Illinois International Port District to Get Integrated Security System

The Illinois International Port District will be getting a major security upgrade in the coming years. Fence sensors, automated video, access control and more will be integrated at a pair of sister facilities on the Calument/Lake Michigan watershed, and building systems integrator Siemens Building Technologies has landed the contract, which includes the creation of a perimeter surveillance system.

Siemens has been hired to manage the design and installation of the wide-area security/surveillance system, which will merge sensor data (such as intrusion detection) with automated video surveillance to give users a real-time view of what's happening at the port facility. The system, when the integration is completed, will give a "bird's eye" view of the combined port facility and can position security data onto that "map" of the facility.

State-of-the-art video analytics will be part of the project; software will be used with video data to help identify what each type of object is, based on recordable properties such as the object's height, width and speed.

It's easy to see why video analytics and automated surveillance are needed: The Iroquois Landing port, which has 24/7 security patrols, features 3,000 linear feet of ship berthing space, two 110,000-s.f. transit sheds with direct truck and rail access. It's located directly on Lake Michigan. A little further inland, is the Calumet Harbor facility, which features 6,000 linear feet of ship/barge berthing, four transit sheds (over 515,000-s.f. combined).

The integration project will mean the expansion of the Security Command Center at the Iroquois Landing facility, and the system will be designed such that video data from either port facility can be called up at the security control center at each facility. In addition, the project is scheduled to involve the installation of an access control and ID badging system, new gated guard stations, card readers, surveillance cameras with a motion detection system, fence sensor for intrusion detection, DVRs and video monitoring automated with the access control system.

How long will all this take? Siemens says it expects to be completed by 2008. The contracted price for the system design, installation and integration was not disclosed.