Sony Helps Chicago Police Fight against Crime

The city of Burbank, Illinois, which neighbors Chicago and has a population of more than 28,000, installed a video surveillance system using 22 Sony network security cameras to aid the police department in preventing and solving crimes.

Since completion of the upgrade in November 2008, images captured by the cameras have helped police make more than 13 arrests and recorded evidence for use in more than 45 cases.

The cameras are programmed to patrol and move from position to position automatically to assist officers with 24-7 video monitoring in the control room.

"It's like having an additional 22 sets of eyes at your fingertips," said Burbank Police Captain Joe Ford. "It is a force multiplier, enabling us to see areas not currently being patrolled while officers are concentrating on other assignments. Our ultimate goal is to enhance our law enforcement function with all the tools available, combining good police work with advanced technology."

Ford said the cameras' presence has already proven to motivate those accused of crimes to plead guilty due to the irrefutable evidence the video provides, saving the criminal justice system valuable time and resources.

Waypoint Consulting designed and engineered the system for the city, selecting the PTZ multicodec network cameras to serve as work horses for incident recording.

"In addition to their phenomenal reliability, what sold us on these cameras was the 36x zoom lens with its 122.4-millimeter focal length," said Jim Trofimuk, Owner and Principal of Waypoint Consulting. "It makes accurate facial recognition and license plate reading possible from a distance of up to 500 feet. The image quality is outstanding and continues to impress anyone who sees it."

The cameras offer 360 degrees of endless panning and rotation for precise capture of any object surrounding the camera. They also employ H.264 compression technology — the highest available for image transport and storage. According to Trofimuk, this enables the police department to extend its data storage capacity to up to 30 days.

Trofimuk said video captured on the cameras is transported via Firetide HotPort 6000 wireless mesh nodes to centralized aggregation points. Motorola 58600 Point-to-Point Bridges link the mesh nodes with the Burbank Police Station, transferring the images at Ethernet data rates up to 300 Mbps to NVRs.

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