Dallas police use wireless surveillance system to reduce crime

System leverages technologies from OnSSI, Firetide and BearCom

In addition to watching cameras in real-time, the monitoring personnel also cross-check crime reports against video archives to determine if a camera near the location of an alleged crime captured any evidence. There have been 4,518 of these "camera-involved calls" through June of 2010, and there were 6,259 of them in 2009. Making video copies, which requires supervisor approval, helped with 28 incidents through June of 2010 and with 70 incidents last year. The cameras have also been used to monitor events in real-time, for example, in areas like the downtown business district where there are high concentrations of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The cameras have been used to monitor 112 real-time events through June this year.

Since the cameras have been installed, DPD reports there have been a total of 17,283 calls and 5,016 arrests in surveillance areas in Downtown, Uptown and Jubilee Park thanks in part to the video system. In one incident, a camera operator observed a theft of pay boxes in progress in a pay parking lot and directed officers to make an arrest. In another incident, a person in a military uniform was observed on video having a seizure, and someone stole his wallet during the incident. The next day, the thief was again spotted on video and arrested.

"The Dallas installation is a convincing example of how IP-based systems can capture video from anywhere in a wide geographic area and provide it in an intuitive and user-friendly way precisely when and where it is needed," said Gadi Piran, President and Chief Technology Officer, OnSSI. "Combining the latest IP camera technologies with wireless mesh networking and OnSSI's video management system provides a great tool for the Dallas Police Department, and ASIS attendees can put those same capabilities to work for their own enterprises."

"Three and one-half years since the first phase of the project began, the DPD’s wireless video surveillance network is an instructive case study of the crime fighting benefits of such a network and the public private partnership model that has been key to its success," said Bo Larsson, CEO of Firetide Inc. "The system is also a showcase for Firetide’s high-performance wireless infrastructure mesh, coupled with open-platform IP camera and video management technologies. We look forward to working with the DPD and its partners on the continued expansion of the network which has become integral to the area’s public safety system."

"We're very proud to be associated with the Dallas Police Department and this project," said John Watson, Chairman of BearCom. "The success of the DPD surveillance system would not have been possible without the cooperation of our partners. Not only are Firetide and OnSSI innovators and leaders in the wireless communications industry, but more importantly, they worked closely with us to develop a solution that was a perfect fit for the needs of the DPD and the City of Dallas. As a result, BearCom now has an integrated team that can offer similar solutions to other municipalities, police departments, and security organizations that want to leverage wireless technology as an effective and efficient way to combat crime."