NC City Surveillance Challenges

By: Ben Wood, Published on Jun 17, 2013

City surveillance systems can be challenging, even for a small city of one hundred thousand people with just a handful of cameras. In this note, we dig into the problems that Wilmington NC faces and the solutions that it is planning to fix them.

Problems

**** ****'* ****** ** beset **** ******** ********:

  • **** ******* ******
  • *********** ********
  • *****************
  • ***** ******** **************
  • ********** ******

**** ******* ******

*********, *** ****’* ** PTZs *** ******** ** clusters ** ****, ***** chained ********** ******** ** relay **** **** ** the ****** *******. *** city ************** $***,*** *** *** system** ***** *** ******** business ********, ** * block-by-3 ***** ****. *** there *** * *******; Because *** ******* ****** on **** ***** ** keep *** ****** ******, an ****** ** *** camera ***** **** **** a ***** ** *** system.

*********** ********

*** ******* **** ********** down *** *** ****** or *******, **** ********** Police ********** ******* ******* Mary *****. ** *** instance, * ***** *** the ***** ******'* **** knocking *** ******* *******. There *** **** **** new ***** ******** **** were *** ***** ****** that ********* **** * line ** *****. "** seemed **** ** *** always *********. [** *** given ****] ***** ** always ** ***** *** set ** *** ******* down. *'** **** ******* with *** ****** *** four *****, *** ** has ***** ********** ****** once," *** ****. 

*****************

**** ** *** *****, she ****, ***** ** the ********. "** ** a ******** ******* *** there **** ***** ** four ******** ****** **** the ****** **** *****'* Firetide.*** ******** *** **** down *** ****, '** stand ****** *** ******* but ** ***'** ***** third ***** *********, ** can't ********* *** *** other ******** **** **** with *** ******.' *** the ******** **'** ****** 100 ******* ******** *********." 

** ******* *** **** means ** *** '*****' or '******'. **** ****, the **** ***** *******, mixing *** ******** **** equipment **** ********* ******* likely **** ***** **** routing.

***** ********* **************

**** ***** *** *** ActivEye *********. "**** ** first *********** *** ******** loop ******* ** ******** five ********* ******** ... but *** ********* ***** worked. ** ***** **** them ***** ***** *** first ****." 

********** ******

***** **** ***** ***** "very ************" **** *** performance ** *** ****** and *********** ******** **** the ********** (**** ******* Schneider ********), *** ****** department ********* **** ***** audio ****** ********* **** **** ***** *** Security *** ******* ***********.

The ******* *******

*** **** ***, *** city ******* ******* **** hall ** *** ********. "... *** ****** ** Water *** ****** ******* lost ***** *** *** off **** *** **** two ******,” **** * the ******** ****. 

** * **** ******* meeting **** **** ***, Wilmington *********** ***** *. ********** appealed ** *** ******* members** ******* ******* ** upgrade *** *******. *** upgrade ***** **** *** the **** ** * position ** ****** *** ****** and **** ****** *** ********** to ****** ******* **** their ****, *** ***** said. *** ***** **** approved, *** *** ******* will ***** **** *****.

*** ******** ******* ******* will ****** ** ***** phases.

***** ***

*** ****** **********’* ********** office ****** ** *** for *** ******* **** only ******** *** ***. The ******* ******,**** **** ***** *** Security, ** ********* *** equipment *** ************ *** around $**,***. *** *** **** ******** *** ***** ***. *** ******* will ** *** ***** for *** *** ******* in ***** ***.

***** ***

*** ****** ********** **** take **** *** ** its **** *** ******* ***** cameras ** ****** **** give **** * ****** FoV. **** **** ***** and ******** ** * Honeywell ******** ** **** will ** ********* *******. 

***** *****

*** ****** ********** ***** to ***** *** *** PTZs above *** ***** *******. The ***** ******* **** be ***** ********* *** the **** **** ** controlled ** ***** ** the ******. *** *********** thing ** **** *** police ********** ***** ** use *** **** ********* that ****'* **** ** the *** ******. ********* bought *** ******* *** makes *** *********. ** a ******* **** ********* about *** ******, ********* told **** **** ** the ****** *** ********* did *** **** *** because **** **** ***** it **** **** ******* of ***** *******, ***** said. The ****** ********** **** they **** **** *** analytics **** **** ****** this **** ****** ***** fixed *******. 

