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Public Safety

Flooding – America’s No. 1 Natural Hazard

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6 Safety Tips from the City

1) Know your flood hazard

It is important for residents to find out if their property falls in an area where flooding
is a hazard. Properties located in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) contain
floodplain or are flood prone. Contact Katherine Francesconi kfrancesconi@peachtreecornersga.gov or the City of Peachtree Corner’s Floodplain Map to find out if your property is located in the SFHA.

2) Insure your property for flood hazard
Not only is it mandatory for a property located in the SFHA to purchase flood
insurance, but it is a wise decision to do so. Consider purchasing flood insurance
before the storm and contact your insurance agent.

3) Practice Flood Safety

Deceptive in nature, floods can quickly become life-threatening. Listening for flood
warnings on local television stations and having an evacuation plan in place is key to
avoiding dangerous situations. Note that a flood watch means conditions are favorable
for flash flooding while a flood warning means that flash flooding is about to happen.
DO NOT drive through a flood area and DO NOT walk through flowing water (one foot
of flowing water can sweep you away).

4) Protect your property

You can protect your property by floodproofing basements, ensuring downspouts are
pointed downhill and away from home, store valuables in waterproof containers. The
City provides one-on-one advice specific to your property about how you could better
equip your property to be resistant to flood damage. If you would like to discuss
possibilities of improvement, please contact our Stormwater Engineer, Katherine
Francesconi via email at kfrancesconi@peachtreecornersga.gov or by telephone, (470)
395-7033 to schedule an appointment.

5) Build Responsibly

Prior to any building, please contact the Building Department at (470) 550-1729.
Building in the floodplain can cause water levels to rise, worsening flooding. Land
development changes the natural hydrologic system and forces water to find a new
path.

6) Protect natural floodplain functions

Peachtree Corners is located along the Chattahoochee River and has a number of
small streams and tributaries throughout the city. Washing any trash or debris into our
stormwater system and environment, directly impacts our floodplain and drinking
water supplies.

This is a public service announcement to bring awareness to the various resources provided by
the City of Peachtree Corners for floodplain awareness. Peachtree Corners is bordered by the
Chattahoochee River to the north and also contains tributaries and streams throughout the
City.

Flooding damage can occur due to large rainfall events or when the natural flow of water is
redirected. A wealth of information may be found on the City’s Floodplain Management
webpage that pertains to:

• Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) – the only legal document allowed to be used by
lenders to write a flood insurance policy.
• Floodway Data – Properties located in or near the floodplain have special regulatory
requirements for development. Prior to any building construction, please apply for a
building permit
• Special flood-related hazards – such as local drainage problems, areas predicted to be
flooded in the future, and erosion
• Approximate Depth of Flooding – information about how deep flood waters can be
anticipated on a property can be provided
• Historical flood information – to find out if a property has been flooded in the past or
is a repetitive loss
• Wetlands and Natural Conservation Data – areas mapped in the: National Wetlands
Inventory, critical habitat by the US Fish and Wildlife Services, areas receiving natural
floodplain functions
• Flood Insurance – it is mandatory for a property located in the Special Flood Hazard
Area (SFHA) to purchase flood insurance

Please visit the City’s Floodplain management webpage.

Property Protection Advice:
The City provides one-on-one advice specific to your property. If you are concerned and have
any questions pertaining to flood insurance or are in need of any flood protection advice,
please contact the City’s Certified Floodplain Manager, Katherine Francesconi at
kfrancesconi@peachtreecornersga.gov to schedule an on-site appointment or discussions can
take place over the telephone or in person.

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Peachtree Corners Life

How will Fusus Affect Community Safety and Life in Cities Like Peachtree Corners?

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Technology has advanced so much in the realm of safety and surveillance. While in the past, surveillance cameras could help police officers solve a crime after it happens, there are technologies that allow law enforcement to catch criminals in rapid response. Peachtree Corners based company Fūsus is solving these problems in crime response and detection with some amazing technology. CEO Chris Linendau, guest on today’s episode of Peachtree Corners Life, sits down with Rico to discuss exactly how that technology works and will be integrated into our community.

Listen to “How will Fusus Affect Community Safety and Life in Cities Like Peachtree Corners” on Spreaker.

Resources:

Fūsus Website: https://www.fusus.com

Connect Peachtree Corners: https://connectpeachtreecorners.org

Timestamp Where to find it in the podcast:

[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:02:10] – About Chris and His Background
[00:04:03] – Fūsus Presence in Peachtree Corners
[00:06:18] – The Registry and How it Operates
[00:11:48] – Working with Pre Recorded and Live Video
[00:13:48] – AI and Recognition Technology
[00:17:21] – Second Phase Roll Out
[00:18:59] – Working Across Agencies
[00:24:53] – Choosing Peachtree Corners as a Business Location
[00:28:05] – Closing

“We’re not just talking about being able to solve crime faster. You’re talking about possibly interdicting, actually responding to an incident in real time. And if you think about law enforcement and they talk about that golden 48 hours.., you’ve got really the highest probability of capturing the suspect in that first 48. Well, let’s talk about the first 48 minutes. Think about how much we can do in real time.”

