DVTel, a provider of smart security solutions, announced the City of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is protecting the city's square, downtown and other high-risk areas in the city with DVTel's security platform and its PTZ and fixed network cameras.
The project uses DVTel's platform to manage and monitor 150 DVTel network cameras throughout the city. By the end of this year, Wilkes-Barre will have more than 250 cameras in operation, making it one of the largest per capita camera deployments in the U.S. Schneider Electric designed and installed the system for the city.
“Small communities throughout the country are having big city problems with crime and drugs and gangs. We had some progressive leadership in our community and we didn't want to react five years down the line; we wanted to be proactive,” said J.J. Murphy, a former city administrator for Wilkes-Barre. Murphy has started his own consulting business, Goals Consulting, to assist other cities with securing grant funds for similar projects.
The Safe City Initiative for Wilkes-Barre is a US$2.8 million project paid for by stimulus funds. Grant money came from Federal, Pennsylvania State Gaming and Pennsylvania Community and Economic Development funds.
Wilkes-Barre began building the foundation for its Safe City Initiative in 2007 when it built out its wireless network citywide and started a nonprofit organization, Hawkeye Security Solutions, to run the camera project and operate a command center to monitor the city's cameras.
The DVTel platform enables the city's command center to manage and monitor surveillance video from the hundreds of cameras located throughout Wilkes-Barre 24/7. The platform creates a common operational picture that enables users to capture, manage, analyze, integrate, and then act on previously unorganized and overly complex data. The results are improved reaction time, enhancing operator productivity and a reduction in incidents.
“At Schneider Electric we leveraged our system-design expertise for Wilkes-Barre, ensuring connection and integration for the DVTel network cameras and DVTel platform,” said Sam Belbina, VP of Systems Integration East for Schneider Electric. “This project has proved unique given the number of cameras deployed throughout the city and the wireless network that serves as its backbone.”Even though the system is only less than a year old, it has already proved a success, with the Wilkes-Barre Police Department using the surveillance system to catch several criminal incidents on video and then arrest the suspects. Police expect to rely on the tool to assist it with solving crimes in the future.