Last week I had the distinct pleasure and honor of attending, and speaking at, the premiere conference on urban security and municipal surveillance, Secured Cities, in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter gave an inspiring keynote on how safety and security contribute to the prosperous development of cities, in particular Philadelphia. I later joined Maureen Rush, Vice President Public Safety for the University of Pennsylvania on a campus tour where we got an up close look at the University’s integrated PSAP and Video Surveillance Command Center.
Visitors and students at the University can be confident that a call for help will be met by responders that have a good situational understanding courtesy of the many cameras in place along the streets and campus facilities. The Center fields 911 calls and dispatches police assistance, relying on CAD, GIS and VMS technologies to detect crime and manage an effective response.
During the conference I was struck by the growth in attendance and the surprisingly widespread recognition of how PSIM can be used in public safety settings to impact security, safety, and operations. There was a lot of detailed discussion on how integrating physical security systems, like CCTV and gunshot sensors, with more traditional public safety information sources (such as the 911 call and records management database) can improve emergency response and provide responders with a real decision advantage.
From what I observed, 2013 could be the real tipping point where some of the technologies that are already firmly entrenched in the physical security space (aka PSIM) could migrate into public safety and demonstrate some tangible advantages there as well.
A Safe City expert, Stephen Benwell consults with leading public/private sector organizations in the US & around the globe. He holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering (University of Surrey) & is a chartered member of the Institute of Engineering & Technology.