Chris Lindenau

Podcast Transcript

[00:00:30] Rico: Hi everyone, this is Rico Figliolini host of Peachtree Corners Life, and several other podcasts that covers the City of Peachtree Corners. We have a great show today that we’re gonna be talking with Chris Lindenau, CEO of Fūsus, which is actually based in Peachtree Corners. Hey Chris, how are you?

[00:00:46] Chris: Hello Rico. Thanks for having me on.

[00:00:48] Rico: Sure, absolutely. Before we get into the show, I just want to introduce our sponsor, which is EV Remodeling. They’ve been a corporate sponsor of ours for the past few months. And they’ve been supporting our journalism, not only on these podcasts, but through the magazines that we publish. So you can reach out to them. They’ve been a great supporter of ours. They are also based in Peachtree Corners. So speak to Eli, who’s the owner at EV Remodeling Inc. And you can find that at EVRemodelingInc.com. So let’s get right into it. Technology has advanced so much as far as the last few years. And we’ve gone from, you know, having a Ring on the door, on the front door, just to see if that UPS package came or if it’s been taken. But nothing else to be able to do with this. Some people say, well, you know some of this technology is really not helpful except that it shows maybe in the post event of what happened that maybe some crime occurred. And maybe sometimes it could be used to find someone. But in the move from going from Ring and smart devices that’s out there, to a bigger drive of not just private and commercial safety, but community safety, there’s been a big void, right? I mean, you have Ring, you have a bunch of other devices out there. And even when I look at my home and say, well, I can have several different devices, they’re not all talking to each other.

[00:02:10] Chris: Right.

[00:02:10] Rico: You’ve sort of solved that. Right, Chris? I mean, your background is military. I mean, it’s a great background to have, coming into this. So in fact, let me take a step back. Give me a short two minute bio, if you will, of your background in your experience, and then we’ll jump right into the rest of it.

[00:02:26] Chris: Sure. Former military officer, graduated from the Naval academy. Like so many, you know, military personnel kind of transitioning into the private sector, you kind of think about, what’s next? I always kind of had an affinity for technology. It was always something that I enjoyed. So I decided to get into the manufacturing sector pretty early on in my private sector career. First with Panasonic, and then eventually transitioned to a large space and defense manufacturer called MOOG. Building a lot of things for, you know, the likes of General Dynamics and Raytheon. And then subsequent to that I actually, for the first time in my career got involved in public safety with a company called Utility that was building among other things, body cameras and in-car video systems for law enforcement. And so if you look at where we are now, and the company that I founded back in June of 2019, it was really an amalgamation of all of these different skill sets that I’ve kind of picked up. Not only in my private sector career, but also prior to that, my military career.

[00:03:25] Rico: Wow. Just a lot of background in safety and crime and helping certain agencies like that. And you’re right. I have a lot of friends that have been on the police force and military, and it’s amazing where they’ve gone when they’ve gotten out of that. So your company provides what’s being called real time crime center in the cloud, right? it’s working not only across the country with California agencies transforming the way they operated within their communities, providing safety to the communities that they represent. And building stronger relationships it seems, between the businesses and citizens within those communities.

[00:04:02] Chris: That’s right.

[00:04:03] Rico: But you are also in Peachtree Corners and you’re based in Peachtree Corners. And just recently the city actually signed a contract with Fūsus to be able to do some stuff here in the city. So can you sort of explain a little bit about what that agreement entails and where we are with that?

[00:04:20] Chris: Yeah, sure. So, you know, the Real Time Crime Center in the cloud platform is really a public-private partnership platform. It allows law enforcement agencies like Gwinnett County PD here in the West Precinct, which covers Peachtree Corners. Which is obviously where our headquarters is, and that’s where the contract is that you’re referring to our city here in Peachtree Corners. What it allows them to do is basically aggregate data sets throughout the community. And this is important for a number of reasons. First off, if you look at law enforcement as a whole, you know, subsequent to the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis. Which incidentally we were the platform that they used during the protest movements, and then subsequent to that, leading up to the trial. The old approach to just kind of putting police officers out on the street and having a kind of physical presence, in cities that were faced with shortfalls and budgets, in the case of Minneapolis, they actually removed at the time $8 million from the police department’s budget. And of course with that, the resources for a lot of police officers in that city. So, they were faced with an increased level of public safety need, but not the personnel resources necessary to address that need. And so that’s where technology comes in. Fūsus for the city of Minneapolis, like we’ll be doing here in Peachtree Corners, essentially builds a bridge to the private sector. So it allows the business communities, video cameras as an example, in public facing areas. Areas where vehicular traffic may occur, parking lots, entryways to buildings, you know areas of public domain. Those cameras oftentimes capture incidents. And they can be life safety incidents, they can be criminal activity. And I think Rico you’ve documented in prior podcasts, some of the prior activities that have been captured by our friends over at GCPD and their hardworking officers. Well, that just expedites that process even further. So this contract that you’re referring to is basically the phase one of that public-private partnership

