Cities & Municipalities--Clicking on the Civic Level

Advising and consulting brings business to integrators

Cities and towns, no matter their size or location, can play host to criminal activity. Today, no city or municipality is free from random acts of crime, terrorism, vandalism, theft or even killings. The good news is that increasingly, these entities are looking at technology to become more proactive in preventing these crimes, rather than simply reacting after the fact.

For systems integrators across the country, monies have been tight but far from non-existent. And while the effects of the recent automatic Federal budget cuts, known as the sequester or sequestration, have yet to have been felt, cities, towns and municipalities are spending by opting for minor upgrades to existing security or beefing up video surveillance where necessary.


The trusted advisor scenario seals deals

For alarm dealers and systems integrators the approach more often has been a consultative process where they lend expertise today to become a trusted advisor, with the hopes that when the monies do become available they will be the go-to contractor. In addition, when integrators can show added value to systems, such as accountability, human resources functions, liability prevention and more, and the more they can work with IT departments, the greater their chances of getting work even among these ongoing budget constraints.

Working with the initiative of AllThingsIT, located in Indianapolis, the concept of an integrated wireless civic surveillance system based on the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system was approved by Pittsboro’s town council.

“After a demonstration of the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, the Pittsboro Police Department quickly realized that no other vendor could offer the quality and manageability that Avigilon does,” said Andrew Thomas, president at AllThingsIT. AllThingsIT goes the extra mile, providing a consulting solution and educating clients as a critical philosophy of the company. “We provide video surveillance for small towns, municipalities and police departments in and around Indiana, he said. The Pittsboro system uses Proxim wireless backhaul to extend its reach and police have access to video in cruisers and mobile devices.

Thomas said he believes the bid process for security video surveillance cameras is broken and that performance-based work statements are the future of client/vendor relationships (see resource box on page 28). “We have a process for ensuring the security solution you seek is solvable before any security equipment is installed and we believe that the use of this process eliminates the need for bids by creating an open, transparent comparison between vendors.”

AllThingsIT, which has been in business for some 20 years and ranks as a top Indianapolis company, has experience that runs deep in managing digital surveillance cameras and IT network infrastructures. It also believes in transparent public video surveillance—and that this approach helps in preventing crime as well.

“The real value of any technological and infrastructure upgrade includes the functionality it adds, the functions it improves and the cohesiveness with which it integrates into existing systems and expectations,” Thomas said.

Pittsboro, Ind., is located in Middle Township, Hendricks County, approximately 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis. The city has grown 68 percent over the past 10 years. With this growth, they needed surveillance of critical intersections and infrastructures.

With the help of AllThingsIT, Pittsboro spent over six months learning about their video surveillance options. “Pittsboro was able to produce a requirements document, not based on technical specifications, but based on our expected use, needs, and most importantly the quality of video needed to provide the highest levels of protection and investigational evidence for the town,” said Scott King, Assistant Police Chief, Pittsboro.

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