City Wide Monitoring by Police of Private Cameras

By: John Honovich, Published on May 01, 2009

The City of Atherton in California is now running a fairly sophisticated operation whereby the police remotely monitor IP video surveillance. The article provides a significant amount of details [link no longer available] including operational setup and charges ($300 sign-up fee, plus $269 per camera and an annual service fee of $50 per camera).

A major, basically unsolvable flaw, I see is interoperability. If you have an existing DVR or 3rd party system, it requires encoders for the video to work with the city's system (run by Milestone software).

The reality is video management systems from different vendors do not talk to each other so integration is basically impossible. Each resident needs to buy technology to adopt to the city's system.

PSIM systems are the best tool today to solve this (though only partially because no PSIM system can support the vast numbers of video recorders on the market). What's really need, though, is standards for VMS systems but that's nowhere on the roadmap.

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