Safety and Security: A Walk in the Park
“Safety issues were certainly top of mind when creating the park and implementing a security solution with total coverage,” said Jim Ridgill IT director with the city of Greer. “We needed to make sure we had all areas covered for the surveillance of potential crimes.”
While security was the driving factor, it was also of utmost importance that the surveillance solution be aesthetically pleasing. With more than 100 ornamental lampposts on the campus, the end user was adamant that there were no obtrusive-looking surveillance cameras hanging off of the posts. That directive could have made a difference in the entire project meeting completion.
To that end, the team at the city of Greer brought in their long-time reseller partner, Diversified Electronics, to guide them on the appropriate solution to implement. Together, the teams walked through the park to outline areas needing camera coverage and to find the best viewing angles.
Diversified Electronics and the city of Greer also worked with the local police department to ensure blanket coverage of the park was considered.
Once the site visit was completed and the objectives were in place, Tom Drake, sales representative for Diversified Electronics, and his team went to work. Said Drake, “We went to Nick Miller and ScanSource Security and told them what we were trying to accomplish. We asked what they would recommend and made sure that they understood that the project hinged on the proper cameras and views coupled with a pleasant outdoor housing that met the appearance objective.”
And for ScanSource, the goal was to come up with a design where everything fit â€” from the encoders to the cameras â€” while looking pleasant; in short, not being noticeable, but providing the highest-quality surveillance operations. After considering all of the available options, the team decided on a completely wireless security solution. Working with an already-constructed facility, a wireless solution made the best business sense versus having to dig up the property to run fiber lines and pull cable. What’s more, a wireless solution would allow the city to keep the beauty and aesthetics of the park in place.
To meet those requirements, ScanSource Security came up with an ideal solution that included Dotworkz D2 outdoor housing system, VideoIQ Encoders, analog dome cameras, Firetide Wireless Mesh and Ditek Surge Protection. Working with Firetide’s high-performance wireless network to handle the bandwidth requirements of live video streaming and VideoIQ’s built-in storage products to provide storage with every camera in its own housing, Diversified Electronics was able to eliminate any bandwidth concerns.
And to keep the solution out of sight, the team even had a body shop paint the Dotworkz D2 housings and the antennas to match the color of the lampposts, leaving no detail left unturned. Much of that credit goes to the Diversified Electronics team, including Gerald Culpepper and Marquise Scott. Said Drake, “Gerald and Marquise spent hours coming up with a design that would work and ensuring everything was done properly and professionally.”
As it is with all municipalities, budget was very important. Diversified Electronics and ScanSource were mindful of that in choosing the products for the solution. Diversified Electronics worked closely with the ScanSource Reseller Financial Services team to ensure the financing was available for the deal. And thanks to the design and functionality of the housing products, they were able to use indoor versions of the radio. Added Gary Pfeiffer, with VideoIQ, “Indoor equipment in the Dotworkz outdoor housing solution will save money and anguish during the installation.”
The icing on the cake for the city of Greer team was the video analytics with object recognition provided by the VideoIQ encoders. Said Ridgill with the city of Greer, “The ability to search all of the cameras for a particular set of criteria was a great tool for us. We had one instance in the park where someone threw toilet paper into the fountain and we were able to get more than 380 hits of various people walking around the fountain and decipher who the culprit was.”
The final project, at this stage, includes nearly 60 of the poles mounted with the surveillance solution, with more on the way.
“Selling the project is one thing. Making it happen successfully and fulfilling the customer’s expectations is another,” added Drake. “And our team, led by Gerald and Marquise, along with the service and support from ScanSource, worked hard to make that happen.” Diversified’s contracted IT System Architect Charles Byrd designed the wireless network and worked closely with Jim Ridgill to integrate all five of the locations of the system into the city’s network.
When the city administrator first saw the solution implemented and in place, his first words were, “You sure outdid yourselves.” Not only was the solution in place to keep visitors to the park safe, but it was created so that those visitors weren’t distracted by the ample number of surveillance solutions around the park. A key challenge was to ensure the solution â€” color, size, placement â€” didn’t detract from the beauty of the park. Overall, inconspicuous is what the team was looking for. And from all accounts, those goals were achieved.
Ware Disposal Co. Inc., which specializes in environmental protection, solid waste and recycling services, needed to network together its two facilities in Fullerton and Santa Ana, Calif. The 25,000-sq.-ft. Fullerton location required 60 voice and data connections in two wiring closets. The 17,000-sq. ft. Santa Ana location required
40 voice and data connections â€” also in two wiring closets. Both infrastructures support multi-user workstations and handle high bandwidth activity such as network servers, printers, VoIP phones and employee time clocks.
Fusion Communications Inc. opted to install an ICC cabling system for both locations, selecting high-performance CAT 5e data connectivity and premise cables. ICC 7-ft. distribution racks were installed and loaded with CAT 5e data patch panels and horizontal cable management. As an ICC Elite Certified Installer, Fusion was able to offer ICC’s manufacturer warranty to the customer.
Fusion Communications’ systems engineer, Frank Amato, said, “By networking Ware Disposal Co. Inc. locations with Mitel® 3300 ICPs, Mitel NetSolutions® and ICC cabling, we were able to combine voice and data network services in a much more efficient manner. This not only greatly reduced Ware Disposal Co. Inc.’s monthly phone bill, but also has increased their overall operational efficiency, resulting in enhanced customer service.”
Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa., is using JVC Professional Products’ V.Networks VN-X235VPU vandal-resistant megapixel network dome cameras and a VR-N1600U 16-channel network video recorder to provide security for its new College of Health Sciences building, which opened in January. The building is nearby, but technically off the main campus. Mark Reboli, Misericordia network telecom and IT security manager, said the parking areas are scenic, but the university wanted to make sure they were safe.
