With a population of about 100,000, the highly industrialized City of Richmond is located 16 miles northeast of San Francisco across San Francisco Bay. Sprawling refineries and their enormous storage tanks dot its shoreline. Its port is a primary shipping transfer point for petroleum feeder stocks and finished products ranging from gasoline to fertilizers.
To meet increasing concerns about its critical port infrastructure as well as rising crime rates, both the City and Port sought a scalable, cost-effective solution for their respective security needs. Each selected a similar wireless video security solution specified and deployed by ADT.
In recent years the City of Richmond has suffered a crime surge, especially vandalism and illegal dumping. Combating this problem was not easy. Richmond police lacked the means to gather timely visual incident data, and they would race to a crime scene not knowing what to expect. Without visual images of the crime, they then found it difficult to prosecute the perpetrators. This situation led City officials to start looking for a security solution to reduce police reaction time and provide better crime scene investigative documentation.
As a major destination for liquid bulk shipments including petroleum, the Port of Richmond faced security and disaster threats common to a facility its size. At the same time, thieves were stealing copper-based parts and siphoning gas from parked cars to buy drugs. Given the deteriorating situation, Port management sought Homeland Security grant monies to fund a solution to its growing crime problem.
The system consists of backhaul networks from AW Networks, wireless mesh networks by BelAir Networks, video storage/management systems by Genius Vision, video analytics by ObjectVideo, and cameras by Axis Communications. The server-based perimeter detection system at the port includes strategically placed and configured trip wires and establishes and allows the user to set up custom rules and exceptions for intrusion within the 15-mile perimeter, including across adjacent waterways.
Despite their different crime scenarios, both the City and the Port were looking for a security solution that could capture and reliably manage visual incident data across their IP networks effortlessly, without the cost or limitations of wired security systems. In fact, Port officials spent two years researching a solution. After learning that City officials were discussing a wireless video solution with ADT, Port management joined in the specification meetings.
ADT designed two separate but similar wireless video solutions that were ultimately selected by the City and the Port of Richmond. The City system consists of 34 public security cameras while the Port solution includes 82 cameras, both on an 802.11 WiFi mesh network. Several factors convinced these two government organizations to entrust their security needs to ADT:
Integrated Expertise. Both projects required considerable integration expertise to design an effective solution that took advantage of the latest technology. Video analytics software from an outside vendor, for example, had to be selected and integrated with ADT-specified video cameras, DVRs and other system components. For optimum effectiveness, the system was designed to operate across a wireless mesh network.
Program Management Capability. ADT has considerable experience managing large-scale installations for commercial, government and industrial applications. This became a critical factor in the selection process since both the Port and City were looking for a single source of provision that could manage all phases of the projects.
Experience Working with All Government Levels. In addition to being a major security provider to the U.S. Federal Government, ADT has expertise in developing customized security solutions for state and local government customers. This was important to the City and Port of Richmond as these groups required a single provider that could simplify an often complicated purchasing process.
Incident Recognition and Analysis. With powerful analytics software, the IP cameras selected can recognize, record and report on high-risk activities in a given area. Rules can be created that generate real-time notifications when certain predefined incidents occur. These incidents can include persons entering and leaving a specified space that create, in effect, a video tripwire. This software can also detect objects left behind or taken away. This sophisticated technology can identify a wide range of criminal conduct from illegal dumping to copper theft to graffiti.
Scalable, Reliable Communications. ADT decided to leverage the flexibility of wireless mesh networks in both solutions. Consisting of nodes and transmitters that deliver video and data, wireless mesh networks can be easily integrated into an existing infrastructure and are highly reliable. Should a node fail, the system provides an alternate node to take over and carry the traffic to its destination anywhere, anytime.
These networks are also versatile in that cameras can be easily repositioned for use on a temporary/rapid deployment basis.
The City and Port of Richmond's wireless network video security systems are in their initial implementation phase. A second phase is planned in which crime-scene video will be transmitted not just to police stations or command centers but directly to patrol cars. This will give dispatched police officers a realtime video link to the crime scene before they arrive.
Wireless video technology is drawing the attention of many state and local government officials responsible for containing crime and securing critical infrastructure.
ADT National Accounts Manager, John Pearce said, "In addition to the City and Port of Richmond, we have implemented advanced video security solutions for a number of ADT government customers."
Other examples, he said, are a water treatment plant in Lincolnwood, Illinois, where a wireless video system is being used to gauge water levels as well as to detect trespassers. The Department of Public Safety in the Town of Oyster Bay, New York, is implementing a similar system to deter crime in their beach and town park. "A wireless mesh network is often the perfect solution," Pearce said, "because it's flexible, expandable and very operator friendly."