Vumii illuminated camera system protects the Port of Baltimore

Vumii illuminated camera system protects the Port of Baltimore
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) is tasked with the challenge of protecting and serving the citizens within the Baltimore municipality.
 
BPD not only protects the area’s streets but also has shared responsibility for safeguarding the city’s port including historic Fort McHenry. The law enforcement agency required a way to detect and assess security, safety, environmental, and fire threats in the waterways, and near bridges, especially at night and at long distances.

Scenario

In addition to business traffic which brings ships from around the world into the port, the city also attracts visitors and tourists who enjoy shopping, dining, and special events. A 200th anniversary celebration associated with the War of 1812 attracted more than one million people to the port as well as dozens of foreign ships.

"Our challenge is that we patrol and protect such a diverse area including sections where it is dark and easy to hide,” said Sgt. George McClaskey, BPD.

With multiple law enforcement, government agencies and military branches sharing responsibility for patrolling the port and surrounding bay areas, BPD also required a security solution which could support shared camera views and interoperability among different systems.

Solution

BPD required a comprehensive set of security cameras designed to address the challenges associated with this unique environment. This included the implementation of active illumination and thermal cameras that met the agency’s distance requirements and supported day and night monitoring. BPD deployed Vumii Discoverii active illumination cameras and Accuracii thermal and CCD cameras.

The Discoverii long-range threat assessment cameras feature long range optics with CCD cameras that are optimized for near- IR laser illumination (beyond 4000 meters in complete darkness). This combination of high performance cameras, optics, and laser illumination creates a camera system that enables natural contrast video providing critical scene details such as facial features, license plate or vehicle lettering, and the ability to see through glass.

Accuracii is a powerful day-and-night, multi-sensor observation solution allowing mid-range detection and observation with both a zoomable CCD and a dual FOV thermal imager.

The cameras are tied to a web-based Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) system enabling multiple organizations to share views from Vumii cameras. “By coupling the visual aspect of the Vumii cameras to radar, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) for gathering ship data, and other software tools, we can pretty well tell what’s on the water at all times, day or night, even in bad weather,” notes McClaskey.

Success

The broad spectrum of Vumii thermal and near-IR camera technologies provide for a cost-effective solution for helping law enforcement agencies provide the most complete protection to the port of Baltimore.

McClaskey believes that the camera’s ease of use, nighttime performance, and ability to zoom-in to scenes at great distances with clarity and detail provide a winning combination. He points to a nighttime incident in 2012 in which the Coast Guard was unable to find a sinking pleasure boat. With video from a Vumii camera as well as from a BPD helicopter, the vessel was located and the passengers were rescued.


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