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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The EPS settled on the Panasonic solution after a careful review of vendor responses to its RFP, he says. "From a pricing perspective, the Panasonic system was very competitive, and the EPS had prior experience with the company from a support perspective."
New and improved processes
Many police departments have implemented similar networked video systems, but the methodology the EPS chose to deploy its system is unique, says Panasonic's Vancl.
"The way they partitioned the system is original," he says. "The EPS had a vision of a distributed but centrally managed platform that would allow them to gain significant efficiencies."
The economies of scale of a centralized system have allowed the EPS to transform and speed up the processes around fulfilling video requests. "They now have a central department that looks after the entire city. Back in the day, it was the police chief or one of the sergeants at each station who was responsible for video retrieval, but now they've formed a group of video specialists."
No new IT infrastructure was needed for the solution, as the Panasonic system uses the existing WAN, he says. "They segmented a portion of the network for security purposes, and that's what the video travels across."
And with their distributed approach, the EPS has minimized the impact of bandwidth-gobbling video on their network. "They have hundreds of cameras and recorders, but it's only when someone needs to retrieve video that it travels across the network - otherwise, it's stored at the station."
Few police departments have this type of distributed but centrally managed set-up, says Vancl. "The key is to have all the stations standardized on one platform. Someone has to make a decision to deploy standard products at each site."
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