Edmonton Police monitor the force with video surveillanceWritten by Rosie Lombardi Wednesday, 12 August 2009 06:03
Privacy advocates may rail against the steady encroachment of video surveillance in public places by law enforcement - but the all-seeing camera eye is also focusing on police departments themselves.
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Panasonic's video management middleware doesn't work well with other vendors' wares, he warns. "It's hard to piecemeal the solution onto an existing infrastructure, because some older DVRs lack networking capabilities, and some police stations were even using outdated VHS technology."
Ensuring the security of the system is also more difficult with disparate vendors, as their products may not have the same design or capabilities, he adds. "Security features are part of our DVRs, which are embedded appliances. This means they're hard-coded and purpose-built only for what they do, and don't have ties to other applications. They can't be manipulated by other software on a PC."
To ensure the reliability of the system, the EPS implemented redundant recording devices at each site as back-up in case of hardware failure, and extra PCs for additional storage and remote administration, says Tuson.
The Panasonic system's middleware manages 85 DVRs and 350 cameras across Edmonton's police stations, he says. "Despite the numbers, we've experienced very few service requests for it since it was implemented last year," he says.
Labour and turnaround time have been reduced significantly, he adds. "The whole process is a demonstration of efficiency. With this technology, we can queue multiple video requests for download within minutes of each other, and step away from the process."
The networking capabilities of the Panasonic solution have also removed the need to travel to each site to capture video. Once a DVD is created, requestors are notified it's ready for pick-up. This simplified process with only two players in the chain also strengthens the integrity of the chain of custody, he says. "It reduces the number of human interactions with the video."
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