Bigger is better?
Are they they only cameras in the room?
IPVMU Certified | 04/03/14 11:08pm
My guess: Cut & Paste RFP
There are potentially lots of floorplans for post offices, and the exact layout could differ between each.
By specifying PTZs 'centered above each clerk station', it is specific enough to be useful in any branch, and the PTZ allows for the staff to fine tune FoV without needing to argue about camera selection, labor dollars, or defining the target FoV in the bid package.
A purchasing clerk in the mainland can write an RFP without ever setting foot in HI, or any other countless remote Post Office. They can just dust off this generic spec, spend more on PTZs, but potentially save thousands hammering out an efficient design on site.
The no-name camera markings reveal the fact bottom-dollar submissions win the bid.
How sure are you that they all be PTZs?
Wouldn't be as loco if they had them multi-imager domes, one on the customer, one on the money box, one towards the back room.
Did you feel a little self-conscious takin pictures of security equipment in a public place?
IPVMU Certified | 04/04/14 01:39pm
Sounds like some investigative reporting is in order, starting with branch management.
Chesapeake & Midlantic
I spent about an hour looking through PTZ camera listings and housing listings, and cannot identify the brand. It almost looks like a Pelco Spectra IV SE housing, but not exactly.
So, not just too many cameras, but too many cameras of an unknown, no-name, potentially junky brand (I think- if someone can identify these domes I will be glad to admit my error).
Could it be a Pelco akin to this one: (or predecessor)?
The form factor seems similar, and it seems remarkably close to numerous specs (including smoked dome, 35x analog zoom, 540TVL (IC), WDR, encoder support for Pelco P PTZ protocol, etc.) called out in the USPS RFP awarded to Diebold:
While this FBO notice is a few years old, the contract for up to 40,000 USPS locations supported a 12 year period of performance.
@Ari, @Horace - I'm embarrased to say I looked longer than Ari and didn't find anything as close as this one (the picture from Horace's link)
Back Box Spectra IV SE back box options include the following models: environmental in-ceiling (ideal for outdoor soffits), indoor in-ceiling, indoor surface mount, and standard and environmental pendant.
So maybe its the indoor surface mount version? And maybe its got those three vent slots, or whatever they are, on the other side?
Let"s focus back on the question of why they are using PTZs at each station. Anyone know?
Quite a lot of info about the exact USPS cctv requirements can be found here. Apparently they run two seperate systems. See sections 5-7. looks like ptz's are a requirement for every lane. It also looks like they might be doing remote ptz for OIS. Here's a couple screen shots
1) PTZ are larger. Some customer locations such as bank lobbies (and now the USPS) want a visable deterance. I have been to sites where cameras are purposely not flush mounted for this reason. This falls in line with CPTED and the 5-D's of physical security to deter people.
2) The PTZs could be connected to a panic switch or similar to look at the lobby, doors, etc. in case of emergency.
3) PTZs come with a lens. No need to worry about specifying the wrong lens, limited zoom on lenses for high ceilings, etc....
Chesapeake & Midlantic
This falls in line with CPTED and the 5-D's of physical security to deter people.
Deter, detect, delay, deny, and... dis job gets to me sometimes?
PTZs come with a lens. No need to worry about specifying the wrong lens, limited zoom on lenses for high ceilings, etc....
Yeah, spending an extra $2,000 to save the 45 seconds it takes for an experienced security professional to specify the correct lens is a compelling business case. Well, yeah, okay, 45 seconds times however many cameras it is. Still, though.
IPVMU Certified | 04/07/14 10:10pm
I have some first hand knowledge of at least part of this process.
Diebold did indeed get awarded the contract for the CCTV upgrades at most (if not all) the Post Office facilities. I worked on the bids for the larger International Post Office Distribution facilities in Northern California for both access control and the CCTV systems. Early on I could see where the Post Office was heading with the CCTV systems so I dropped out of that (thank god) - There definitely is a pre - scripted system design, its definitely older and needs to be updated - the reason it is going to stick is because it is definably better than what the USPS has currently (think VCR's, yes, with tapes) Now imagine a post office, and imagine the site that receives all the mail for probably 3-400 post offices - HUGE - and only then can we begin to consider how far behind these facilities are in video security.
The design only works because no one at the USPS has the will, the knowledge or the drive to change it. I hate the bidding process, its usually a question of how badly does it fail rather than how close does it come to succeeding.
The bid for the access control is nearly as antiquated - most of the locks being spec'd to be installed are Mag Locks, or strikes, with rex's above the door. About 7-8 years behind at the best case scenario.
USPS uses these cameras for Point of Sale coverage. The USPS has several groups operating surveillance cameras and they don't all follow the same spec.
Bucking the trend I am going to go out on a limb and say that most, if not all, of the Spectra IV/III domes John shows do not have ptz drives inside, instead I believe that they are fixed domes and/or fixed box style cameras mounted inside of the oversized domes.
My conjecture rests upon four pillars of supporting evidence:
1. Its technically feasible and relatively simple to implement using the dd5-fm adapter:
2. The mail facility design guide (2012), security section, instructs for all sizes of retail post offices explicitly calls out only one fixed camera for each lane pointed at the customer. (Additionally there may be a requirement in certain facilities for an additional OIG (Internal Investigative) camera to be pointed at the register, although this is technically a different system than 'security system'.)
3. John's argument about needless capabilities and Ari's about needless expenditures show that it would be quite a blunder if they really are PTZ's
4. Some of the pictures look like a slanting box camera (to me), in particular the dome in the third window from the right. Also from the pictures on the web it seems like there is too much 'air' in the bottom of the bubble...
As for why? Nothing that stands out but the spec says that sometimes two fixed cameras are to be used so maybe one looking out and one down? Or maybe the box cameras were already purchased and installed but were rather indimidating pointing obviously at the customer so they retrofitted surface mounted domes to keep the cameras and the fov.
John, can you share the branch name, is it the one for IPVM's zip?