[00:06:18] Rico: So, if I understand correctly, there’s a program out there, I think it’s called Connect Peachtree Corners, where essentially not only are you being able to wire, if you will, or to bring into the network or the cloud, private companies and city cameras. But you’re also looking to register citizens, home residents, cameras, Rings, other cameras that might be outward facing to roads and stuff. Voluntarily where citizens like myself, if I have a Ring or an outside camera or two, that I can actually volunteer to register to say, I have this here if you need it. And you’re Gwinnett County police and something happened in this neighborhood and you need that. They can literally know exactly where it is, versus canvasing a hundred homes to find out if any of them had a Ring and if any of them were working. So that’s truly part, I think of expanding what you’re doing, right? Being able to provide that.

[00:07:15] Chris: Yeah, and there’s some nuance to it because what we’re doing with ConnectPeachtreeCorners.org, the platform, the website that we’re going to use to basically enroll willing participants in this public-private partnership is really targeted towards the business community. So, you know, in phase one and at least for the foreseeable future, this is really not to bring homeowners’ Ring doorbell cameras into the network. It’s really more designed for Peachtree Parkway, Spalding, the businesses that kind of line those roads. And of course, on those businesses, on the front of the buildings, on the rear of those buildings, are oftentimes as we all know cameras. And that’s invaluable data for all sorts of situations that law enforcement might need to respond to. So that’s really where we’re focusing in concert with our friends with the city, city manager and his staff, and our friends over at GCPD, is to really build a platform so that the business community can contribute in the live video streams. Now there is also something called the Registry Rico. And this is what you were referring to.

[00:08:20] Rico: Right.

[00:08:20] Chris: And the Registry is a free service that basically says, my name is Chris, I have three cameras, here’s my email address, here’s my phone number, and this is the name of my business. And that’s a free service. And that’s huge because that tells the investigators where they need to go if there is a incident in an area to ask for video evidence. And of course what they do in the Registry is they simply bulk request out to everybody in an area. If you can think of like, just drawing a circle around an area.

[00:08:51] Rico: Sure.

[00:08:51] Chris: And then they can send a digital request. And of course it’s completely voluntary. You know in both cases, the Registry and the live sharing of video for public facing cameras, we’re only asking for people to share of their own volition and they can remove themselves from the program at any time. So there’s no unilateral access on the part of the agency. It’s completely donor contributed and controlled by the donor.

[00:09:16] Rico: With the live feed aside from the citizen part, then that’s a Registry. With the live feed, which includes private companies, commercial cameras, city public cameras. For example, town center has like maybe 80 cameras. There’s a bunch of cameras going down Peachtree Parkway and other intersections, and there’s even cameras the city is willing to pay and put out on outside streets, like near subdivision and such.

[00:09:43] Chris: Right.

[00:09:43] Rico: So all those would be live cameras that if Gwinnett police had something going on, if there was a robbery, a burglary, a shooting, something somewhere, an abduction, that they can follow that track down a road, let’s say. And they can literally pull up those videos?

[00:09:59] Chris: That’s exactly right. And actually the way you described it, Rico, is almost identical to the way that law enforcement uses video technology. I was with an agency the other day and they used through Fūsus in an urban area, they tracked a homicide suspect. As they went from camera to camera to camera. And then they followed that homicide suspect as they exited their vehicle into a business, and then through that business. And with the request for video from that business, they were able to identify the facial image of that suspect. And so having that video, if you will, chain of custody where you see where a suspect has transited through an area is of extraordinary importance. And we’re not just talking about being able to solve crime faster. You’re talking about possibly interdicting, actually responding to an incident in real time. And if you think about in law enforcement and they talk about kind of that golden 48 hours, the first 48 as it’s sometime called after a homicide occurs, you’ve got really the highest probability of capturing the suspect in that first 48. Well, let’s talk about the first 48 minutes, right?

[00:11:12] Rico: Right.

