Security in any form always has that underlying message of “you’re being watched” whether it comes in the form of a surveillance camera, a security guard or simply using an access card at a business site. Insert the discussion of security at a political function and the topic takes on a whole new meaning. The year 2008 witnessed the Democratic National Convention in Denver and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul. With both events behind us, both cities continue to enjoy the benefits of video surveillance systems installed by On-Net Surveillance Systems Inc. (OnSSI), Pearl River, N.Y.
Covering the masses with the right video
The duplicated system, which features advanced video management and control software from OnSSI, was designed and deployed by Avrio Group to meet the video needs of over 60 federal, state and local government agencies during the political conventions. Now, these systems continue to provide Denver and Minneapolis-St.Paul with citywide video solutions that have the flexibility to be reconfigured to adapt to each city’s short-term event needs.
The surveillance systems deploy OnSSI’s IP video surveillance management software to control the approximately 100 wireless video cameras that were installed for the conventions, as well as providing control for the legacy analog systems that were in place. Included in the software functionality is the capability to view, manage and record video from an unlimited number of IP and non-IP video surveillance cameras installed throughout the cities. This capability has allowed the cities to bring together video surveillance images from numerous locations and agencies, within the respective city, to a single, unified video surveillance system. The video can then be partitioned and routed to command centers throughout the city and/or to specific parties of interest, based on event occurrence.
According to Mark Jules, Avrio Group’s president of Business Development, because of the nature of the events, the system needed to accommodate hundreds of simultaneous users. In order to effectively meet this requirement, they had to custom-build a Web server that would act as the dashboard for the OnSSI video management software.
“Each of the federal, state and local agencies involved needed access to the system and in total there were over 300 authorized users,” explained Jules. “And access wasn’t limited to the central command and control center site. We had users accessing the system from substations, at mobile command and control stations, from individual police vehicles and from federal agency Mobile Agency Command Center locations. With all of this activity, we never once had even a single failure.”
Further enhancing functionality during the conventions, the OnSSI software platform allowed authorized users to manage the storage of video as well as correlate and fuse video and non-video events and/or alerts which could then automatically be delivered to viewers of interest. For example, if an alarmed door exit at the convention center was breached, video of the unauthorized entry/exit could be automatically “pushed” to pre-selected monitors or command centers, enabling authorities to immediately view the incident and then take the necessary action.