Design Your City Surveillance System the Right Way: Phase 1

Posted on Categories City Surveillance Safe Cities

It’s often been said, you can do something fast, or you can do something right. This logic applies to any security professional who is tasked with designing a City Surveillance system. Due to budget constraints, city government bureaucracy and a host of other challenges – getting the perfect, most comprehensive security system to initiate your program may not happen in phase one. But, if you plan right in this critical initial phase, you can lay the foundation for success through an increase in operational efficiency, safer intersections and less crime as your system is scaled. How? Let’s review a few considerations as you begin your research.

What does the ideal Video Management System for city surveillance look like?

You should be looking at a VMS that can be deployed through the traditional hardware option, but also offers a software-base option. This gives you complete flexibility to leverage your existing system, which will contribute to your cities bottom line. It is vital that this system is built on an open platform that allows for customization and the option of integrating third-party software with relative ease. It should have system aggregation that pulls all video feeds into a single user interface that is intuitive to operators and takes little time to learn. Combining all this video coverage and the use of third-party integrations, like event management analytics, will increase the efficiency of how your security personnel reacts to critical situations. A more efficient process means less costly mistakes- financially and when it comes to the safety of citizens and city employees.

What cameras offer the best strategy for traffic management?

A high priority goal for any security professional monitoring traffic is the ability to see all angles and details for a given intersection. Because you don’t have an unlimited budget, you must be able to cover this entire area with the least number of cameras. Fortunately, there are several options on the market today that offer complete situational awareness and are ideal for traffic management.

Panoramic camera technology offers exceptional image quality and field of views of 180, 270 and 360 degrees. Look for multi-sensor or single-sensor panoramic cameras that integrate flawlessly with the VMS and gives you perfectly stitched video. Be leery of lower quality cameras that deliver overlapping or fragmented video that can alter your field of view. Your security monitors cannot afford any distractions during an emergency situation.

In most scenarios, the use of a few additional PTZ or fixed IP cameras in conjunction with panoramic cameras will offer 100% coverage of your intersection. If your region experiences harsh weather conditions, you should choose cameras with an IP 66 rating. This rating will ensure your cameras withstand the best that mother nature has to offer. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure your cameras give you a clear visibility, even if it’s foggy and dark. Not all IP cameras deliver low light performance and image de-fog capability- even if they are marketed that way. Ask for an in-person demonstration and judge for yourself.

How can I use my City Surveillance system to reduce crime?

The mere sight of surveillance cameras may deter criminal activity in certain areas of your city. Common sense suggests that would-be criminals will just choose another location to go about their unlawful ways and put another area of town in jeopardy.

One way to gain the upper-hand is to deploy specially modified surveillance cameras that blend into the natural surroundings of this area. Going one step further, you may elect to use motion or loitering video analytics in the camera or VMS that trigger an alarm to security personal monitoring your city. Now, you can begin your investigation in real-time, alert local law enforcement and take a more proactive step in reducing crime.

The more criminals you put behind bars, the less there are on the streets of your city.

Moving Ahead

These are just a few considerations as you begin researching options for phase one of your City Surveillance System. To reiterate–by choosing the right VMS solution, accompanied by a sound traffic management camera strategy and crime reduction plan–your city will benefit from better efficiency and safer streets.

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