Securing the premises
The Manassas Regional Airport and school district have used security cameras at their facilities for several years to monitor sensitive areas and improve event records. A few years ago, the city began expanding its use of cameras to deter criminal behavior at other public buildings, beginning with vulnerable facilities at the police and utilities departments.
Rather than install separate video security camera systems at each facility, city officials decided to install a system that would tie all facilities together on its computer network. A combined system would help agencies collaborate when responding to incidents and would expand easily to accommodate additional buildings. “Manassas wanted a solution that would allow an unlimited number of cameras, at an unlimited number of locations to be managed on a single, secure, Web-based platform,” says Police Department Capt. Steven Bamford.
The city contracted with Houston-based LenSec to design and install the security camera system that would connect to the city’s computer network. Sixty IP cameras were installed at the police station, utilities department and a middle school, and the city’s existing equipment — 50 analog cameras at two schools and 16 airport cameras — was integrated into the system.
Now, the departments’ authorized employees can view images from all of the facilities’ cameras using a standard Web browser. The system presents floor plans that designate camera locations, and users can view multiple images and retrieve archived recordings. Departments also can access the cameras from outside the city’s network to quickly respond to emergencies.
The camera installation began in 2005, and Bamford is anticipating adding more agencies to the system. “Our plan is to continue to grow the system, allowing for full collaboration between all city entities,” he says.
Security camera installation
Police, Utilities, Regional Airport, School District