Texas police department invests in IP surveillance system

Grand Prairie Police Department, Texas, has transformed the way it uses CCTV after installing a complete integrated IP Video solution from IndigoVision. Replacing an ageing and unreliable VCR/analog system, which was used primarily for video archive, the new IndigoVision system is being used as an active tool to help manage the facility. As with most law enforcement facilities Grand Prairie PD has a complex security environment, mixing all the normal Police operations, with a short-term detection facility and areas that require public access. A reliable CCTV system, delivering the very highest quality video images, is therefore an essential tool for the Police Department.

The 40 camera system was installed by IndigoVision’s local approved partner Metroplex Control Systems. Much of the original analog CCTV equipment was reused, including cameras and the video matrix. This allowed the original control room configuration to remain largely unchanged. In addition CCTV workstations running IndigoVision’s ‘Control Center’ software were installed around the facility to allow users such as the Jail Commander, Police Chief and Internal Investigation to remotely monitor live and recorded video. In the event of an incident this allows the Jail Commander to oversee the emergency response without the need to be in the cell blocks.

Commenting on the project, Sgt. Blaine Smith, Grand Prairie PD Jail Commander said, “Moving to the IndigoVision system gives me the freedom to manage my facility in a whole new way. Its extensive features give us tools we never imagined were available and its forensic level video is phenomenal.”

Video from all the cameras is continuously recorded for 30 days using four 1 TB standalone Network Video Recorders (NVRs). Audio from 5 cameras is also stored alongside the video. Audio and video are fully synchronized and guaranteed not to drop frames, even at maximum frame rate – an important benefit for law enforcement as unsynchronized video and audio is not admissible as evidence in court. Evidential quality video can be exported from multiple cameras for use in court or as is the case with the Department, specific incidents which they export onto CD for archive.

“The system has already proved useful in resolving issues with the bond desk clerk and disgruntled citizens over bond related payments and services,” added Smith. “The system is also being used to effectively document disagreements between inmates.”

Grand Prairie PD’s original CCTV was based on outdated analog/VCR equipment that delivered poor quality, low framerate video that couldn’t be remotely monitored. IndigoVision’s solution provides the Department with a truly distributed system where DVD-quality video can be viewed on any ‘Control Center’ workstation at any point on the network.

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