SoCal City’s Surveillance Acts as Force Multiplier

When city officials in Torrance, Calif., decided to green-light a proposed video surveillance project, they had more in mind than to simply put additional “eyes” on the streets to help combat crime.

When city officials in Torrance, Calif., decided to green-light a proposed video surveillance project, they had more in mind than to simply put additional “eyes” on the streets to help combat crime. Located near Los Angeles amid a web of freeways, the police department in this coastal city of 150,000 residents was mainly interested in monitoring major intersections that are considered likely escape routes for criminals.

Having secured a federal grant to help foot the cost of the system, the city drafted a request for proposal (RFP) to identify a systems integrator that would provide Torrance its first entry into municipal video surveillance. The project called for wireless communications to transmit video feeds, as well as solar power in one zone to accommodate a state agency that would not allow the city to tap into a power line that it controls.

Read on to find out the details behind the integrator’s winning bid and how the project came to fruition.

City of Torrance Identifies Its Integrator Partner

Following the release last year of a public bid for the project, Torrance officials hosted a job walk that attracted about 20 installing security contractors. Of that group, seven companies went on to submit proposals. Taking the prize for the $190,000 project was Digital Networks Group of Aliso Viejo, Calif.

“We were not the lowest bidder by any means. However, I was very detailed with my presentation and I gave them a lot of details on the products we would be providing,” says Trey Cox, an account manager with Digital Networks Group. “When they compared the products and capabilities, they felt the system I was providing was going to do the best job for them and that’s why we won.”

<p>Torrance Police Department personnel can view live and recorded video from the four-camera wireless video surveillance system in the command room. The city used a federal grant to pay for the $190,000 solution.</p>While Digital Networks Group has been in business for 25 years, the company’s video surveillance division, which Cox manages, was launched about five years ago. The firm specializes in open architecture design and installing voice, data, video, sound and security networks along with media retrieval, broadcasting and video conferencing systems. Its clientele is largely K-12, private schools and hospitals.

“We have all the experience and know-how to do IP video surveillance. It is just a different device you are hanging on the end of the cable so it was real easy for us to migrate into video surveillance and start doing that,” Cox explains.

Because the Torrance RFP called for wireless capability as a requisite, Cox consulted with multiple manufacturers of wireless systems and landed on Fluidmesh Networks to assist him with the proposal.

“Fluidmesh was more responsive with giving me the information that I needed to engineer the job and do the pricing,” he says. “Their price point was also more competitive. They have good technology built into their radios that allow for easy installation and long-distance wireless transmission.”

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