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Nadine Wimmer reporting A growing number of businesses are turning to surveillance video to deter crime. And now police have a more advanced way of turning fuzzy gray pictures into a better eyewitness.
It's one thing to have the video. It's another thing to be able to use it. We've seen video from banks, stores, gas stations. The picture is often too grainy or dark to provide a clear image.
What if you could take regular surveillance video and turn it into a clearer picture? Then police would really have something to work with.
And now, they do. With the click of a button, they can sharpen video, enhance color, all the tricks that help turn surveillance to suspects.
Sgt. Kurt Bean/ Pleasant Grove Police Dept.: "There is always details in the background and maybe you can pick that up and say, 'Hey, look at this.' It might help solve a crime."
And it has. All over the state, police are solving crimes using this innovative technology.
Two weeks ago, Salt Lake police were looking for a man who robbed a downtown bank. Using similar software, police adjusted the color and sharpness of the video and within 24-hours, had their man.
It not only triggers public tips but agencies work to help each other.
Sgt. Kurt Bean: "Within ten minutes someone from Lehi and American Fork and Alpine will email back and say, 'Yeah, we know who that is,' and say, 'This is so and so. [We] know where he lives, we dealt with him last week.'"
Police use forensic surveillance to help identify cars, license plates, even clothing.
Sgt. Kurt Bean: "Video is its own witness. Video speaks for itself."
This technology is very helpful, but also expensive. Many police departments rely on federal grants to buy it.