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IP surveillance network expanded in Beverly Hills.

IQinVision : 10 April, 2008  (Application Story)
IQeye megapixel cameras running on Milestone XProtect software provide dramatic improvements to surveillance network in Californian city of Beverly Hills.
IQinVision has announced that the City of Beverly Hills has installed a wide array of IQeye MegaPixel cameras to meet the needs of their expanding IP Video surveillance project. The City of Beverly Hills (CBH) worked in partnership with Mainline Information Systems, which designed the customized system and is overseeing installation of the IT/camera infrastructure.

Approximately two years ago, after former Mayor Jimmy Delshad had observed video surveillance systems in Europe and Israel, Beverly Hill's IT department was tasked with upgrading the city's legacy analog system to the best IP Video could offer. City planners wanted a "smart" system, one with intelligence built in that would not require constant staff monitoring. After an initial pilot phase, in which IT sampled a number of IP cameras and software, they selected Milestone XProtect video management software and IQinVision MegaPixel cameras.

"The IQeyes are fantastic," said Mark Hobson, Assistant Chief Information Officer, "we have the new IQeye cameras side by side with views from some of the legacy cameras and the contrast is pretty dramatic."

The city is preparing to embark on the third phase of installation, extending coverage areas and increasing the camera number to more than 80. With each additional phase, cameras cover more of the six-square mile city and the system will eventually comprise 300 or more total cameras. Beverly Hills has taken advantage of the flexibility of IQinVision's camera line, employing a mix of IQeye 511, 702, and 753 day/night models. Coverage areas include Department of Homeland Security sites for water reservoirs, treatment, and distribution; city streets, including prestigious Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard; cameras mounted high up to aid the Fire Department in the event of fires in the hills around the city; and street intersections for traffic monitoring. The majority of cameras will be connected to the city's fiber loop, but some are wireless.

The project is managed by Hobson and the IT team, but it also involves several other city departments, including Public Works, Fire, Police, Parks, and the Mayor's Office. Hobson continued, "Beverly Hills has about 35,000 residents, but we get upwards to 200,000 visitors every day. We wanted the latest, most proven technology that was intelligent enough to distinguish alarms and could effectively supplement our human resources—we see it as a 'force multiplier.'"

Video is transmitted by the cameras either on the network or wirelessly to the city's central data center, where all cameras can be monitored. Each of the system's users have tailored access to the video via the Milestone software interface, but only at the data center are all camera views available to the police watch commander and staff. One of Hobson's and the city's biggest challenges is the state of California mandate to archive 12 months of video data. Such a demand meant that the IT department would oversee the project to ensure sufficient back-end support—network, servers, and storage—to meet the state's requirement. The Milestone software also allows flexible configuration of the system to optimize performance.

"The City Council has been very pleased with the IQeye camera's image quality and the project overall," said Hobson. "The new mayor wants to extend video surveillance to the perimeter areas of the city's schools, and we'll be able to leverage what we've learned to make valuable recommendations on that project. Meanwhile, we are busy expanding our system, installing more cameras, and fine-tuning so that we have the right location and a clear mission for every camera we install. This has been an enjoyable project, utilizing a number of top technologies, and we've learned how much we can do with fewer, high-quality cameras."

IQinVision's Chief Marketing Officer, Paul Bodell, "The City of Beverly Hills has been very satisfied with the IQeye's image quality, the flexibility of our product line, and the ease of installation. Most importantly, it's been two years and there hasn't been a single IQeye failure."
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