Page 20 - Security Today, March 2022
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the appropriate first responder.
The SOC combines the best-of-breed technologies with robust
mission critical applications. Dell Technologies provided the latest screening technology that delivers 4k content within the network for remote viewing. The SOC will allow Houston First and Houston First Responders to focus on solving critical challenges, enabling powerful decision making, and improving situational awareness.
To help facilitate this, a situational awareness platform from Haystax was deployed allowing the city to share data across ju- risdictions and disciplines. The system provides a visual map in- terface, and when combined with the VMS and Dell’s screening technology, both public and private public safety professionals can easily leverage the technology to make important decisions. On the map, viewers can see police, fire, emergency medical ser- vice calls, road hazards and more key resources in the area.
The SOC will be a crucial step in helping the city monitor activity and deter any threats to public safety, while also protect- ing its citizens in and around the popular entertainment district.
Improving Situational Awareness
The Metropolitan Multi-Service Center - West Gray Adaptive Park (MSC) in Houston was looking to improve situational awareness and quality of life for people with disabilities; ulti- mately helping people in need of immediate assistance. The cen-
ter was built in 1982 and transferred from the city’s Health De- partment to the Houston Parks and Recreation Department in 2006. H.P.A.R.D.’s Adaptive Recreation Section was created at this time to offer a variety of recreational, sporting and quality of life programming for people with disabilities.
With a capacity of 350 people, the center’s mission is to be a leader in providing meaningful opportunities for citizens to par- ticipate in fully accessible sports, recreation, and wellness activities.
In addition, the center is also used as a voting site for local, state, and federal elections. Opening as early as two weeks prior, it serves as an early voting site, which allows up to 8,000 voters per year.
“It was important for the city to be able to monitor not only security issues, but also “quality of life,” said Gabe Cazares, di- rector of the mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “Having ‘real time’ alerts for falls and other items needing immediate as- sistance is an important aspect in providing public service and quality of life for Houston’s citizens.”
A combination of Hanwha’s Wisenet P Series AI cameras, X Series, and Q Series were installed into the Milestone XPro- tect® Expert software platform to provide video coverage of all entrances at the center as well as areas where visitors/patrons could wander and find themselves isolated. Hanwha’s P series AI cameras were deployed in the main lobby and public spaces to provide 4K video footage as well as object detection and feature extraction, allowing for forensic search for gender, age, clothing color, bag, glasses and masks. This added an extra layer of pro- tection in case an individual wandered into an isolated area that was not staffed.
Houston Gets a Technology Infusion
The city wanted to be able to identify dangerous situations and be proactive rather than reactive to help mitigate risks. They now had visibility into all different types of situations such as vehicles driving the wrong way, large crowds gathering in an area, or even listening for glass breaking, car alarms, gunshots, or aggressive behaviors.
Smart City and Public Safety go hand-in-hand when improv- ing public safety and quality of life. Often, new and emerging technologies were deployed at a moment’s notice. Houston has relied on key partnerships from Axis, Milestone, Dell, Siklu, Cradlepoint, Teksy, and Verizon to develop and implement rapid deployable solutions.
The right data is critical in smart decision-making and Hous- ton is shaping the future for smart cities. Smart cameras with the ability to share useful data are extremely important. With 1 billion video surveillance cameras currently deployed around the world; video analytics is the next step to create even safer cities.
The relationships developed by city staff and the partners dur- ing this project are invaluable and have helped push the industry forward. This smart city initiative has changed the game in video surveillance—it shows that security can be limitless with the right technology partners in place.
Monique Merhige is a freelance writer based in Port St. Lucie FL. She also is the principal at Infusion Direct Marketing.
Enabling smarter devices through AI analytics allowed the video cameras to serve multiple purposes and provide actionable, useful data instead of just viewing an incident. Technology partners that provided technology for this project included:
EAGL’s gunshot detection, deployed in the HLL, inside the GRBCC & outside the pedestrian walkway and Discovery Green.
Razberi is an open video surveillance platform that was de- ployed at both sites.
Siklu’s wireless connectivity radios and wireless infrastructure were deployed at GRBCC.
Cradlepoint combines unified edge security with LTE and 5G cellular networking technology – provided routers at MSC
Sound Secure – Donated microphones for MSC
Verizon Wireless – provided wireless backhauls at both sites - connects broadband sites to the core network in a wireless manner
Analytic Support at GRBCC:
• Citilog -Traffic Incident Management
• EVOLON TECH - develops advanced perimeter surveillance • Athena - Weapon Detection
• 911 Security - UAV Detection
• Agent Vi - Behavior Analytics
• Sound Intelligence - Aggression Behavior

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