Many Hours of Surveillance, No Blowouts
Orlando’s new installation worked flawlessly. Because the network used the 4.9GHz public safety band, there was no RF interference with the many radio transmissions operating on unlicensed 2.4 and 5 GHz bands in the race area. And high-quality video feeds streamed uninterrupted for the eight days operational security was required — including staging, the public event and teardown. “Wireless connectivity provided by the system was extremely robust, highly secure and could be scaled easily,” says Mark Jules, president of Avrio Group.
The Twelve Hours of Sebring came and went without a single logged security incident. “To an outsider it may sound boring,” Jules says. “But that is exactly what public safety agencies need — reliable technology that won’t give them any surprises during a deployment.”
Blye points out that strategically placing cameras so they are easily noticeable can act as a deterrent for crime. “That’s one of the benefits of a flexible, event mesh architecture,” Blye says. “It’s easy to move things around to get the desired effect.”
Blye says he received many reports from deputies on location that people showed an active interest in the cameras and asked questions about them. “It’s important, of course, that cameras give us the best view of people,” he says. “It’s also important that people get the best view of cameras.”
The Next Lap
The Orlando PD Electronic Surveillance Support Team will continue to cover public events with its 8-camera mobile Firetide/Avrio Group RDSS, as needs arise. Officials for the City of Orlando also recently revealed plans for new fixed solutions based on the same technologies to support a larger initiative.
At the end of March, on the heels of Twelve Hours of Sebring, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Police Chief Val Demings jointly announced a new public safety surveillance program called I.R.I.S. (Innovative Response to Improve Safety). Building on previous Department of Homeland Security network efforts, and funded by a combination of public/private businesses and civic organizations, I.R.I.S. provides for the deployment of 60 fixed Firetide/Avrio wireless mesh video cameras around the city.
The mesh network will give the Orlando Police strategic views of the city that can alert officers to crimes in progress, or possibly, even before they happen. A 20- to 25-camera system will be operational as early as July, with the remaining cameras going live before the end of 2008. “The introduction of I.R.I.S. is an important moment for the safety of our community,” Dyer says. “We are entering a new era of community policing — an era in which the power of pixels can make us a safer city.”