The world of public safety communications is complex and getting more complex every day, with NG9-1-1 and FirstNet right around the corner. Even today, public safety telecommunicators interact with a plethora of systems – everything from computer-aided dispatch (CAD) to computer-based telephone systems, radio systems, databases, and more. They are masters of multitasking.
Analytics - video, voice, biometrics - have matured over the years, from the Sci-Fi phase where everyone's expectations were unrealistic, to more practical, and now it seems, back to the future again. As public safety and security operations prepare for an onslaught of Big Data, analytics are taking center stage.
Mobile video is an essential tool for investigating incidents on buses -- accidents, falls, ADA complaints, bad behavior, and even crime. Like most transit operators, Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), which operates close to 1,000 buses serving an average of 330,000 passengers a day, relies on mobile video surveillance daily.
In the last few weeks, airports around the world have been forced to take action to help safeguard against the spread of Ebola. Screening programs are being introduced to quell public concern and reduce the risk of people exhibiting symptoms from entering the country without further testing.
When it comes to video analytics, security operations have turned a corner. Gone are the less-than-reliable analytics of yesteryear. Video analytics today deliver more precise, informative, and far-reaching insights, to a degree that many organizations have stopped questioning whether to use video analytics, and are working to determine how and where to implement them to get the most value.
I’m just back from the ASIS 2014 show in Atlanta. I had a lot to reflect on during my flight home. It was a busy few days. I moderated two insightful panels, one on justifying security investments and another on trends in security , and also hosted a PSIM workshop. As I perused the show floor, I heard a lot of people talking about products, features and differentiators. Some products cost more, and some were integrated and solved bigger problems, so naturally they were weren’t just products, they were solutions.
The other day, we read about a manhunt in Phoenix, Arizona, in which two suspects from a gas station shooting fled to the Sky Harbor Airport. One was caught swiftly but the other eluded police. The busiest terminal was locked down for three hours while police searched for him, delaying 69 outbound flights, cancelling 13 others and inconveniencing thousands, to say nothing of the risk to all involved.
Almost every organization today uses CCTV in one form or another. Some of the most important and even tragic events of our time have been captured on video. Video recordings are rightly the cornerstone of many successful post incident investigations. But in situations where time is of the essence, getting to the crucial segments of video that reveal clues cannot wait.
CCTV cameras are a fixture on nearly every university campus. But security departments are starting to evolve their thinking around situational awareness beyond just having video, and beyond video’s value solely as a deterrent or forensic tool.