[00:11:12] Chris: Think about how much we can do in real time. If information is shared appropriately while of course also maintaining people’s right to privacy. And that’s the other component of this, which is, it’s important to note that we’re not talking about cameras inside people’s living rooms, or we’re not talking about doorbell cameras facing off the side of someone’s home, facing a neighbor’s home. We’re really talking about major thoroughfares, parks, public areas, areas that are already under surveillance where the officer may in the past have to physically go to that location to acquire video. Now they have actually the ability to use that data in real time.

[00:11:48] Rico: So let’s stay with that for a minute because I’m curious, I have a few quick questions regarding that. So I’m in front of these screens, these monitors and I see where I wanna be, but I know I just missed seeing that. Is it like DVR? Can I reverse that feed to be able to see a few minutes before? Is that possible to do that?

[00:12:07] Chris: It is. And we call that a Prerecord Buffer. So, you know, that buffer is configured. So typically what we’ll see with like city owned cameras, you know, they’ll keep the buffer for a few days and sometimes businesses will only share live video. Other times they may share live and maybe some prerecord buffer that they’re comfortable with. A lot of times that’s three or four days. But you know, when you talk about incidents that are unfolding in real time, you really aren’t talking about needing data a week in the past or a month in the past, that’s more of a forensic activity. What we’re talking about is real time access to data.

[00:12:40] Rico: And during that real time access, I’m sure there’s data showing up on the screens. It’s almost like sci-fi right? Like it’s almost like what you see going on you know, near future type stories. And there may be data on there because some of these cameras may be license recognition, plate readers, and stuff. So with that, they could pull that up as well at that moment. So cars passing by they’re following it down the line.

[00:13:02] Chris: Beyond just pulling up the license plate reader, think about pulling that up in context with surveillance video. So now you know where the vehicle was at the time. So now you have a time mark, where you can pull up the closest available live surveillance feed, and you’re seeing both in concert. Think about how officers would’ve responded to that in the past. They would’ve actually physically gotten in their car and driven to a location that they hoped that a suspect would drive past. Now they’re using what we consider to be more of an intelligence led policing approach. And that not only helps them do their job, but it also makes best use of taxpayer funds, right? Because now you’re not just throwing personnel resources at a challenge, you’re actually using technologically enhanced response methods.

[00:13:48] Rico: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, I could go further and just say that, I think that if they’re following someone down the road, instead of ending up being a police chase, a car high speed chase somewhere that actually can be ahead of where they’re going almost. Throw out the chain and blow out the tires. I mean, and we’re talking about cars, but it could be someone on foot as well. To be able to see where they’re going if they fled the scene. More eyes on the street, if you will. To allow other surveillance to be enhanced with what they’re doing, like you said. So, I mean, I see a lot of possibilities. Now, to dig in a little bit more, you know, we talked about privacy before. Facial recognition is part of what a lot of people know about, right?

[00:14:30] Chris: Right.

[00:14:30] Rico: Because your iPhone can recognize you, you know, it’ll open an app based on your face and it almost doesn’t matter what you’re doing sometimes, unless you’re doing like a blow up face, then it might not recognize you, right? But using AI, using machine learning, being able to recognize that is not necessarily part of what you’re doing. It could be done later, but it’s also used for identification as well, no?

[00:14:54] Chris: Yeah. So artificial intelligence is kind of a broad term and it gets thrown around quite a bit. You know, at Fūsus we kind of simplify that. So when we talk about what we’ve built, you know, we have data scientists on our team, our research and development team. And what these data scientists do is they basically identify the fact that you have a white shirt on. I have a dark shirt on. And so if I’m looking in video for a missing person or an injured person, and they’re in a park and the 911 call comes in and that call says, well, this person’s wearing a white shirt. That alone may take what is a thousand people in that park down to a hundred, right?

[00:15:34] Rico: Right.

[00:15:34] Chris: So now you’re, by a large extent, really making that area of focus more constrained and that helps them in a real time response scenario. Take that one step further, Rico you’re wearing a bag on your back, right? So now a hundred becomes maybe ten. And then we’ll add in there that you have blue jeans on, for example. So now, that ten goes down to maybe two. And so artificial intelligence in our world is really just a way to kind of take what is a large, broad view of video and really kind of funnel that into something that’s actionable. Because you know what you’re looking at Rico, you’re dealing with human beings, right? And there’s this concept of information overload. And so there’s diminishing marginal returns, obviously on investment. As you add more cameras in a city, you can’t just stare at more cameras on a screen and have a better idea what’s going on, right? It’s inversely proportional, right? So what AI does is it’s kind of the equalizer. It says, listen, these cameras are now smart. And they act almost like an alarm. We’re missing a child that was wearing a backpack with a white shirt and blue jeans. Now our cameras in the city of Peachtree Corners can look out for that missing individual and then signal to the officers that, hey, we may have a possible match. And obviously that can make the difference between saving that child’s life or them being taken out of the city limits. And that’s obviously what we’re trying to do.

[00:17:04] Rico: Right. And so for an individual to hear that, that doesn’t just mean that they’re looking at other screens to say, there’s a child with a backpack. Literally the system is recognizing that and will show those images on the monitor as the police are investigating it I imagine.

[00:17:20] Chris: That’s exactly right.

[00:17:21] Rico: You know, the platform roll out that you’re doing in Peachtree Corners is pretty much what we discussed just now, right? That first phase, so I imagine there’s a second phase. So what would be involved in a second phase of this?

[00:17:35] Chris: Well I think right now that’s kind of TBD, but expansion is really, you know, our area of focus. I mean as we bring in more community businesses, you know, the network effects take hold, right? The value of the system to you and I as citizens of Peachtree Corners increases proportionate to the buy in from the business community. You know, as more video sources and more alarms are put into the system, the situational awareness of our West Precinct assigned Gwinnett County police officers improve. And as such the thought process is, their ability to provide us public safety improves as well. So phase two is really at this stage, thought to be more of an expansion upon phase one. In phase one, we’re looking at really developing kind of a critical mass of adoption. And I think we’ve identified some businesses, some areas of interest that we’d like to reach out to and encourage their participation. And then hopefully, obviously, bring solutions to, you know, issues that we’re all aware of or now becoming more well known in Peachtree corners in terms of public safety. So that’s where the rubber hits the road. Does the system help GCPD provide a better service to us as a community? And that’s where, you know, I think we’ll be keeping a close eye in phase one and making sure that our progress is measurable and defined. And then candidly, that that’s something that, you know, as GCPD talks to members of the community, through the Cops Forum that they can report, you know, when they have their cops meetings.

[00:18:59] Rico: Not only GCPD, I mean the system actually, because of the way the platform is set. Not only can it use multiple different technologies, be drawn into a different cameras and such, different operating systems, I guess, right? But you’re talking across agencies too. So it’s not, let’s say something happens here, but all of a sudden that perpetrator is going into DeKalb or Fulton County or the City of Doraville or Brookhaven. If they’re all wired within the system, there’s really nowhere to hide to a degree, right? If you’re a criminal. I mean, is that the goal to be able to do that?

[00:19:35] Chris: Yeah. Rico, we always say, you know, criminals don’t know jurisdictions, right? They will transit from one jurisdiction and into another to commit a crime and then go back. And that may be the jurisdiction that they live and is different from the jurisdiction that they commit the crime. And so for years and years and years technology was siloed. Camera A, didn’t speak to software B or a software system A did not speak to software system B. And what Fūsus has done is we’ve eliminated that. We’ve basically created bridges between all of these disparate systems so that among other things, law enforcement agencies can have inter-department collaboration. They call that mutual aid. And when you’re talking about catching criminals and people doing the wrong thing, or even when you’re talking about responding to a life safety situation, an ambulatory situation, where maybe the closest available law enforcement or emergency resource is actually in a neighboring jurisdiction. That’s where this interagency collaboration through Fūsus is so powerful. And we’re seeing it all over the country. I mean, we’ve got now 120 plus cities and counties around the country that are connected. Some very large cities, some entire state. Just here in the Atlanta Metropolitan area, we have a wealth of mutual aid opportunity. You’ve got obviously the city of Atlanta using the system, Cobb County, Fulton County, Sheriff’s office, Henry County, Roswell, Alpharetta. I mean so you’ve got a veritable gold mine, if you will, of collaboration. And that’s what Fūsus endeavors to do. You know, obviously Peachtree Corners has invested in a certain number of cameras, both license plate readers, and surveillance cameras, in Town Center and otherwise. But you think about maybe call it 150 cameras. Think about the 10,000 now that, to your point Rico, our friends over at Gwinnett County through the system can utilize to kind of put the pieces together in an emergency. And that’s what Fūsus does.

Yeah,

[00:21:39] Rico: interestingly enough, I think if people knew the range of technology being used by different cities, different counties, different departments, where they don’t meet each other. Even within a federal government, doing Welfare let’s say, or Medicaid or Medicare. It took a while for some of these agencies to be able to talk to each other, right? Because they’re using completely different platforms, completely different technology. And it’s no different in law enforcement, right?

[00:22:03] Chris: That’s right.

[00:22:04] Rico: So being able to have a platform like yours, to me, just makes sense. And you’re then now the power of what you’re doing here across counties. Because like you said before, I mean, criminals don’t know jurisdictions. They might be in Fulton county, they might go up to Calhoun for the weekend.

[00:22:22] Chris: Right.

