Security technology vendors team up to secure the annual Little League Baseball World Series

Allied Telesis, a provider of secure IP/Ethernet switching solutions, announced that it has teamed again this year with Axis Communications, Firetide Inc. and Lenel Systems International Inc. to contribute an end-to-end IP video surveillance solution that will play a critical role in keeping the 2013 Little League Baseball World Series players and more than 400,000 expected spectators safe during the ten-day event, August 15-25.

The Little League Baseball World Series evolves and improves upon its security each year by leveraging state-of-the-art technologies. This year, Allied Telesis is contributing the backbone of the wired network with nine of its GS950 Gigabit WebSmart Switches driving complementary solutions that include Lenel’s access control and a mix of more than 30 Axis Communications IP-based digital surveillance cameras. Firetide is supplying 13 outdoor HotPort 7020 mesh nodes to connect a network of multiple IP cameras that cover the vast majority of the 79-acre baseball complex and surrounding areas, delivering high-definition video surveillance.

“The annual Little League Baseball World Series draws teams and families from around the globe, as well as high-profile spectators, like heads of state and international dignitaries. Our top priority is keeping everyone safe and that requires a massive coordinated effort involving local, state and federal law enforcement,” said Jim Ferguson, director of security for Little League Baseball and Softball. “The technology solution provided by Allied Telesis, Axis, Firetide and Lenel is a critical part of that coordinated effort and enables us to provide our joint security forces with the high-performance IP video surveillance solution they need to ensure a safe, fun experience for all the players and fans.”

For more than six decades, hundreds of thousands of players and spectators have descended each summer on the small borough of South Williamsport, PA, which has a population of less than 6,500, to watch 16 of the world’s best Little League baseball teams compete head-to-head to determine a world champion. Providing a safe and fun environment during this annual tournament is often challenging for such a small town, but with the cooperation of the technology partners, the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, Local South Williamsport Police and Little League Baseball World Series security forces, the annual tournament continues to provide a safe and secure, yet family-friendly atmosphere.

Given the short duration of the event, simplicity in configuring and deploying the IP surveillance network, as well as ease of use, are paramount, as the entire network must be configured and deployed in just a few hours. The Allied Telesis GS950 Gigabit switches are feature-rich, yet easily configured, with an intuitive, user-friendly interface accessible from any web browser. Point-and-click configuration allows the installer to quickly see and modify the configuration with minimal or no training.

In addition, the GS950 switch delivers the performance and features required for reliable delivery of high resolution for the 1080p HDTV standard video streams generated by Axis’ state-of-the-art IP cameras deployed at the baseball venue. Each GS950 switch offers 95 Watts of intelligently managed Power over Ethernet to drive the cameras with Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) capabilities. The quality of service capabilities of the GS950 ensure that the operator of the PTZ cameras gets fast response and smooth video control for optimal performance.

Out-of-the-box features for loop prevention and options for copper or fiber connectivity allow fast and effortless connection and integration with the Firetide wireless network, which extends IP surveillance coverage to the entire Little League Baseball World Series venue including ball fields, retail outlets, walkways and parking areas.

The video surveillance network and cameras will be in open public view, providing a subtle yet authoritative presence that is critical for preventing crimes and maintaining crowd control. The video security network was designed and installed by Lenel Systems International, a Rochester, NY-based provider of advanced turnkey security systems that has contributed their products and services to the Little League Baseball World Series event for the past 15 years.

With Firetide’s wireless infrastructure mesh technology, the Little League Baseball World Series has increased the video surveillance coverage area significantly over previous years. The Firetide wireless video network, coupled with a new mix of Axis Communications network cameras, will provide security forces with live video feeds of areas directly surrounding the baseball stadiums, public parking lots, and the dormitory complex known as the International Grove, which houses all players and coaches during their two-week stay.

In addition to the fixed camera locations, motorized mobile security vehicles will be outfitted with Firetide wireless mesh nodes, effectively turning them into roaming hot spots that provide network access to security forces roaming the grounds via portable devices such as laptops, smartphones and iPads. The roaming capability increases the overall coverage area of the video network, and provides security officers with live visibility even as they are approaching a scene.

Little League Baseball security officers will have the ability to access the video network and control each camera from a centralized location, enabling them to help locate lost individuals, detect people approaching secured areas, track suspicious items, monitor public parking lots, count crowd size, and provide an overall sense of security for the players and attendees. Additionally, the wireless network now enables Little League Baseball safety and security personnel to monitor the highway adjacent to the facility, protecting family and fans as they cross the street to attend a game.

The Little League Baseball World Series security and operations departments will add some of the latest IP camera innovations from Axis Communications to complement existing cameras that have been in use over the last three years. New for 2013, Little League Baseball will incorporate more discreet surveillance options around the retail and operations tents with AXIS P2014-E Network Cameras, which are the smallest HDTV-quality bullet cameras on the market, and the pinhole-sized AXIS P85 Network Camera Series for eye-level surveillance. Additionally, the AXIS M3007-PV Fixed Dome Network Camera will be mounted atop the announcers’ booth for the first time to provide a 360°/180° panoramic view of the stadium. These new additions complement the 1080p and 720p HDTV PTZ and thermal network cameras utilized over the last three years, as well as the color-video-at-night AXIS Q1602-E Network Camera featuring Lightfinder Technology for low light conditions and the AXIS Q1604-E Network Camera with Wide Dynamic Range with Dynamic Capture to combat the tough sun and stadium lighting that creates traditionally difficult viewing conditions.

“Over the years, the security and surveillance solution at Howard J. Lamade Stadium and surrounding International Grove has evolved into a showcase for the latest and greatest technologies,” said Robert Muehlbauer, business development programs manager of Axis Communications, Inc. “With the addition of Allied Telesis to the existing lineup of innovative technology providers, we can ensure that the sophisticated surveillance and access control network runs without latency so the Little League security personnel can do their jobs as efficiently as possible.”

“With increased security concerns, temporary wireless video networks make sense for securing special events, be it a baseball tournament or a presidential national convention,” said John McCool, chief executive officer of Firetide. “And because the short duration of the Little League Baseball World Series event restricts any trenching to lay permanent fiber, our ability to quickly install a flexible, high-performance wireless video network with our partners—without any physical alterations to the facility—is a perfect match for this annual event.”

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