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Wireless surveillance network expanded in Dallas.

Firetide : 13 November, 2007  (Application Story)
Firetide have successfully installed an extension to the Dallas wireless CCTV surveillance network to include the south of the city within the crime prevention scheme.
Firetide has announced the deployment of a Firetide wireless video surveillance network in South Dallas, Texas, following the installation of a similar system in downtown Dallas earlier this year. The new surveillance network is the result of a collaborative effort between the Dallas Police Department, which manages the system, and Jubilee Park and Community Center Corporation, the non-profit organization driving community redevelopment activities at Jubilee Park, a community in South Dallas.

"We believe the Jubilee Park wireless surveillance network is the first example in the nation where private, non-profit and public sectors are working together to protect a community," said Tom Harbison, chair of the Anti-Crime Task Force for Jubilee Park and Community Center Corporation. "The system is having a real impact on crime at Jubilee Park, and the community support of the project has been tremendous."

Jubilee Park is a neighborhood with a history of high crime: 80 percent of area residents report being victimized within the past year. To date in 2007, there have been six assaults, six robberies, and 25 burglaries in the Jubilee Park neighborhood, according to police records. In 2006, there was one homicide, two rapes, 13 assaults, and 26 burglaries.

Firetide wireless mesh and Sony cameras have been installed at intersections throughout the community and are controlled by the Dallas Police Department, providing police with the capability to monitor activity in real time. "This system allows us to do things we normally cannot do in a community," said Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle. "It gives us 24-hour visibility. What citizens and businesses always want, but we can't provide, is a police officer on every corner. To an extent, this mesh network and these cameras allow us to do that."

The Dallas Police Department tapped BearCom, a nationwide provider of wireless communications solutions, as the designer, integrator and overall manager of the Jubilee Park installation, following the successful downtown surveillance project. The Jubilee Park system includes Firetide mesh nodes and Sony IP pan-tilt-zoom cameras, which have been housed together in weatherproof enclosures and mounted on street lights and traffic signal poles. Firetide mesh nodes provide wireless connectivity to the Dallas Police Department for real-time video streaming. Police officers at Dallas City Hall monitor the live video feeds using OnSSI video management software.

According to Harbison, as the result of the new surveillance system that went live in September of 2007, police officers have been dispatched to the area more than 100 times and made 30 arrests - two thirds of which were drug-related. "The Dallas Police Department started seeing success from the new system just days after the installation, when a drug deal was caught on tape during our initial training session for the officers," added John Watson, chairman of BearCom.
"The expansion of the Dallas wireless video surveillance system to the Jubilee Park neighborhood demonstrates the scalability and cost-effectiveness of our mesh infrastructure," said Bo Larsson, chief executive officer, Firetide, Inc. "Our technology allows communities to easily expand their networks over time and puts the latest in IP Video surveillance technology within financial reach of every community across the country."

One-third of the cost for the system was covered by the South Dallas Development Fund, and the other two-thirds were covered by private donations to the Jubilee Park and Community Center Corporation. The Firetide mesh network and surveillance cameras are part of a $250,000 crime-fighting plan for Jubilee Park, which includes business and resident watches, stepped up police and private patrols, "drug free zone" efforts, prevention programs, alley cleanup and improved street lighting. More cameras are scheduled for installation when additional funding becomes available.
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