The city of Aurora (Colorado) Municipal Justice Centre has successfully deployed the DVTel Latitude Network Video Management System (NVMS) solution, significantly improving the safety and security of the city’s court and jail complex.
Aurora is the third most populous city in the state of Colorado and the 59th most populous city in the United States. DVTel’s intelligent Security Operations Center (iSOC) was selected to replace the outdated, failure-prone Digital Video Recorders based on recommendations Aurora City staff received from other DVTel end users about its extensive features, reliability, and ease of use.
From the initial roll-out of the IP video surveillance system over two years ago, the Municipal Justice Center’s security system has grown to a total of 286 cameras providing surveillance in the court buildings and the 220-inmate capacity jail. In addition to criminal prosecutions, the court building also offers services ranging from marriages to teen court to probation hearings.
Cameras are located throughout both buildings. Focus is given especially to the court’s main entrance where metal detectors and x-ray scanners are employed. Surveillance is also emphasized in locations where cash transactions occur; each courtroom has at least one camera; and the entrance to the women’s shelter is carefully monitored. On any given day, the DVTel system is watching over the safety of more than 1,500 city employees and assorted members of the public.
“We have focused on monitoring live video,” reported Bryan Verhoeff, the Court IT staff member in charge of the DVTel video management system. “We proactively observe key areas of activity so as to minimize the need for after-event investigation. We have a monitor displaying several camera views as people come through the metal detector at the entrance. This serves as a great deterrent and has reduced the number of incidents at the entrance to zilch. In the past we have had to deal with false accusations of theft and some very unruly behavior at the entrances. Now that the public is aware that they are on camera, we have had no problems in this area and a great deal fewer incidents everywhere else.”
Depending on camera type and the area under surveillance, the city is monitoring and recording in the range of 5.5 to 15 frames per second. “That is one of the many great things about DVTel’s Latitude NVMS: you have that flexibility across all of your cameras,” said Verhoeff, “and we have video surveillance almost everywhere the public has access.”
“With serious incidents comes the realization that surveillance footage is priceless.” Verhoeff commented, “Initially, city security staff was resistant to the ‘new fangled’ system; however, after training and time at the wheel utilizing the system, almost all of the staff have come to actively embrace the new system. I appreciate how quick and easy it is to locate incident footage and make it available in a court-admissible authentic version. The system definitely has increased my sense of security and productivity, and I am very happy with our results.”
Verhoeff again, “I am very pleased with our investment in the DVTel system. We have the enhanced reliability we wanted, we gained a lot of functionality and productivity, and the DVTel system has turned us into a pro-active environment. Visitors to our court buildings are fully aware that they are on camera and, consequently, they are on much better behavior. On the jail side, we’ve had an increasing number of requests for video footage to use in investigations. On the public side of the jail and courthouse, the number of incidents, and therefore the need for footage, has decreased markedly. The system is proving to be both a good deterrent and a good investigative tool.”