Hartford Crime Center expands city surveillance to minimize wrongdoing, optimize safety

Oct. 25, 2017
Milestone community of partners integrate multiple solutions for maximum operation

BEAVERTON - October 17, 2017 - Milestone open platform IP video management software (VMS) has been combined with network cameras from Axis Communications to provide ongoing security upgrades for the City of Hartford, Connecticut. The police can prevent and respond fast to incidents throughout the city, as well as manage the swell of activities during public events. The Milestone open architecture has enabled integrations with third-party analytics software from BriefCam, The Hawkeye Effect and ShotSpotter that help the police department save time and maximize efficiency.

The City of Hartford first began expanding and upgrading its surveillance capabilities in 2013 when its new Public Safety Complex and police headquarters opened. The city enlisted Vulcan Security Technologies to help select and implement a new IP camera system that could expand to include hundreds of cameras and ongoing upgrades with new innovations.

Due to its reliability and ability to operate with third-party systems, Milestone XProtect Corporate video management software (VMS) was selected, along with various models of Axis network cameras. The system steadily expanded as Axis cameras were added to monitor City Hall, public parks and city streets.

“We’re very happy with our system. The images are crystal clear, and our system is seamless and so responsive,” said Sgt. Johnmichael O’Hare, Hartford Police Department. “I could cite a million examples of how we’ve used it to save time and assist officers to stop crimes in progress.”

In 2015, the Hartford Police Department established its Real-Time Crime Center and Data Intelligence Center. which includes a Milestone XProtect Smart Wall with thirty 55-inch, 4K video monitors. Analysts view video and other data feeds from the emergency 9-1-1 dispatch system and social media mining tools to monitor potentially violent or hostile events. With hundreds of cameras now in place, the police watch video from nearly the entire city.

Sgt. O’Hare worked with Tyler Cullen, Director of Information Technology at Vulcan Security Technologies, to select the Milestone VMS solution. Its open platform gave the city much-needed flexibility and allows them to integrate with several analytics and software platforms.

Cullen and his team have integrated a system called The HawkEye Effect, which ties the Milestone VMS to the city’s existing ShotSpotter system. ShotSpotter acoustically detects gunshots, and when a shot is detected, HawkEye Effect takes the exact coordinates from ShotSpotter and drives all positional cameras in the vicinity either to predefined escape routes or right onto the location where the shooting occurred. The VMS integration with this gunshot detection system was key for the police department, which expanded coverage to include every residential zone in the city limits.

In addition to other forensics, the city uses real-time analytics on cameras at public works buildings to detect objects left behind and other potential threats or to track theft.

The crime center also integrated BriefCam video synopsis into the system, which helps extract valuable, actionable information from the video. BriefCam gives rapid video review, search and analysis of video data for locating events of interest more quickly than ever before.

“BriefCam has been a game changer for us. It’s helped us take our system to the next level,” said O’Hare. “We can do things with BriefCam we couldn't do before: to take large volumes of video data, examine it very quickly and share that information with our officers.”

O’Hare was first introduced to Milestone VMS in 2008 and says he has admired the responsiveness of the open platform ever since. Now that his department has Milestone XProtect Corporate in place with Axis cameras, he and his team of analysts are continually realizing the importance of this capability.