enforcement officials until the end of the year, said Carl Scarbrough, the director of technical equipment and transit amenities for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

RTC workers were at the scene to assist Metro police with the standoff near Nellis Boulevard and Bonanza Road, agency officials said.

“This incident further demonstrates the need for a live camera feed inside our buses that can be easily shared with law enforcement,” RTC spokeswoman Angela Castro said. “The RTC is currently testing such a pilot program and hopes to obtain all necessary approvals to install the software system-wide by year-end.”

Efforts to relay live footage from the RTC’s transit system started shortly after Metro police could not see another gunman barricaded inside an RTC bus during a lengthy standoff on the Strip on March 25.

Before that can happen, the RTC board in October will consider how to provide that live-stream service.

It will cost $225,000 to provide live footage if the RTC can use existing wireless internet routers on the agency’s fleet of 440 buses, Scarbrough said. The price could more than double, however, to roughly $500,000 if the agency has to upgrade the system with additional equipment.

The RTC and Metro police have spent several months testing the system on a bus that primarily operates on Route 206, which runs along Charleston Boulevard between Downtown Summerlin and Sloan Lane in the east valley.

During the March standoff, a giant vinyl advertisement covered the widows of a doubled-decker Deuce bus parked in front of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas during a standoff that lasted more than four hours.

The suspect, Rolando Cardenas, could see outside the shaded windows, but police could not see him. He was later arrested without incident.

RTC officials had tested other types of vinyl coverings but found they made little difference, Scarbrough said. The agency will continue to use the same type of material for the wrap-around ads.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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