City Wide Mesh RFP Reviewed

By: Ben Wood, Published on Mar 25, 2013

Mesh wireless has a dubious reputation, with many stories of system failures and finger pointing between manufacturers, integrators and end users.

A Califonia city is actively looking for a new municipal surveillance system and is requesting a mesh network. In this article, we talked to the city police and examined the RFPs for the new setup to analyze its potential pros and cons.

The Huntington Park Police want a mesh network that would facilitate camera viewing from both the station and mobile units in police cars, according an RFP released March 2013. It would also be used for “software application updates, field reporting upload, database synchronization, mass file transfer, wireless video, incident scene communications and interoperable data communications.”  

The RFPs

The 23-page RFP says the mesh system must have capability to support 40 vehicle-mounted mobile wireless units and 16 IP cameras. The network will operate on the 4.9 GHz public safety band, but police say it will have both a police-only band for cameras owned by the city and a public band for local businesses to give law enforcement access to their cameras. The police department is also asking for training on usage, operating and maintaining the network to be included, possibly to help cut down on future maintenance costs by doing more work in-house.

Huntington Park won’t be using its existing surveillance cameras on the mesh network, however. “We have cameras in the city in our business district that were installed some time ago, but the cameras are old, the technology is old and some of the cameras have been failing,” says Administrative Lieutenant Neal Mongan, the point of contact for the projects. The old cameras have been in place for roughly six years [link no longer available], according to past city council minutes.

Huntington Park wants to replace them with 12 IP cameras that can be moved throughout the city to cover crime hotspots, according to a second RFP released last month. This considerably shorter, 5-page RFP says cameras must be compatible with the mesh network but the RFP does not include any camera specs other than ONVIF compliant models are preferred (Note the detail we found in this RFP for a similar, but much bigger project in Nashville).

Huntington is looking to move fast on this project. The RFP for cameras was released February 28, the deadline for proposals was the 21st and the city hopes to award a contract by April 1. The mesh network has to be complete within a year of the contract award, according to the RFP. Messages left for city council and the Huntington Police asking about the budget of the project weren't immediately returned. 

Ideal Topography 

A map attached to the RFPs  shows 16 proposed camera locations covering about 10 blocks of downtown Huntington Park. The area is a flat expanse of one-story retail buildings and long sight lines. The camera locations include nine intersections, six parking lots, a city park. And Mongan says the city will consider expanding the system as funds become available.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

The Old System

Huntington Park Police declined disclosing further details about the old system, including what type of cameras and VMS it uses, what problems it was that prompted the RFPs, and whether it hired a consultant for the RFP, saying some of the information was law enforcement sensitive, however most of this information should be available using a open records request. 

IPVM Analysis

Cities tend to run into trouble doing mesh over large areas, but this is actually an ideal application of mesh (minimal obstacles and minimal distance). Downtown Huntington Park is a small distance, around 10 blocks, and relatively flat. Most of the buildings in the area are only one story.

The downside to these RFPs is how they spec cameras. In its RFPs, Huntington is very vague about it wants. They say PTZ (on the map) and ONVIF compliant, but nothing beyond that. This could lead to issues in the future when adding cameras they are never specific about what they’re willing to accept. Additionally there are no specs on what cameras businesses should be using if they want to be part of the public network. 

 

Comments (3) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
Milestone Presents XProtect On AWS on May 04, 2020
Milestone presented its XProtect on AWS offering at the April 2020 IPVM New...
Uniview Deep Learning Camera Tested on Jul 14, 2020
Uniview's intrusion analytics have performed poorly in our shootouts. Now,...
Cisco Meraki Unlocks IP Cameras With RTSP Tested on Jul 06, 2020
Meraki opened up its cameras to 3rd party NVRs/VMSes by offering RTSP...
Face Shields Impact On Temperature Measurement And Mask Detection on Jul 27, 2020
First, the use of face masks, and now, plastic face shields are rising...
Video Surveillance Business 101 on Mar 30, 2020
This report explains the fundamental elements of the video surveillance...
Avigilon ACC Cloud Tested on Jul 08, 2020
Avigilon merged Blue and ACC, adding VSaaS features to its on-premise VMS,...
YCombinator AI Startup Visual One Tested on Apr 02, 2020
Startup Visual One, backed by Silicon Valley's powerful Y Combinator, aims to...
Bosch Presents MIC 7100 Extreme PTZs on May 21, 2020
Bosch presented its MIC 7100 Extreme PTZs at the April 2020 IPVM New Products...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...
Mobiqam Presents Battery Powered & Quick Setup Video Surveillance on Jun 12, 2020
Mobiqam presented its battery-powered, quick setup video surveillance system...
Virtual ISC West and GSX+ Exhibiting Contrasted on Sep 17, 2020
Both ISC West and ASIS GSX are going virtual this year, just weeks apart, but...
Video Surveillance Trends 101 on Apr 01, 2020
This report examines major industry factors and how they could impact video...
Motorola Solutions Acquires Pelco on Aug 03, 2020
Motorola Solutions has acquired Pelco, pledging to bring blue back and make...
Cisco Acquiring Fluidmesh on Apr 09, 2020
Cisco announced it is acquiring niche wireless manufacturer...

Recent Reports

Hikvision Sues Over Brazilian Airport Loss on Sep 24, 2020
Hikvision was excluded from a Brazilian airport project because it is owned...
China General Chamber of Commerce Calls Out US Politics on Sep 24, 2020
While US-China relations at an all-time low, optimism about relations...
Verkada Disruptive Embedded Live Help on Sep 24, 2020
Call up your integrator? Have someone come by the next day? Verkada is...
IP Networking Course Fall 2020 - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 23, 2020
Today is the last chance to register for the only IP networking course...
Drain Wire For Access Control Reader Tutorial on Sep 23, 2020
An easy-to-miss cabling specification plays a key role in access control, yet...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Sep 23, 2020
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator (updated for Version 3.1). The...
Installation Course Fall 2020 - Save $50 - Last Chance on Sep 22, 2020
Today is your last chance to save $50 on registration for the Fall 2020 Video...
SimpliSafe Business Security Launched Examined on Sep 22, 2020
SimpliSafe has launched "SimpliSafe Business Security" that the company...
FLIR CEO: Many New Fever Entrants "Making Claims That The Science Just Won't Support" on Sep 22, 2020
FLIR's CEO joins a growing number calling out risks with fever / screening...
China Bems Temperature Measurement Terminal Tested on Sep 22, 2020
Guangzhou Bems (brand Benshi) is the manufacturer behind temperature...
Axis Exports To China Police Criticized By Amnesty International on Sep 21, 2020
Axis Communications and other EU surveillance providers are under fire from...
Milestone XProtect on AWS Tested on Sep 21, 2020
Milestone finally launched multiple cloud solutions in 2020, taking a...
Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020 on Sep 21, 2020
Most smartphones can be used as access control credentials, but how...
Axis Compares Fever Camera Sellers to 9/11 on Sep 18, 2020
Axis Communications, the West's largest surveillance camera manufacturer, has...