Wireless surveillance proves security on presidential campaign trail

Amid week-long political conventions and massive campaign rallies, wireless video surveillance has emerged as an indispensable tool for law enforcement and public safety agencies throughout the country. Orlando Police Department, Denver Police Department and St. Paul Police Department, among others, used wireless mesh technology from Firetide and integrated surveillance systems from Avrio Group to meet complex challenges of ensuring security and preventing incidents when election passions run high.

In battleground Florida, campaign events took place almost daily. On Monday, October 21, the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton rally in Orlando drew a record crowd of 60,000 people. Wireless systems can be positioned almost anywhere to obtain the best point of view – no need to drill holes, pull cable or trench ground. For temporary installations, cabled systems are not even an option, and time is critical – Firetide networks can be set up in a matter of days or even hours, depending on the size of the network. The cameras can also be repositioned as conditions change. On a wireless mesh network, unlike with a point-to-multipoint system, any mesh node can act as a “head end” – allowing multiple command centers to be set up, at any point on the network. Integrated systems, such as Avrio PoleCams, which contain a wireless mesh node and a high-end pan-tilt-zoom camera in an easy-to-deploy enclosure, further simplify setup. PoleCams can also be powered from a generator, eliminating the need to provide power to each camera/wireless node location.

In addition to streaming video to the mobile command center, the solution allows for video to be viewed from mobile devices and also allows for integration with other security systems like access control, sensors including gunshot detection, voice and data communications. When situation requires cooperation of multiple local, state and federal agencies, such as during the political conventions due to their designation as National Special Security Events, video can be sent in multicast mode to multiple destinations for simultaneous viewing and recording – to police headquarters, field command centers and joint operations centers. Multicasting is essential for remote monitoring by multiple decision makers, but can severely burden a wireless network. Firetide’s patented encapsulation techniques enable multicasting of video streams across wireless networks – minimally impacting bandwidth.

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