Often times, at the very start of a Surveillance System deployment, the law enforcement agency will take the lead in securing funding for a pilot or proof of concept operation. Traditionally, law enforcement has access to grant funds distributed by Local, State and Federal Administrations such as Homeland Security, Justice Assistance Grants (JAG), Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and many others. In addition, law enforcement has access to asset forfeiture funds which have been used in the past for projects of this kind. Once the pilot program is established it is crucial to seek support and buy-in from other municipal departments and agencies having a common interest in the distribution of video and data throughout the municipality. This support transitions a standalone surveillance system into a “City-Wide Mission Essential” component which will then be shared by all of the stakeholders. Once a unified City-Wide IP Surveillance system becomes “Mission Essential” the sources of funding multiply with each additional department.
Disparate and unmanaged surveillance systems are neither an effective nor useful tool for long-term success. Inclusion of video surveillance within the “process” requires a method for continuously validating performance and functionality. Maintaining assets and providing services for local departments, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply, waste management and law enforcement are enhanced with video surveillance. When the individual entities that make up a municipality choose to adopt mission essential video surveillance, they pool their budgets to create a unified surveillance system. Thus, instead of a single police department purchasing surveillance for the entire city, the budgets for every individual contributor are added in to cover the cost of an integrated system, leading to more assets yet streamlining management and maintenance.
Smart cities are looking to integrate information and communication technology to improve communication between citizens and their government. “Mission Essential” video surveillance ensures a cost effective, optimized method of delivering services to citizens. Smart cities that develop a unified surveillance system are better equipped to respond to challenges while optimizing resource usage.
Unification of surveillance cameras not only allows each department to share resources, but reduces operational expenses across the board. These unified systems are called Public Video Surveillance Systems (PVSS). While the PVSS networks enhance citizen safety and quality of life, other city departments build out IP networks to support the services they provide. Typically traffic engineering, schools, and city utility departments build IP surveillance systems in the shadows of Public Video Surveillance Systems. It may seem a daunting task to merge these efforts—and in truth it is not easy—nonetheless, several cities have successfully deployed Unified Video Surveillance systems and enjoyed the benefits of a unified system. Check with the references (link) we’ve provided to see how others have made this possible.
Unified video surveillance reduces costs and resource consumption while creating the need for reliable operation. Consolidation of resources includes the obvious surveillance cameras, but also extends to networking and video retention costs. Further cost savings are realized by a reduction in maintenance and support, all while improving services.