IPVM ********

**** ******* **** ******** help *** **** ** meet *** ***** ** fixing *** **** ******* -- ***** *****-******* ******* -- *** **** **** police ******** ********** ** watch ******* **** ***** cars. However, ******* *** ** was ********* ** **** hall, ***** ***** ******** was *** *** **** issue **** *** *** system. ***** *** ********* a *********** ******* ** the ******** **** **** for *** ****** ******* being *****. ***** *** a ******** ******* **** mixed *********. *** ** was * ******* *** a ***** ** ***** to *** *** ** analytics ****** **** *** never ****. ** ** strange **** **** *** burned **** **** ** analytics ****** **** *** not ****, *** *** ok **** ***** *** same ****** ***** ******* it ** ********* ******* now. * ***** ***** about ****, *** *** said ** ** *****'* work **** ****, **** will "**** ** **** till ** ****." 

Comments (11)

Has Wilmington defined what the analytics are/were (trying) to be used for?

Is the plan still the same (RE: analytics) going forward as it was when the deployment failed at the begining?

Claiming analytics 'never worked' is pretty vague. Why didn't they?

How much money did they waste over 4 years (annual licensing?) by shelving the analytics after a few days once they 'didn't work'?

Also, I think you nailed one of the main system failure points. It's the familiar 'grants pay for equipment/installation while completely ignoring on-going maintenance needs' syndrome that is endemic in US cities.

Note, there's typically no 'annual licensing'. As the VMS manufacturers are at pains to tell us, those 'annual' charges are optional. In this case, I bet they did not pay any more for licensing to ActiveEye/Honywell.

Marty, here's what I can answer of those now. The others I can ask.

Has Wilmington defined what the analytics are/were (trying) to be used for?

I don't know what the analytics were being used for.

Claiming analytics 'never worked' is pretty vague. Why didn't they?

They weren't alerting them to the activity they were looking for. I'll have to find out what that activity was.

Can you clarify what you're asking on this one:

Is the plan still the same (RE: analytics) going forward as it was when the deployment failed at the beginning?

If they turned them off after the first couple of days, it is most likely that they got barraged with false alerts. If they got no alerts, there would be no reason to turn it off, right? Only when you get hammered with false alerts are you motivated to shut the system down.

I'm curious about the intended future placement of those legacy PTZs. Do the analytics need both a PTZ and a fixed camera to perform whatever the analytics were intended for?

<queue dream sequence> Long, long ago in a land far, far away (analog era) when I was with an integrator, we had a customer who was a preacher. He wanted to have a surveillance camera auto-track him as he walked back and forth and brought thunder as he preached the word during his sermons of salvation.

Since this was a customer who was refilled weekly with OPM (other peoples money) we didn't mention that having a person pan a camera back and forth physically might've saved his flock thousands.

At the time (~2006) we went with the only solution we could find: Pelco Spectra II (III?) PTZ to track movements of identified object... but this required a fixed camera placed right under the PTZ for orientation (fixed focal 'home' point) required by the Spectra to do the auto-tracking.

If tracking objects was part of Wilmington's original plan, maybe not having the fixed cameras with the PTZs was the fail? And if so, that also answers Johns last comment about how the intended result not happening can also be a reason to shelve them - not just too many false alerts... :)

For about the same money they could have fiber optics with no downtime. They could run each camera to a fiber MUX and run 10 or more on one fiber cable.

Hello, Undisclosed:

That approach still would have resulted in longer lengths of <new> fiber run to a MUX, no?

The big question is: how difficult would it be to get fiber to those points?

On the plus side, the area appears to be fairly small (e.g., an 8 block by 3 block area). Also, given how much money they have already spent and are going to spend, it might have been cheaper to use fiber.

How true is the Incompatibility statment by firetide? Do you think this is valid or the intend to sell more firetide products?

I would think the non-firetide radios has to be hardwired to Firetide for it to work. If that is the case, I would understand that they will not be part of the firetide mesh but I dont see how they would cause issues since the firetide system will see them as devices on the network.

Hello, Undisclosed:

That approach still would have resulted in longer lengths of <new> fiber run to a MUX, no?

Yes. IFS and Fiber Options are very good at video and RS 485 PTZ controls. I have personally installed large projects with fiber MUXes to the head end and was very pleased with the result. The main reason was cost and the one beneift the customer liked was insulation from lightning strikes hitting a camera and taking out the head end matrix. Of course wireless technology was in it's infancy.

