Thursday, February 9, 2023

Wilmington Police working to connect housing authority cameras to STING surveillance center

The Wilmington Housing Authority is looking to upgrade its camera system. When it does, the Wilmington Police Department is hoping to integrate those cameras into its STING Center video surveillance network.

The Wilmington Police Department's STING Center, where the department can access surveillance video and other real-time intelligence. (Port City Daily photo / FILE)
The Wilmington Police Department’s STING Center, where the department can access surveillance video and other real-time intelligence. (Port City Daily photo / FILE)

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Police Department is in discussions with the Wilmington Housing Authority to connect a new network of housing authority cameras to the department’s STING center.

The Situational Tactics and Intelligence Nexus Group (STING) Center, which began operating in early 2017, already allows the Wilmington Police Department (WPD) access to a variety of video feeds from around the city, in addition to other real-time intelligence resources.

According to Malcolm Phelps, who directs the STING center and also manages grant proposals for WPD, having cameras at Wilmington Housing Authority (WHA) locations, including Creekwood South, Houston Moore, and others, would help police officers with advanced heads up before responding to calls.

“Having cameras at WHA locations would assist WPD with situational awareness in those areas in the same manner the downtown cameras aid with police response downtown.  Officers are provided information prior to arrival with the observations via the cameras when relevant,” Phelps said.

Right now, WHA’s camera system can’t connect to the STING system, because they aren’t internet compatible. WHA is currently in the process of purchasing a new camera system, according to city emails. Although there is no set timeline on when the new system will come online, WPD is considering a range of options to connect to that system when it is installed.

“There are a couple of methods that the STING Center has used to view third-party cameras. It would take an analysis of the infrastructure that WHA has in place by City IT and potentially a third-party vendor to determine the best method to connect WHA cameras to the City network,” Phelps said.

Phelps added that the STING Center has sought grant funding to “put in place a third-party vendor to make importing cameras easier and connect the cameras to the county 911 computer-aided dispatch system.”

STING’s ability to connect to residential security cameras could also extend beyond WHA housing projects, Phelps said.

“The property owner camera system would need to have a static IP address,” Phelps said, adding that “Any cost to connect cameras to be viewable by the STING Center that required the assistance of a third-party vendor would be at the expense of the property owner.”

Send comments and tips to Benjamin Schachtman at, @pcdben on Twitter, and (910) 538-2001.

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