[00:22:22] Rico: Or something, you know, I mean, anything’s possible. Peachtree Parkway’s a, thoroughfare going from Midtown, going all the way up to Johns Creek and Foresyth. I mean, you can make that drive over 40 minutes, depending on the time of day, right? And things can happen. And random things can happen as people know. So you have, when people do burglaries, right? I think it was a Midtown street just recently. It was like, 20 car break-ins on the same street. It was just a ridiculous amount of break-ins, but people think a criminal would break into one car. Well, no, they’re not there for one car. They’re in a parking deck and they’re gonna go to five or six or seven different cars because that’s how they make their money.

[00:23:01] Chris: That’s right.

[00:23:01] Rico: So if police can see that happening, because it could happen over a period of 40 minutes, and no one would know, right? But if police can see that, I mean, I can see how that is a benefit. And when you get someone like that off the street, that means there’s less of that happening, because that’s not the only time that’s happening.

[00:23:20] Chris: Well, and criminals also know a hard target versus a soft target. So if the word gets out that Peachtree Corners is interconnected, that we have a public-private partnership between the business community and law enforcement, that there’s free flow of information sharing. And as such rapid response from law enforcement, you know, they’re gonna go somewhere else. The word will get out very quickly. They’re not gonna be breaking into cars, breaking into businesses with the same level of frequency that perhaps they did prior to that engagement with the community. And that’s why if you look across the country Rico, this is the future of law enforcement. It’s not just something that’s unique to Peachtree Corners. Community led policing is really, if you talk about what the buzz words are in public safety today, community led policing is probably at the forefront of the conversation and it’s not just law enforcement. I mean, mayors are actually running on community led policing efforts. And it just makes sense, right? I mean, you’re saying, listen, we’re gonna make better use of taxpayer funds. We’re going to bring the business community, members of the community in closer collaboration with law enforcement. And what that does Rico is it builds trust, right? I mean, that’s fundamentally what we’re achieving here is that now with quicker response and better collaboration, members of the community become part of the solution. And we all know change management, right? If you’re trying to change the perception of public safety, get people actively involved in the change. And so that’s what we’re doing with Fūsus.

[00:24:44] Rico: And that’s great, because I think you brought up the Floyd incident from a few years ago. Transparency is probably the biggest thing.

[00:24:52] Chris: Right.

[00:24:53] Rico: More cameras mean it’s more transparency. Not only, in the situation of law enforcement, but also to make sure that law enforcement also acts responsibly. Because they’re all within the system, it becomes an important factor I think, like you said, for that trust. And I can only see it growing because there will be more cameras, there will be more use. And I’m sure as your company evolves, there’ll be more different uses that you may not realize today that may come up 12 months from now because with more activity, I think that creates more opportunities for advancing the system that you have. So, as far as Peachtree Corners goes, maybe you can, you know, you guys have been in Peachtree Corners, I don’t know for how long, but why did you choose to put you to a company here?

[00:25:41] Chris: First off I live here. And the second thing is that, I really liked when I was looking at where to set up our headquarters. Because we did look outside of Peachtree Corners as well. You know candidly, you think about hiring a lot of engineers, people that are fresh out of Georgia Tech perhaps, you think immediately, okay, let’s go Midtown, right? Because that’s, you know, you’ve got Marta you know, available and that’s just as accessible. But what I really loved about Peachtree Corners is first off it was a very friendly community in terms of business. They were very supportive of us, the Mayor and the City Manager, Mike and Brian. You know, they were very supportive of us setting up shop here. It’s also a very technologically forward leaning city. And if you look at what Brian’s done, it’s just tremendous. I mean, he has really put, you know, this is kind of the Silicon Orchard. It’s kind of the east coast equivalent, if you will, of the Silicon Valley. You know, you’ve got a lot of companies coming here that are in the technology sector. You’ve got autonomous vehicle companies, you’ve got the 5G initiatives that Brian’s been pushing forward. You’ve got the international technology collaborative that he’s creating with countries like Israel. And so if you think about where you want to be as a technology company and where a wealth of talent will potentially locate themselves, well Peachtree Corners is a great place. So we’ve had a lot of success here. I would also tell you that the building owner, for the building that we’re in, he was great to us. You know when we started, Rico, back in June of 2019, we had five employees. And as a new company with five employees and we had a fold out table, that was our conference table, right?

[00:27:23] Rico: Oh, that’s funny.

[00:27:24] Chris: And you know, all of us left good paying jobs and really kind of, you know, on a hope and a prayer, right? To make our own company. And so the building owner was very kind to us when I said, listen, I can’t sign a long lease. And it’s gotta be a very reasonable monthly rate. But we wanted to be in a nice building because we had confidence that we could, you know if we put our heads together, we could grow something and sure enough. Bud was really kind in giving us kind of a no lease space to rent. And now I’m happy to report that I’m his largest tenant and we have a hundred employees and growing and. We did it in a little over two years. And so pretty excited about where we are, but you know, even more excited about where we’re going.

