Monaco has set a new benchmark in surveillance capabilities with the introduction of an advanced camera surveillance system, showcased during the inauguration of the elevated Public Safety building by Prince Albert II.
We can’t take for granted the Principality’s reputation as one of the safest places on earth. It requires constant upgrading of technology and honing the skills of the Police who work with the advanced technology.
The Center for Supervision and Operational Command (CSCO), the nerve centre of Public Safety, houses more than 1000 cameras strategically positioned across public spaces, elevators, the railway station, and the Fontvieille shopping center. The impending sea extension is set to increase this number, solidifying Monaco’s commitment to public security.
At the CSCO, over 25 highly skilled police officers manage emergency calls, handle alarms, coordinate field radios, and utilize Interpol’s database for person searches. The system logged nearly 12.000 emergency calls in 2023 and similarly responded to nearly 1000 alarms. Efficiency, ergonomics, and comfort are features of the new installation. Police Commander Jean-Marc Berardi together with Commissioner Régis Bastide, deputy director of Public Safety will have the objective with the recent building upgrade to streamline operations, aligning all personnel on a single level, and incorporating cutting-edge software and hardware.
The acoustics of the CSCO have also been meticulously addressed with special ceiling panels and carpet, aiming to absorb sound and voices during critical situations. A dedicated crisis room, equipped with a video wall and sound insulation, stands ready for high-profile events.
And there is ongoing modernization. More improvements are anticipated. A recent bill introduced in December, focusing on facial recognition is a precursor for bringing powerful facial recognition technology to aid the increased efficiency of CSCO operators. Imagine the challenges of monitoring a thousand cameras simultaneously. Hi-tech tools are needed to facilitate and assist the dedicated team. Of course these tools are not an end in themselves. It’s necessary to avoid an oppressive “big brother” society. There has to be a balanced approach to also protect individual rights, so that the tools target the real criminals and are not overly invasive of the innocent.
An 80 Million Euro Expansion
In tandem with these advancements, the celebration of the New Police Headquarters on Rue Suffren Reymond marks a significant milestone. The €80 million expansion, raising buildings by four storeys, not only accommodates the increased staff beyond 600 but also integrates essential services previously off-site.
This state-of-the-art facility features a new forensic laboratory, a crisis room, the modernized CCTV network in a new command center, and a dedicated space for drones on the roof. A museum within the building showcases the rich history of the law enforcement agency.
The inauguration ceremony, attended by the Sovereign Prince and other dignitaries, had concluded with General Controller Richard MARANGONI expressing gratitude to the men and women contributing to the Monegasque police institution. The event underscored Monaco’s commitment to public safety through cutting-edge technology and expanded infrastructure.
Keeping the Principality safe requires a never-ending commitment to being state of the art, to being on top of technological advances and providing top-notch training within the Police Force.