Wireless Digital Video Network Catches Mugger Occasions

Wireless Digital Video Network Catches Mugger Occasions

Firetide's wireless mesh network played a role in transmitting real-time footage of a recent mugging, enabling a timely police response. In an IP world, wireless transmission has become a valuable tool for law enforcement.

Digital surveillance, wireless networking and good police work helped nab a Dallas mugger in April. In the footage, he took a wallet from an 18-year-old man, who had collapsed from an epileptic seizure. Sony cameras captured the images, which were sent in real time over a dedicated Firetide wireless mesh network. The network carried live feeds and enabled an arrest of the accused mugger.

"The video surveillance system is an indispensable tool in the Dallas PD arsenal, deterring and detecting crime, as well as providing critical evidence for criminal investigations," said Michael Dillon, Firetide's Vice President of Business Development for Municipal Markets. "The police have arrested 317 people based on the video since the cameras were installed over a year ago."

The Dallas City Council and the police department deployed a digital surveillance system in downtown Dallas, home to 1.2 million. The cameras transmit signals, which are immediately rerouted should a node go down, making the solution reliable.

"Together, the Firetide nodes form a resilient mesh network which can route around any RF or technical problems, thus guaranteeing camera connectivity even when problems occur," Dillon said.

The video network allows the Dallas police to achieve situational awareness. "Firetide technology enables the concurrent transmission of voice, data and evidence-grade video in real time, which allows police officers, first responders and security personnel for the ability to access live video feeds on PDAs and laptops, as well as to transfer mission-critical data and remotely access criminal databases," Dillon said. The benefit of having cameras on-site gives officers the complete picture, with less "boots on the ground."

As public surveillance becomes more integrated, more timely responses are possible. "The surveillance system is changing the way police officers work by providing them with information about the scene before they arrive," Dillon said. "For example, the cameras can recognize faces up to one-and-a-half blocks away and license plates at two blocks, or follow a crime in progress across town."

 So far, the Dallas solution has been welcomed. "While there is no immediate financial payback from the system, the business owners and visitors feel more confident while visiting the downtown business district," Dillon said. "Crime is down 12 percent, but it cannot be all attributed to the cameras. The cameras are only one component in the recent effort to improve public safety and serve as 'virtual cops' in the high-crime areas."

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