[00:28:05] Rico: Excellent. It’s good to have you here. And you’re right, Brian and the city has done such a terrific job. I think there are 20 countries represented here between companies like, Valmet that’s I think out of Finland, agencies and chambers, like the French American Business Chamber that’s located here. And companies like Intuitive Robotics that just is building out their five building campus. I mean, I don’t think people understand to some degree that have lived here for a while, how much is represented within the city. So cutting edge having companies like yours here really has made a difference here. And certainly I’m looking forward to the difference it can make in community safety. It’s good to have you on, I appreciate Chris, your time with us. Everyone, if you’re, you know, looking obviously for additional information, where can they find additional information on your company?

[00:28:55] Chris: Rico, we’ll have the ConnectPeachtreeCorners.org website, we’ll have that up and running here soon. And we’ll have contact information and all sorts of ancillary data. So if people are trying to learn more about the opportunity and how to contribute and how to participate. Please take a look at that website and we’re of course here. Fūsus and Peachtree Corners. And they can always reach out to us directly at Fūsus.com. And we look forward to supporting the city. This is our home. This is where my family lives. This is where our children go to school. And so, you know, obviously I have a vested interest in making sure that you know, this program’s successful and that we take care of our fellow citizens in Peachtree Corners. So thanks for having me on, Rico.

[00:29:35] Rico: Sure. I appreciate it, Chris. Thanks for being a good neighbor. Everyone, thanks again for joining us on this Peachtree Corners Life podcast. Look out for our next issue of Peachtree Corners Magazine and our newest Southwest Gwinnett Magazine. That’ll be coming out in the next month or so. But stay safe and have a great day.

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City Government

Technology & Partnerships May Help Deter Crime in Peachtree Corners

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fusus

Meeting among local government, law enforcement, business interests and residents showcased how enhanced safety systems work.

With a perception that crimes such as car break-ins, burglary, and street takeovers are on the rise in the area, residents of Peachtree Corners met with local law enforcement agencies for a periodic overview of what’s being done to combat crime. Hosted by the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association, homeowners, business owners, government officials and interested parties met at Christ the King Lutheran Church for the update.

Perhaps the most impactful weapon against crime, besides the officers themselves, is technology.

“One of our responsibilities with the resources that we have is to do what we can to support Gwinnett County police as they fulfill that obligation for providing a safe community. And one of the ways that we’ve found we can do it is using technology as a force multiplier,” said Peachtree Corners City Manager Brian Johnson. “You’ve heard us talk in the past about using cameras to help the police department with the ability to collect data or use it to investigate or prosecute crime.”

The use of high-end technology began with license plate reader cameras that are in certain intersections of the city, he said. Currently, there are 50 that take a snapshot of license plates coming through those intersections.

“They have been used on a number of occasions to solve crimes and apprehend a number of people that have committed crimes here,” said Johnson.

He pointed out that the creation of the Town Center and the increased activity there is going to attract problems.

“You get knuckleheads who like to destroy property or get into altercations with people and so we are also … installing 68 video cameras at the Town Center,” Johnson said.

Those video cameras are for use by Gwinnett County for surveillance to ensure it remains a safe environment. Just having the cameras there won’t do much good without the technology to assist law enforcement in identifying threats.

RTC3 integrates systems for better public safety

Johnson explained that many businesses have their own video security systems and would be overjoyed to link them up with the local police. “We happen to be privileged and lucky to have a company here that actually has solved the way to do that,” said Johnson. “We have a corporate tenant of the city, a company called Fusus that is very much in keeping with the technology.”

Fusus is known in law enforcement and public safety circles for its leading-edge RealTime Crime Center In The Cloud (RTC3) platform. A 2020 member of Atlanta Inno’s “50 on Fire,” Fusus has been recognized as among the hottest new companies in the Atlanta area.

The company moved its headquarters to a larger office space in Peachtree Corners in 2020 due to rapidly increasing demand for its platform. The Fusus RTC3 platform’s video intelligence and map-based awareness interface serves as the central integration point for law enforcement agencies’ surveillance, security and life safety technology.

Fusus brings all personnel and emergency operations centers under a unified umbrella that aggregates video and data, and directly integrates with 911 Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems, enabling agencies to geolocate officers and units in the field via the native fususOPS app, track calls for service and better coordinate their resources.

“I am a proud resident of Peachtree Corners and I intend to be for many more years,” said Chris Lindenau, CEO of Fusus. “One of the things I love about the city is that we are pulling a lot of innovation to it from around the Atlanta metropolitan area. And for those of us in the technology sector, this has always a been challenge.”

A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, Lindenau resisted the pull of San Francisco and Silicon Valley to stay right here and be a part of “Silicon Orchard.” He started Fusus in June 2019.

