Zoo Keeps Watchful Eye On Crowds and Critters
Crowd control, accidents, and other security-related incidents are all issues that large metropolitan zoos must manage. With expansion plans underway, the Brookfield Zoo decided to use its IT network to run IP-based surveillance software.
The software provides the scalability and the flexibility to add or move cameras around for different exhibits and events, unlike the zoos analog surveillance system.
The Brookfield Zoo is just outside Chicago, and has 2 million visitors yearly coming to see more than 3,000 animals. Over 450 employees work full-time, and another 1,000 are hired every summer to handle the upswing in attendance. Special events may attract 20,000 to 25,000 visitors on the property, which covers a total of 216 acres.
The zoos 20 police officers also serve as emergency medical technicians. A fleet of cars and golf carts transport employees and officers around the grounds, including the large parking lots located by the south and north exits.
Virtual eyes from the network surveillance allow officers to handle incidences faster. This kind of proactive approach to security helps ensure the zoo is a safe and enjoyable place for families, students and tourists–not to mention the animals.
Prior to construction of new exhibits, the zoo researched available security options and that zoos across the county were upgrading surveillance operations to network systems Current Technologies main selling point was the flexibility to add new cameras anywhere and be able to easily move them around, says Jack Howe, Captain of Security and Emergency Medical Services at Brookfield Zoo.
Its also good to have the recorded images for resolving any issues that could come up, says Howe. Because were always adding new exhibits and holding events, the new video surveillance solution is really good for being able to grow along with us.
The zoo plans to relocate cameras to highlight the Animal of the Month. The images will be posted on the zoos website. The cameras will also allow the Animal Programs Department to monitor animals day and night.
Milestone XProtect Enterprise IP video surveillance software is operating centrally on a standard PC running Microsoft Windows, managing Sony model SNC-DF70 network cameras, installed and fully supported by Current Technologies Corporation.