Axis and Genetec safeguard Surf City in California with crime investigation

Axis and Genetec safeguard Surf City in California with crime investigation

Case study: Axis cameras help the City of Huntington Beach, California , which is nicknamed “Surf City, USA,” investigate crimes downtown over a completely wireless network.

Mission
Huntington Beach, California is a booming beach community of 200,000 with a thriving summer tourist scene. With major events like an annual surf competition and dozens of bars and restaurants along Main Street, the city needed a video surveillance system to support its police force during incident investigations. But the police department headquarters was two miles from downtown, and the city did not have a fiber infrastructure to support a video system over that distance.

Solution
Reston, Virginia-based systems integrator and Axis partner CelPlan Technologies recommended a completely wireless solution with a mix of fixed and pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) Axis network cameras at key locations along Main Street and the pier, including AXIS Q6034-E PTZ Dome Network Cameras and AXIS P3363-E and AXIS P3364-E Fixed Dome Network Cameras. The PTZ cameras are set to guard tour to capture multiple views up and down the street on a rotating basis. Each camera is connected to a wireless RADWIN device that transmits the video back to police headquarters. The video is centrally managed from Genetec Security Center, the unified security platform that merges video surveillance with other security systems in one easy-touse solution. The open API architecture of the Axis cameras let CelPlan assemble the best components for the system.

Result
The Huntington Beach Police Department now has critical video evidence available to aid in the investigation of crimes and other incidents. In one instance, the cameras captured an assault with no witnesses, and the police were able to use a description of the suspect's clothing to make an arrest. The video surveillance solution proved so successful that the city launched a second phase to add an additional 15 Axis cameras at various hot spots around town.

Riding the IP video wave
Huntington Beach, California is a beachside community of 200,000 that swells with an additional 40,000 to 50,000 visitors each day during the summer tourist season. Nicknamed “Surf City, USA,” the city plays host to special events such as an annual surf competition, concerts and movie nights on the Pier Plaza. Its popular Main Street District also boasts dozens of restaurants and bars. With all the visitors, the city needed a video surveillance system downtown to provide additional support for its police force. However, their police headquarters is two miles away from the beach, and the city did not have a fiber infrastructure in place to transmit video over that distance. Reston, Virginia-based systems integrator and Axis partner CelPlan Technologies recommended a completely wireless, IP-based solution using Axis network cameras, RADWIN wireless transmitters and Genetec Security Center for efficient video surveillance management. “A wireless, IP-based system was the most affordable choice for the city. Installing a fiber network would have been simply cost prohibitive,” said Jasper Bruinzeel, vice president Wi4Net, CelPlan Technologies. “Additionally, with IP, you can scale without limit.”

No fiber? No problem. Shaping traffic on an all-wireless solution
For the first phase of the project, the city installed four AXIS Q6034-E PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) Dome Network Cameras, two AXIS P3363-E Fixed Dome Network Cameras and one AXIS P3364-E Fixed Dome Network Camera. The cameras' durable construction helped to withstand the salty sea air and ocean-front weather conditions. The city uses the PTZ cameras' guard tour feature to pan up and down streets and capture video over a much larger area. Additionally, the cameras provide the ability to fine tune resolution and compression rates, which are all easily configured from Genetec Security Center. “Features like H.264 compression allow us to shape the network traffic and make things much more predictable,” Bruinzeel said. “Those elements become very important when you try to push megapixels over wireless links.”

The open standards platform on which the cameras are built meant CelPlan could select the best possible system components without worrying about proprietary compatibility issues. “As an integrator, we try to use open architecture concepts as much as possible. This way we aren't tied to a single vendor for all the components, and we can use a ‘best-of-breed' approach to designing systems,” Bruinzeel said. The Axis cameras are connected to RADWIN wireless devices which transmit the signal back to police headquarters where it is stored on Dell PowerEdge R520 servers. Using Genetec Security Center for video surveillance, officers have the ability to monitor live video feeds 24/7, control the PTZ cameras and quickly retrieve and playback video from the archives for investigative purposes.

Case closed
The Huntington Beach Police Department saw results right away. Shortly after the cameras were installed, a man was caught on video stealing an expensive bicycle. A broadcast-quality image still was sent to the local news, and the man was subsequently spotted and arrested. The video evidence has also been used to investigate more serious crimes, including an assault where the victim was knocked unconscious. No witnesses came forward, but the police monitoring the video were able to use a description of the suspect's clothing and the direction he ran to make an arrest. “The evidence the video system provides is a huge plus,” said Lieutenant Kelly Rodriguez, Huntington Beach Police Department. “I am confident the cameras will aid in apprehensions following future criminal activity.”

 



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