HD surveillance in Alabama

City of Selma deploys upgraded system

Home to the largest historic district in the State of Alabama, the City of Selma is the regional retail, medical, employment and cultural center for more than 80,000 people. A progressive community that is proud of its history and excited about its future, the city is dedicated to providing the amenities, services and programs required to create a comfortable and thriving community in which to live and work.

Also committed to ensuring the safety of its residents, businesses, and visitors, the City of Selma has deployed the Avigilon HD Surveillance System at its City Hall, Selma Police Department (SPD) and Selma Housing Authority (SHA) in the first phase of its plan to improve public safety and reduce criminal activity across the region.

"Community safety is our primary goal and we are committed to doing whatever is required to help us make our city a safer place to live, work and visit," says Mayor George Patrick Evans.

In the past, the SDP responded to countless reports of criminal activity and civil disobedience from parts of the city, including at the SHA George Washington Carver (GWC) complex. After a preliminary review of the city's security environment, city officials realized that more could be done to improve community safety. "By deploying the surveillance system at police headquarters and GWC, we have taken the first steps in boosting safety and reducing criminal activity in our community," Evans says.

With the assistance of Blackbelt Technologies, a local telecommunications, security and management services firm, the City of Selma began to look for a surveillance solution that was robust, easy to operate, scalable and could easily integrate with the SPD's existing analog cameras for improved performance and cost savings. "As a budget-driven organization, we did not want to get locked into a closed, proprietary system that would lead to costly upgrades as we continue to expand," says William Riley, Chief of Police.

Blackbelt recommended the Avigilon system, which officers and administrators at the SPD and SHA seamlessly manage using the supplier's Control Center network video management software (NVMS) with HD Stream Management.

To date, the City has installed more than 30 HD cameras ranging from three to five megapixels to monitor the exterior of GWC, a 215-apartment complex with more than 500 tenants, and at police headquarters to monitor the parking lot, main lobby, booking rooms, holding cells, Magistrate's Office and Selma Municipal Court.

The SPD installed several analog video encoders to create a hybrid surveillance system that dramatically and cost-effectively improves the performance of its existing analog cameras. The city has also installed an HD camera to monitor activity at the Mayor's Office at City Hall.

Storing up to 45 days of continuous surveillance video, the surveillance system is monitored around-the-clock at both the SPD and GWC complex.

SPD headquarters is a very busy facility, managing the daily police work for the region and housing the Magistrate's Office, the Selma Municipal Court, and the City's parole and fine department. With such a high level of activity, ensuring staff and visitor safety was critical.

"We had an analog-based surveillance system that could not deliver the image clarity needed or scale to meet our growing needs, but we didn't have unlimited funds to replace the system," Wiley says. "The system has enabled us to build a hybrid system that leverages our existing cameras for cost-savings and major performance gains and will facilitate our migration to full high definition surveillance in the future."

City-Wide Surveillance for Greater Protection

With no previous surveillance system at GWC, residents now feel much safer in their neighborhood knowing that activity is being monitored at all times by staff at both the SPD and GWC.

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