Reboli worked with Paul Murphy, director of safety, and Robert Cragle, associate director of public safety, in the Campus Safety Department to develop the best IP-based video surveillance solution. Misericordia purchased its JVC V.Networks equipment from the Washington, D.C., office of Security Solutions Inc. T.J. Cannon, an integrator based in Pittston, Pa., handled the installation.
There are 10 cameras covering the building’s parking lots, as well as key doorways and walkways. With a JVC megapixel camera, which uses a 1/3-in. progressive scan CCD to produce 1.3 megapixel images, officers at Misericordia have sufficient resolution to zoom in on recorded footage later, rather than trying to follow suspicious action live with PTZ cameras. Misericordia also made sure to keep the cameras in plain sight. “The cameras themselves are a deterrent,” Reboli noted.
To minimize network traffic, most cameras feed directly to the JVC VR-N1600U, which is outfitted with 1.5 TB of external storage and is housed in the College of Health Sciences building. Reboli said there is a combination of feeds over fiber, coax, and Ethernet cabling, while a few cameras that are mounted on other buildings are tied directly into the campus network.
Azalea Networks, Milpitas, Calif., recently provided its solution for a wireless security network upgrade for a major regional airport in the Midwestern United States. The airport had a series of gates with security devices installed, but required physical visits to each gate to update any access parameters. Analog video cameras were installed, but needed to be upgraded to IP.
Azalea Networks’ wireless mesh network technology was selected to upgrade the airport’s security system. With the assistance of WAV Inc., a distributor of Azalea’s solution, and a local integrator, the airport received a wireless network consisting of Azalea’s wireless Layer-3 routers, including the MSR4000 quad-radio and MSR2000 dual-radio routers designed for outdoor environments. Its MSR1000 routers were also employed to provide indoor access. Operating over the 4.9GHz public safety spectrum, the routers provide data access to automatically update security permissions at each gate from a central control station, as well provide backhaul of video streams from the IP cameras.
“A key benefit of the technology is the scalability it provides for future needs, making it a sound investment to replace existing security systems,” said Brian Carlson, vice president and general manager of Azalea.
The Metropolitan Council in Minneapolis/St. Paul is implementing the Nextiva® Transit video solution from Verint® Video Intelligence Solutions™ to help enhance passenger and operator safety onboard its paratransit Metro Mobility fleet and other contracted bus routes. The Metropolitan Council is responsible for planning and operating the majority of the transit system in the metro area. Last year, Metro Transit provided nearly 82 million rides; Metro Mobility provided 1.2 million rides; and other contracted routes provided 3.4 million rides.
To help keep pace with demand, the Metropolitan Council recently launched a modernization initiative focused on crime prevention and safety. It selected Verint Nextiva to help update selected portions of the transit system’s security infrastructure â€” replacing analog recorders with an IP video platform. In the initial phase of its multi-phase fleet-wide initiative, the Metropolitan Council is deploying Nextiva Transit onboard 257 buses to deliver a comprehensive view of onboard events. The solution will provide the Metropolitan Council’s transit operations with greater situational awareness and improved emergency response times, Verint said.
Video surveillance systems from Panasonic System Networks Company, Secaucus, N.J., were chosen for a system upgrade at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Fla.
“Using Panasonic technology, the Moffitt Cancer Center can improve both its operational efficiency and the quality of the security they provide to patients, visitors and employees,” said Bill Taylor, president, Panasonic System Networks Company of America.
The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute occupies more than two million square feet, spread over 11 buildings, in and around Tampa. The facility opened in 1987, and a few of the Panasonic surveillance cameras from the original installation are still in use there today. The initial scope of the current project includes the design and implementation of a state-of-the-art video surveillance system for the main hospital, a new parking garage and three research buildings. Equipment used in the first phase included i-Pro network video recorders, megapixel dome cameras, outdoor pan-tilt-zoom cameras, encoders and monitoring/management software.
Securiteam of Wesley Chapel, Fla., a Panasonic i-Pro certified reseller, performed that installation which was completed in December, 2009. Also assisting Panasonic in winning this high-profile project was its manufacturer’s rep, Security Reps of Jupiter, Fla.
An electrical fire at the historic Texas Capitol in Austin was averted the evening of April 30, 2010 due to the building’s security professionals, who immediately reacted to a signal set off by a smoke detector in the reference library.
“It’s good to be diligent,” said John Nichols, fire marshal at the Texas Capitol, who credits a System Sensor smoke detector for going into pre-alarm mode. Pre-alarm typically means that the detector has sensed smoke, but the event is not serious enough to warrant a full alarm.
The pre-alarm mode on the System Sensor photoelectric smoke detector (NOTIFIER® Model FSP-851) triggered an alert at 9:16 p.m. that Friday on the fire panel monitored by the security team’s central monitoring office on site. The supervisor radio dispatched a trooper to the exact location noted by the addressable fire system. Upon entering the library, the trooper smelled a strong, electrical burning odor and discovered soot around a ceiling-mounted light fixture that had malfunctioned.
“We are really glad we have these smoke detectors,” Nichols said. “It’s nice knowing that we can depend on the detectors.”
The Texas Capitol completely overhauled and upgraded its fire and life safety system last year. The system, installed by Koetter Fire Protection in Austin, includes hundreds of smoke and duct smoke detectors from System Sensor and four NOTIFIER fire panels on a network that monitors the main capitol building, the extension and its parking garage.