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What Smart Cities are Doing to Increase Our Safety

IoT is connecting devices at home, in public and in businesses in an effort to make cities safer using security technologies.

What Smart Cities are Doing to Increase Our Safety

Some cities have integrated video management system and use the technology as a base for the creation of its public safety policies.

Metropolitan authorities aiming to create safe cities with security technologies are now developing them into Smart Cities as the Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting devices at home, in public and in business.

These interconnected devices include sensors of all kinds and have swelled the volume of data into big challenges. Open video management platforms that connect and manage the data are helping address these challenges. Many police and city officials around the globe now monitor and respond to both safety and operational matters more efficiently.

Johnmichael O’Hare, supervisor of the Capital City Command Center in Hartford, Conn., has shared how his team is constantly scaling out the facility to include the latest innovations and to improve daily life for citizens and businesses alike. Open architecture video software enables intelligent integration with third-party analytics software and other technologies.

With this combination, the police have created an intelligent city-wide law enforcement and response network that saves time and maximizes effectiveness.

“We aggregated our 911 dispatch system with our video wall pop-up views to augment the way we monitor neighbor-hood cameras. If something happens, we automatically see the priority of the call,” O’Hare says. “We’ve netted good results through aggregation of data, automation of processing and augmentation of intelligence with the city’s data solutions,” explains Tyler Cullen of Vulcan Security Technologies, who installed the security system in Hartford.

The solution integrates the video management with GPS locators, gunshot detection and fast video synopsis search capabilities.

“What used to require a 32-hour stakeout with one officer, is now achieved in minutes,” Tyler adds.

In the future, city officials plan to give local business owners and community groups the opportunity to install connected cameras at their facilities. Owners are then able to view video online, while officers and analysts also have access to the video should an incident occur in the area.

Similarly, the municipality of Vicente Lopez in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has one of the most modern security installations in the region. Martín Gasulla, deputy security secretary for Vicente Lopez, reports that the district has an integrated video management system (VMS) and uses the technology as a base for the creation of its public safety policies.

“Today we have over 1,300 video cameras providing a crime information platform that processes Big Data from different sources to converge in our urban monitoring center. This solution includes control panels, license plate capture, the ability to generate statistical reports in an instant and real-time forensic analysis to automate alerts and reduce operational time in the search for events.”

Gasulla extolls the importance of video software that has not only enabled the municipality to integrate devices and systems, but also provides quicker access to community information for faster response and proactive capabilities.

Looking beyond traditional security and big-city operations, in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, video management software is integrated with radar detection to keep both people and polar bears safe.

With climate changes melting the ice and affecting their food sources, the bears pose potential conflicts wandering into town. With more than 300 polar bear response calls made in 2016, the number continues to rise.

The seasonal need for wildlife officer patrols and intervention was becoming increasingly expensive for the town, creating the need for a new option to be explored.

Now, regardless of available human resources, weather conditions or time of day, when a bear is detected, the VMS-managed camera/radar system automatically sends out alerts and provides officials with real-time location information and video for visual confirmation.

People can get to safety, and wildlife officers are dispatched to scare the bear out of town or safely immobilize and transfer it to a holding facility until the bear can be released back to the wild. It’s clearly important to make optimal use of all connected device data with analytics and deep learning technology, as we head into the future.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will help humans manage many things better by augmenting our skills with automated handling of the massive data inputs. As these examples show, an open platform community of alliance partners are already on this path of development, mapping solutions integrated with VMSs to leverage these trending needs.

A recent market guide from Gartner recommends choosing those partners who are capable of building and working with custom solutions that integrate best-of-breed components with the software APIs.

Open technology architectures facilitate the third-party interoperability that gives the necessary flexibility for ongoing success in meeting both present and future opportunities.


This article originally ran in Campus Safety’s sister publication, Security Sales & Integration.

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