Inside the Statue of Liberty’s digital video surveillance system

March 4, 2014
Technology provider Total Recall used products and systems from nine providers to build an IP-video solution to improve the landmark’s safety, security and operations.

Total Recall Corporation, a security-technology provider with a focus on video surveillance, brought together technologies, products and systems from nine vendors to construct an IP-based digital surveillance system at the recently renovated Statue of Liberty National Monument and Liberty Island. The system is put to use by the U.S. Park Police, National Park Service (NPS) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) to enhance public safety and improve operational efficiencies, according to a recent release from Milestone Systems, one of the nine vendors mentioned.

“The Statue of Liberty reopened to the public on Independence Day—July 4—2013, following eight months of renovation and repairs due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy,” the Milestone release explained. “As part of the refurbishment, Total Recall reached out to the U.S. Park Police, NPS and DOI with a state-of-the-art system proposal that would be designed, installed and maintained as a donation by the company.”

To prepare for the reopening, Total Recall redesigned the entire surveillance and security system, including migrating from analog CCTV to IP-based digital video technology, Milestone further explained, “building an intelligent and ultra-modern command center [pictured below] to help the NPS and U.S. Park Police do their jobs more effectively, and enabling the park to cover areas with video surveillance that they could not reach before, such as the security-screening facilities.”

U.S. Park Police captain Gregory Norman said, “The National Park Service and Statue of Liberty National Monument greatly appreciate the comprehensive security system donated by Total Recall.”

Total Recall’s president, Jordan Heilweil, commented, “We are extremely honored to once again be part of the surveillance-system design and installation at the Statue of Liberty. We assembled a dream team of cutting-edge security technology providers to give her the best protection possible while helping the Park Police, Department of the Interior and National Park Service deliver a memorable experience for the millions of families who visit the statue each year. All of our partners are proud to be part of this mission.”

The system’s design allows it to cover the entire perimeter of Liberty Island as well as the park’s security-screening facilities and all 393 steps from the main lobby to the statue’s crown. Milestone further explained, the technology will be used for the day-to-day safety and security of the park’s visitors while also helping the U.S. Park Police and NPS monitor traffic flow and expand people-management to keep lines moving, assist ferry-service operation, reconnect parents with misplaced children and effectively respond to any medical emergencies on the island or inside the statue.

“The current surveillance deployment marks the first time an all-digital surveillance system has been installed at the monument,” Milestone noted, “which will allow the NPS to cover areas of the island that were previously unreachable with the old analog system—thanks to a mix of fiber and wireless connections. Total Recall designed and supervised the last major security-system overhaul for the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island in 1999, with the latest upgrade made in 2004.”

The installation proved challenging, in no small part because of the conditions left in Hurricane Sandy’s wake. Heilweil recalled, “The lack of electricity, flooding and damage caused by Sandy could not stop the amazing team from making sure that Lady liberty could welcome visitors, as she always has.”

Milestone provided its open-platform IP video management software for the project. Other vendors’ products and systems include: Axis Communications’ IP cameras, BriefCam’s Video Synopsis software, DragonWave’s multi-gigabit packet microwave radios, Pivot3’s digital storage and compute devices, Proxim Wireless’s wide-area wireless broadband system, RGB Spectrum’s MediaWall 2900 Display Processor, Scallop Imaging’s M6-200 IP cameras for perimeter security, and Winsted Corporation’s command-center consoles.

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