IP video surveillance, mesh network installation aid Dallas police crime watch

May 1, 2007
A wireless video surveillance network for the Dallas Police Department, designed to help reduce crime in the Texas city’s central business district, combines wireless Internet protocol (IP) video surveillance with multi-service mesh technology.

A wireless video surveillance network for the Dallas Police Department, designed to help reduce crime in the Texas city’s central business district, combines wireless Internet protocol (IP) video surveillance with multi-service mesh technology.

Wireless communications equipment and solutions provider BearCom (www.bearcom.com) designed the project with strategic partners Sony Electronics, Firetide, and BridgeWave communications. The initial phase of the installation, which was completed in January, consists of 40 Sony cameras, 32 Firetide mesh nodes, and seven BridgeWave transfer units.

System components for a wireless video surveillance network are mounted inside weatherproof enclosures and then installed on the exterior of buildings and on street light and traffic signal poles in downtown Dallas.
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To allow the Sony cameras to operate over the network, the Firetide mesh nodes link to each other wirelessly, eliminating the need to install video cabling to each camera location. The nodes form a video network that spans the entire area selected for surveillance.

“Our goal is to reduce crime in the area and to increase the overall satisfaction with public safety for our citizens,” says Dallas Deputy Police Chief Tom Lawrence. “The wireless camera system will dramatically improve our ability to monitor this area of the city, and we can now provide our officers with critical, real-time information they can use to protect the public and themselves whenever an incident is detected.”

According to BearCom, the wireless mesh system is self-healing; that is, should one link be blocked or lose power, the video signal will still get through without interruption in service.

Video traffic is aggregated and then backhauled to monitoring stations at Dallas City Hall and Jack Evans Police Headquarters using BridgeWave’s high-speed, secure wireless links.

System components are mounted inside protective, weatherproof enclosures, which are installed on the exterior of buildings and on street light and traffic signal poles in downtown Dallas. Most of the cameras have motorized controls, enabling officers or public safety staff sitting in a remote monitoring location to move the camera lens in any direction and zoom in for a closer look.

The surveillance system will cover approximately 30% of the downtown area and will be used as a crime deterrent with live, 24-hour monitoring in Dallas City Hall and at police headquarters.
Click here to enlarge image

As a key component of the Dallas Police Department’s crime reduction efforts, the surveillance system will cover approximately 30% of the downtown area and will be used as a crime deterrent with live, 24-hour monitoring in Dallas City Hall and at police headquarters. The video streams will also be recorded to assist with criminal investigations. The overt system is designed with strict adherence to applicable laws and will be used only in public areas with visible camera placement and street-level signage.

The Dallas Police Department plans to expand the wireless surveillance project to other areas of the city as additional funding becomes available.

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