Surveillance cameras boosting security at many public facilities
Cincinnati law enforcement, for instance, will be able to monitor city streets – even where they aren’t patrolling – thanks to 120 crime cameras that will be installed at no cost to area taxpayers.
A federal grant worth $2 million will pay for the surveillance cameras, which will be connected to laptops in police cruisers. Dispatchers will be able to view the camera images after receiving a 911 call, and some cameras may have sensors that will point at and zoom in on the sound of gunshots.
In the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia government is working to create a system that will link together thousands of city-owned video cameras. The network will offer 24/7 monitoring of closed-circuit video systems operated by nine city agencies.
The video setup, as envisioned, will have around 4,500 cameras trained on schools, public housing, highways and government buildings. Video from the system will feed into a dispatch center at the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.
Likewise, surveillance systems are being installed within government facilities. The North Carolina prison system, for instance, recently selected Carrollton, Texas-based GVI Security Solutions Inc. to provide a video surveillance and security setup that will employ Samsung cameras.
“GVI Samsung SCC-B5393 high-resolution, weather- and vandal-proof ceiling-mount dome cameras were ordered for installation in the North Carolina Department of Corrections,” said Michael Capulli, GVI Security Solutions senior vice president of sales, North America. “The durability, resistance to attack and exceptional picture quality of these cameras make them a perfect choice for difficult environments where reliable high-quality video surveillance is vitally important to protect life and property.”
The North Carolina Department of Corrections is one of the largest government departments in the Tar Heel state. With an annual budget of over $1 billion and about 20,000 employees, the corrections department incarcerates 39,000 inmates in 78 facilities around the state.
Camera enclosures and housings are built to last
How long should a surveillance or security camera housing last?
“Twenty years or more, easily,” said Frank Soehnlein, who is on the marketing staff at Waterford, Mich.-based Safety Technology International Inc., makers of CCTV camera housings and other security products. STI produces housings made of either aluminum or ABS plastic. In the near future, STI will be offering a heavy-duty cast aluminum housing that will be more vandal-resistant.
Prospective buyers should pay close attention to the blower-heater mechanism within the housing, added Soehnlein, who is a 30-year veteran of the security industry.
“The blower-heater combo is probably the most important item, because it keeps the camera working within the operating parameters that the manufacturer has specified,” he said.
Temperature extremes can be a factor in selecting the proper housing, Soehnlein told GovPro.com.
“The one climate consideration that people sometimes don’t think about is in the desert,” Soehnlein said. “The camera needs to be cooled, but you also need to heat it in the evening, because of the condensation that builds up inside. That would be one specific factor that buyers need to consider.”
Within the public sector, STI has had good success serving education institutions, Soehnlein disclosed.
“We’ve seen a marked increase in sales to schools; it’s picked up over the years – even before 9/11,” he said. “Sales are at all levels, from primary grades up through the universities.”
Go to the Emergency Response Product Center on GovPro.com for information on surveillance cameras and other security products.
ASIS International (ASIS) is the largest organization for security professionals, with more than 36,000 members worldwide. Go here to view the ASIS Security Toolkit, which has case studies, reports and more.
Check out the associate members’ directory at the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association’s Web site. Some of the members listed sell, install or distribute security cameras and related systems.