Converged Solutions Engage Security Personnel Ⅰ

Converged Solutions Engage Security Personnel Ⅰ

Security equipment may work beautifully, but is useless without proper operation. a&s explores how public transit authorities interact with security for situational awareness.

Public transit security is about being prepared for the worst as well as preventing it. Each system will have different priorities, depending on the location's purpose and unique concerns.

Management concerns can be aided by technology. People counting in a metro station can be added to video, eliminating a tedious manual task. “You can gather statistics and business intelligence on the flow of people for different times of the day and days of the week and use this information to improve operations,” said Zvika Ashani, CTO of Agent Video Intelligence, a video content analysis provider. “For example, you could modify the frequency of buses, change bus routes and look at traffic flow.”

Designated monitoring zones can also tell operators where passengers are located. “For security, the most common application is looking to detect people in unauthorized areas, such as people on the train or subway tracks and in other areas where they're not supposed to be,” Ashani said.

Real-time video gives operators a better idea of what's going on and how best to respond. “There is a big difference between handling violence or vandalism at a station, managing a response to pick pocketing or other disorderly behavior onboard a bus or metro,” said Patrik Anderson, Director of Business Development, Transportation for Axis Communications.

Network cameras are also useful for remote locations to intercept metal theft along the rail infrastructure, or detecting and preventing graffiti before a depot is defaced, Anderson said.

Management software can provide authorities with a record of what happened after an event. “The software provides automatic and on-demand downloading of video with access to status reports and event logs,” said Rodell Notbohm, GM of Apollo Video Technology. “The software is customizable to the agency's retention requirements and allows for easy-to-use yet robust data management.”

Getting messages to the right people is crucial for public transit, particularly with large distribution and scores of passengers traveling at high speeds. “Recently, we had a fire on an Israeli train. It unfortunately happened while the train was in transit, so the driver didn't even know,” said Udi Segall, Director of Product Marketing, Surveillance Division, Security Group, Nice Systems. “You need sensors and a means of communication to the control center, to know where it's happening and dispatch the relevant forces.”

If the event is even more catastrophic, such as a coordinated terrorist strike rather than a fire on an isolated carriage, communication is paramount. For situational awareness in an event such as the 7/7 attack, remote management should be available to security personnel. “If they cannot get into the control center, the security manager can manage the situation from his home office,” Segall said.

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