Dallas police use wireless surveillance system to reduce crime

System leverages technologies from OnSSI, Firetide and BearCom

Dallas, TX (October 11, 2010) – In addition to serving as host city for the ASIS International 56th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, Dallas also provides a great testament to how security technologies can help law enforcement improve public safety and enhance emergency preparedness. A wireless surveillance system in Dallas watches over various parts of the ASIS host city, supplying the Dallas Police Department real-time video from many areas throughout Dallas.

"The wireless video surveillance system is an integral part of the City’s three pronged approach to public safety, which also includes beat officers and the citizens that live and work in the area," said Lt. Anthony Crawford, Dallas Police Department. "The wireless video system has contributed significantly to crime decreases in the target areas. In fact, from January 1, 2007 to September 28, 2010 the total crime rate is down 37% in uptown Dallas, 35% in downtown, and 59% in Jubilee Park. I believe an important part of that reduction is due to the presence of the camera system."

The citywide surveillance system showcases technologies from several ASIS exhibitors, including BearCom (booth #4016), Firetide (booth #3824) and OnSSI (booth #3115).

OnSSI supplies video surveillance software for the Dallas Police Department's system. OnSSI's Ocularis physical security information management platform was chosen for its ease of use and advanced instant investigation tools such as the time/motion slicer engine and push video alerting. Ocularis from OnSSI provides mission-critical information conveniently and efficiently to enable fewer DPD officers to monitor more cameras.

Firetide provides the wireless mesh networks for IP video surveillance in the Texas city that transmit high-quality video traffic from the IP cameras. Without wireless mesh, it would have been far more costly to install the cameras where they were needed. In addition, mesh creates alternate wireless links to help ensure high system reliability.
BearCom, a nationwide wireless communications solutions provider, designed and installed the Dallas system beginning with implementation of the first cameras in early 2007. Since then, BearCom has continued to add cameras to monitor various areas throughout the city. The Dallas Police Mobile Command Center, also designed and provided by BearCom, can tie into the system as long as the vehicle is within range of the wireless mesh network.

Experienced police officers in Dallas keep a close watch on live video from cameras mounted about 20 feet off the ground on various light and traffic signal poles and buildings throughout the Downtown and Uptown areas in Dallas, as well as several Dallas neighborhoods, including Jubilee Park and Jefferson Boulevard. Monitoring the video 24 hours a day, seven days a week are sworn active-duty police officers currently serving less than full-duty because of injuries, along with retired police officers working on an hourly basis. Successful public/private partnerships were instrumental in the deployment of the camera systems in several areas of the city, including the Central Business District, the Arts District, the Jefferson Boulevard area, and the Jubilee Park neighborhood.

A total of 152 cameras have currently been installed throughout the city of Dallas, including 126 Sony and 26 Panasonic units, making it one of the largest municipal wireless video surveillance systems in the country. In the City's Southwest Division, for example, 11 cameras have been installed along the Jefferson Boulevard corridor, where small retail stores, mom-and-pop businesses, pawn shops, and similar establishments predominate. These cameras are not monitored in real-time, but officers routinely use the OnSSI software to review video after the fact.

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