“The reason we started this company is that we saw a real gap in law enforcement and the ability to pull in disparate technology sets to make use of what was there,” said Lindenau. “We all understand camera technology. We understand radios, right? Law enforcement uses radios. We understand that they have vehicles, and they need to know where their officers are at any given time in those vehicles. We understand that they have 911 dispatch systems.” He explained that the challenge in law enforcement is putting all those different systems together.

Business community and police collaborate more easily

Fusus found success in April 2020 by testing the system in Minneapolis. The real-world need was stepped up a month later with the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.

“So the concept of just putting more law enforcement in the field was no longer viable,” said Lindenau. “We were born out of necessity to address an underlying issue that we knew was not just unique to Minneapolis, and that was that law enforcement needed new, novel ways to collaborate with the community. They could not go it alone. They needed their business community stakeholders to contribute back to that understanding of what was going on in the city.”

The intent of the program is to allow Gwinnett County Police to work more closely with the business community in sharing, among other things, video data. The collaboration will improve real-time response and enable law enforcement to have a clearer, quicker operational understanding of what’s going on in and around an issue. It will allow for things like graffiti on the bridge to not just be something that police respond to after the fact but perhaps deal with as it occurs. The program has already caught street racers in the midst of a “takeover” that resulted in multiple arrests.

The technology could also be a help in everyday issues like traffic jams. It doesn’t have to work only for situations under duress, said Lindenau.

“But ultimately, the goal is to allow the business community to get back into work in concert with their partners and law enforcement. One thing I want to emphasize is that this is a completely voluntary program, and the owners of these video sources have full control over the circumstances in which they’re shared. They can, through the flow switch, opt out of the program anytime,” Lindenau added.

“It’s very important to emphasize that we want to make sure that privacy is the bedrock foundation of everything we do, because I, as a fellow resident, don’t want to concede my privacy rights for public safety and security here in Peachtree Corners. That’s something I think we all share.”

The video streaming is set to begin in non-residential areas. Unlike video that’s shared on social media platforms like NextDoor, Facebook and Twitter, sharing with police is private. It won’t live forever on the internet. And its sole purpose is to resolve investigations more quickly.  

The technology is active in about 110 cities across the country. Now, the city where it was developed will be part of that number.

Video below from the C.O.P.S. meeting and a video from FUSUS

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City Government

Community Forum to Address Crime, Safety Issues in Peachtree Corners

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UPCCA hosts annual COPS program to allow face-to-face dialogue among residents, stakeholders and law enforcement.

Overnight car break-ins and vandalism, ruffians blocking key intersections and putting lives in danger with reckless stunts, bullying and name-calling at schools escalating to terrorist threats and violence — none of those scenarios are what Peachtree Corners residents want to see in their community. To inform residents and stakeholders of law enforcement actions to curb and eliminate this type of lawlessness, United Peachtree Corners Civic Association invites everyone to its annual C.O.P.S. Program. Set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26 at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 5575 Peachtree Parkway, government officials and police agencies will discuss crime prevention and present local Peachtree Corners crime statistics.

Among invited presenters are Mayor Mike Mason; the new Gwinnett County Chief of Police J.D. McClure; Major Edward Restrepo, commander of the West Gwinnett Precinct; MPO Andres Camacho, District 1 Community Oriented Police Service; a Gwinnett County Schools resource officer and other community leaders who will be available for questions and answers.

“With all that’s going on in the world now, we are thankful to have our lovely pocket of relative peace here in Peachtree Corners,” said Matt Lombardi, president of UPCCA. “But there’s a perception that it’s gotten worse for crime in the last few years.”

Like many suburban areas of the country, Peachtree Corners has been victim of so called “takeovers” where groups of teens and young adults converge on a usually busy intersection and  show off stunt driving like doing “donuts” and “drifting.” With no regard to traffic or vehicular safety, there are often fireworks and sometimes weapons discharged as well as kids hanging recklessly out of cars.

Recently, a combined effort from several local law enforcement agencies took down one weekend gathering, but with school out and summer almost in full swing, it’s inevitable that more will come.

That’s one of the major topics that will be discussed at the meeting, said Lombardi, along with a look at license plate readers, the effects of crime on property values and other issues.

One topic that has been on the minds of some, said Lombardi, is the question of whether it’s time for Peachtree Corners to have its own police force. As it is now, Gwinnett County police provide protection as well as the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s office.

Instead of leaving the question lingering, this is an opportunity for residents to speak their minds.

“UPCCA is one of the few organizations in metro Atlanta that brings people to face-to-face with the law enforcement community,” said Lombardi. “It’s important to know who’s protecting you and your property and how it’s being handled.”

Information: upcca.org

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