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Atlanta police rely on wireless surveillance to play NCAA safe

Atlanta police rely on wireless surveillance to play NCAA safe

The city of Atlanta deployed a wireless mesh video surveillance network, consisting of 140 Firetide wireless infrastructure mesh nodes and 65 Sony cameras, to help the city's police department control vehicle traffic and protect more than 500,000 fans during the 2013 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball semifinals which concluded April 8. Cameras monitor vehicle and foot traffic, multiple parking lots, city parks, and areas surrounding the four event venues. The wireless network was designed and deployed by systems integrator Avrio RMS Group.

Atlanta and the Georgia Dome hosted the NCAA division I men's final four basketball championship, held April 6-8, 2013. For the first time two semi-final games and the National Championship match for all three NCAA divisions were crowned in the same city. The events were held at the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center, and Centennial Olympic Park and both pedestrian and vehicular traffic was heavy around these venues. “The City of Atlanta Police Department planned for this five-day event for more than a year and urged visitors to expect, and prepare for, large crowds in excess of 100,000 per day,” said George Turner, Chief of Police, Atlanta Police Department.

The network includes 72 wireless mesh nodes that were initially deployed in 2012 to support Atlanta Police Department's video traffic control program, and was recently expanded to provide public safety video surveillance for the 2013 NCAA basketball tournaments. The expansion includes an additional 68 wireless mesh nodes and a combination of 65 fixed and PTZ Sony EX series IPELA video cameras. The video cameras connect directly to the mesh nodes and are placed in areas expecting large crowds, parking lots, and at multiple traffic intersections throughout the city. The live video feeds are sent to the city police department's Video Integration Center where designated watch commanders from the police department and other law enforcement agencies monitor cameras 24/7. Video feeds are stored for designated length of time and can be used as effective evidence in court.

The wireless video network provides the department with real-time video feeds around the sports venues, as well as hospitality areas in downtown Atlanta. The ability to monitor wireless video feeds 24/7 enables the city police department to make fast, well-informed decisions on how to best respond to traffic congestion, accidents, and illegal behavior such as theft, vandalism, and physical altercations. “Firetide wireless mesh allows the Atlanta Police Department to cover more areas and to quickly provide an increased level of security that would not have been possible with the limited reach of the existing wired infrastructure,” said Duane Zitzner, CEO, Firetide.

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