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Owens Announces Panel Approval of Funding Requested for NY Sheriffs

WASHINGTON – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Science and Justice recently approved Congressman Bill Owens’ funding request for the New York State Sheriff’s Association for a law enforcement visual intelligence technology project to be deployed in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties. The technology, known as Pictometry, will provide all local agencies operating within the counties a common visual imagery tool to jointly manage law enforcement and border patrol activities.

“I am pleased this critical project was included in the subcommittee’s recommendation for 2011 law enforcement funding, but we still have a long way to go to secure this funding,” said Owens. “The support of this project will continue to make our streets safer and give our officers the tools they need to do their jobs. Our men and women in uniform risk their lives every day for us and I am glad that we have taken a step in the direction of helping to improve their technology.”

Unlike traditional visual intelligence systems that rely on only a top-down view of an area, Pictometry captures images from an angle to create a more natural three-dimensional view so that users can see land features and structures clearly and in their entirety. Within seconds, a law enforcement officer can view and analyze any house, building, intersection, fire hydrant, tree or any feature in the county from their laptop, workstation, or mobile device. Over 900 counties nationwide currently use Pictometry technology.

“This is only the first step in the process, but we are fortunate to clear the first hurdle to secure funding for this project,” added Owens. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure this project continues to move along and is approved by the president.”

Now that the subcommittee has approved the funding, it must also be approved by the full committee before it can be brought to the House floor for a vote. Once the bill is passed in the House, it must then be approved by the Senate before it can be considered by the president.