Security Goes Full-Throttle

Megapixel cameras capture all the details at the world's largest biker bar

In another more troubling case, a counterfeiter was passing bogus money at the Full Throttle Saloon. The bartender was able to identify the person on the video—quick enough that Michael Ballard was able to spot the bad guy on a different camera as he left the building. The counterfeiter was quickly nabbed by security.

Such projects are right in Haase’s roundhouse. Haase, who holds a degree in criminal justice, started in business 30 years ago providing security for Sears stores, catching shoplifters. He moved up to internal employee theft monitoring, always working with cameras.

Today, when working a register theft case, he guarantees 100 percent that the case will be solved or the thefts will end.

Working for owner Michael Ballard at Full Throttle Saloon was a natural move. Don’t let Ballard’s dreadlock hairstyle fool you—he is a savvy and sharp businessman.

“About four out of five businesses fail because they get stolen from and bars are close to the top of the list,” noted Ballard. “This system, this level of technology, is worth the investment—it has paid for itself each year,” Ballard added.

The cameras monitor the large crowds at the saloon, identifying threats and isolating them by deploying ground security forces quickly and accurately.

“I’ve been installing IQinVision’s cameras for five plus years,” said Haase. He confirmed he puts in a lot of research to get the best cameras for his clients. “I research things to death,” added Haase. “But when I’m done, I’m loyal to the vendor.”

Haase emphasized the need for high resolution in security applications. While the Full Throttle Saloon started out with two-megapixel cameras, they have upgraded to 3.1-megapixel and five-megapixel units. In addition, they are expanding coverage to the backstage area and other key perimeters.


System particulars and value-adds

In addition to the cameras, Haase installed a Vista Networking Solutions (VNS) server to run the system. But managing the network of cameras would be impossible without the right software, Haase pointed out. Milestone Systems’ software, which matrixes the video on the cameras, is the solution that makes it all possible. “Milestone software connects all of our surveillance cameras together, allowing us to choose what camera view we want to zoom in on,” Haase said.

Over 10 terabytes of crystal clear images are stored and can be recalled as necessary for law enforcement, internal documentation or insurance purposes. There are eight 27-inch monitors watching everything in the saloon. Some look at the overview cameras. Others provide a quad view of the bank of surveillance. The doors and entrances typically are monitored on a split screen.

But it is not all about crime with the high-resolution system. Typically, Ballard will notice lines forming outside one door or another. He is able to direct personnel to move people to other entrances or to resolve a bottleneck and speed customers to revenue-generating locations. And the employees are well aware that there are cameras everywhere—with both protecting and watching them.

“The fear factor is pretty good,” Haase laughed, noting that it is easier to be honest when someone is watching.



Curt Harler is a Cleveland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to SD&I magazine. He can be reached at