How true is the Incompatibility statment by firetide? Do you think this is valid or the intend to sell more firetide products?

Personally I do not blame them because their technical support personnel are trained on their products. Why should they attempt to support a mixture of technologies with different specifications? They probably would be guessing their responses to the installer then if it didn't work would get the blame. I have been in a three manufacturer mix of products when a new install didn't work. Fingers were pointing everywhere until I took two products out of the loop by running a direct cable to the camera. The cure was to change the bias setting on the code converter into the wireless transciever contrary to the instructions.

I did once have a Chevy that I kept spending money on, hoping that it would work. Never did.

This description has me completely baffled. To remedy the issue they are going to throw in more Firetide nodes and use directional antennas (hence, this is not a mesh but a daisy chain design, which is what they were straying from). Honeywell Cameras (do they still make cameras??) on a Schneider (I am sorry...Pelco) camera platform. Are they even supported?

So I guess the answer is: Add more Firetide Nodes (8K each?? ). Oh, I forgot, you are also getting some specially calibrated Firetide 23 dbi 5 Ghz antennas replaced (which are directional, which gives you the equivalent of a $100 a radio Ubiquiti network). Firetide does not hold any magic patent over 23 dbi 5.8 GHz panel antennas (not sure why high gain would be used anyway on an $8,000 mesh radio in an 8 x 3 block area).

They really should contact someone that knows what they are doing.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
China PRC Government New National Video Surveillance Standards on May 14, 2019
The People's Republic of China (PRC) government has released a new set of overarching standards for authorities to follow when they install video...
Aegis AI Gun Detection Video Analytics Startup on May 07, 2019
Gun detection analytic startups are increasing as the promise of AI and the threats of active shooters grow.  One company, Aegis AI, is being led...
Verkada Gets Million Dollar Memphis Spec on Apr 29, 2019
The US city, most famous in video surveillance for standardizing on Hikvision, has issued an RFQ for 962 Verkada cameras due Wednesday, May 1,...
"Automated Racism": Chinese Tech Companies Profiling Ethnic Minority on Apr 26, 2019
Scrutiny of Chinese facial recognition providers, including Hikvision, has sharply increased following a New York Times report that they developed...
UK Camera Commissioner Calls for Regulating Facial Recognition on Apr 15, 2019
IPVM interviewed Tony Porter, the UK’s surveillance camera commissioner after he recently called for regulations on facial recognition in the...
Bezos-Funded Deep Sentinel Tested on Mar 28, 2019
Backed by Jeff Bezos, the Silicon Valley startup, Deep Sentinel, has declared: No One Does Home Security Like We Do Our Surveillance Team has...
IBM / Genetec Surveillance System Investigated Over Philippines Human Rights Abuses on Mar 22, 2019
A lengthy investigation into an IBM video surveillance project in the Philippines, raising concerns IBM helped local police conduct a bloody...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....

Most Recent Industry Reports

Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...
Facial Recognition Systems Fail Simple Liveness Detection Test on May 17, 2019
Facial recognition is being widely promoted as a solution to physical access control but we were able to simply spoof 3 systems because they had no...
Inside Look Into Scam Market Research on May 17, 2019
Scam market research has exploded over the last few years becoming the most commonly cited 'statistics' for most industries, despite there clearly...
Maglock Selection Guide on May 16, 2019
One of the most misunderstood yet valuable pieces of electrified hardware is the maglock. Few locks are stronger, but myths and confusion surround...
Panasonic 32MP Multi Imager Camera Tested (WV-X8570N) on May 16, 2019
Panasonic has released their first multi imager models including the 32MP (4x4K) WV-X8570N, claiming "Extreme image quality for evidence capturing...
Trump Signs 'Huawei Ban' - Executive Order Targeting Foreign Adversary Technology on May 16, 2019
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order targeting technology provided by 'foreign adversaries', in what is widely being called a...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R1 Tested on May 15, 2019
For the past few years, Milestone has released quarterly software updates XProtect VMS platform. What is new and how much impact do the updates...
San Francisco Face Recognition Ban And Surveillance Regulation Details Examined on May 14, 2019
San Francisco passed the legislation 8-1 today. While the face recognition 'ban' has already received significant attention over the past few...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact