Cities, counties, and other large jurisdictions are difficult to monitor. Local governments rely on their law enforcement agencies, but manpower limitations make it impossible for them to be everywhere. Many agencies are now looking to incorporate citywide surveillance solutions that will allow them monitor areas without wasting precious resources.
But because it’s relatively new, many local governments have a lot of questions about citywide surveillance. To help foster a better understanding of this solution, we present the 3 most common citywide surveillance questions and their answers.
3 Common Citywide Surveillance Questions
Question 1: How do I Start the Process of Installing a Citywide Surveillance Solution?
There are multiple steps that must take place before you can actually install a citywide surveillance solution:
- Identify areas you want to monitor and mark them on a map.
- Contact a security systems integrator (like us) that will visit your city and discuss your needs and goals.
- The integrator will do a site survey and physically assess the identified locations and available infrastructures/equipment.
- You and the integrator will determine the signal type you will use (wireless radio or cellular service) based on the area.
- Reach out to infrastructure owners to discuss attachment/permit processes and gain approval to use cameras and other equipment.
- The integrator will finally design the solution and present a quote/proposal.
A lot of work needs to be completed before the actual installation can begin. However, a good security systems integrator will help you every step of the way, making the process much more simple.
Question 2: Are There Any Recurring Costs Associated with Running This Solution?
Unfortunately, this question doesn’t offer a direct answer. Some integrators will charge you a recurring fee in addition to any other costs. Our solution, however, is a one-time fee that includes all of the hardware, integration, training, and everything else you need. We’re a bit unique in that we don’t charge you a monthly fee. We instead offer a separate, renewable maintenance contract that covers your system for a year at a set fee.
Still, there may be some costs, depending on your situation. For example, if your solution requires the use of a highrise infrastructure owned by a private company or agency, they may charge a monthly fee for using their rooftop (though most will waive that since it benefits the community). Some utility companies will also charge you on a regular basis for using their poles, if applicable. And, of course, you’ll likely have to pay for power usage, though that is often a flat fee billed to the city.
Whether or not you will have any recurring fees will depend on your integrator’s business model and any involved outside resources. J & M Security Solutions does not charge on a monthly basis, but outside forces involved in the solution may.
Question 3: What Capabilities Does a Citywide Surveillance Solution Offer?
In a nutshell, what this solution can do comes down to what you want to capture, specifically based on your pain points. Because no single camera can overcome every obstacle, a good security systems integrator will pull from a large pool of cameras that will best suit your needs.
As we stated in a recent post, camera manufacturers are driving the market, which means that the footage has become almost a backseat feature. Because video footage is nothing more than processed data, manufacturers are starting to push cameras to do more with the data it creates. Now cameras are running this data through analytics to make more use of it.
This means that cameras can do more than just see and record; it can use the data to provide more functionality. For example, Hanwha (previously Samsung), a new line of cameras that has audio detection capabilities that will alert you if it detects certain sounds, such as gunshots, screams, glass breakage, and more. They can send you notifications, emails, or texts with footage, snapshots, and locations.
Surveillance cameras are becoming more efficient tools for cities and police departments because they eliminate the need to have a person physically monitor footage. Instead, certain parameters need to be set-up and you can just let it run on its own. It essentially becomes another officer on the street.
Additional Citywide Surveillance Questions
While we listed our top 3 most commonly asked citywide surveillance questions, there are plenty more we didn’t address. If you have a burning question, please contact us directly and we’ll be more than happy to answer it.
As always, be sure to share and subscribe to receive more great content in the future!