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Video Surveillance for Local Governments

Video has become so ubiquitous in today’s world that it sometimes seems our every move is monitored by one camera or another. Now that cameras are no longer a novelty, we’ve become accustomed to seeing them and, in many ways, depend upon their existence. When a crime occurs or something as simple as a fender bender takes place, often, the first reaction is to look at the video footage.

Businesses around the world rely on video surveillance because it provides round-the-clock security and monitoring. For example, when the global company Unilever was opening a new tea factory, it faced several security challenges, as it needed to have 24/7 video surveillance.

They were looking for a combination of round-the-clock recording, solid storage and backup capabilities and a good price point. Past efforts with DVR-based surveillance had fallen short. After analyzing their options, they turned to the Synology Surveillance Station, which provided the kind of reliability and performance they needed.

But business users aren’t the only ones benefiting from robust performance at an increasingly affordable price. Today, governments of all sizes also are benefiting from the use of surveillance cameras in many different ways.

From small local governments to the federal branches, video offers applications that can help deter incidents as well as provide valuable information when crime and other incidents occur.Government security cameras are now essential tools at every level and for any size of government.

At the federal level, events such as inaugurations, presidential speeches and appearances and visits from foreign dignitaries become more secure when cameras are present. Today, when the world is increasingly concerned about terrorism, having footage to fall back on helps alleviate worries and provides extra surveillance for the police force.

Video Benefits for State and Local Governments

State, local and municipal governments are also reaping the benefits of video. Small municipalities can use video cameras to monitor traffic, and then utilize the data to reinforce laws. They can catch drivers who are speeding or running red lights, then generate revenue from tickets without using the manpower generally required for such activity.

At every level, security cameras provide an extra layer of protection and observation. According to the Urban Institute Justice Policy Center, just having a camera in place — even if it’s not recording — becomes an effective deterrent, since would-be offenders may think they’re being recorded and are afraid of getting caught.

Other ways that municipal and local governments use video cameras include:

  • Temporary surveillance at public gatherings like protests and rallies
  • Security in buildings like courthouses, police stations and museums
  • Surveillance in prisons

That’s exactly what Europe’s Studio Babelsberg was looking for when it opened a new state-of-the-art backlot on its 41-acre campus. The oldest large-scale film studio in the world, it was the filming location for many movies and TV shows including “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Homeland.” Resembling a small city, the backlot needed a comprehensive surveillance system that would able to manage multiple cameras in different locations and provide reliable motion detection. The network video recorder had to be located in a secured server room to prevent unwanted physical access, but it also needed to be accessible for the security office to allow active monitoring.

The studio found that Synology’s solutions offered multiple camera capabilities and flexibility that provided optimal security when the extensive backlot was not being used for filming.

Best Options for Governments

With so many options, choosing the right surveillance system can quickly feel as overwhelming for governments as it is for businesses. Managing multiple cameras and figuring out compatibility of different cameras to video servers can be challenging.

The Synology Surveillance Station has gained traction thanks to its many user-friendly options that make 24/7 surveillance easier. Here are seven reasons it’s a great investment for government use.

1. TAA Compliant

Synology’s products are built in Taiwan, which means they comply with the federal Trade Agreements Act. Municipalities and government entities that don’t use TAA compliant cameras could lose contracts or be fined, but that’s not a concern with Synology.

2. Live View and Alert

Synology’s Surveillance Station uses multi-stream switching technology, so it’s easy to monitor and control multiple cameras. An alert panel and live view analytics make it more efficient and intuitive, and it includes on-screen tools and interactive e-maps. There’s also a smart time lapse feature that can fast forward a long video to generate a shorter version that is only minutes (or seconds) long.

3. Recording and Playback

The simple setup allows for a variety of recording modes, and lets users compare footage from different cameras at the same time. With the Smart Search app, you can analyze events and have access to such features as time slicing, archiving and authentication, downloads of specific time frames and more.

4. Camera Support

More than 6,600 types of cameras and video servers from more than 100 brands make it easy to integrate the Synology Surveillance Station into an existing setup. This allows for more compatibility and gives users a wider range of camera choices.

5. I/O Module and Door Controller

The Synology Surveillance Station can integrate with a wide range of devices, which means there are more detection methods available. When integrated with switches on server doors in control rooms, it can be triggered to start recording when the doors are opened and will send alerts to a mobile device about the activity. It can monitor, lock or unlock doors to prevent risks of break-ins and theft from employees. It also has the ability to connect to a smoke detector to trigger an LED light when smoke is detected, so the source of the event can easily be pinpointed.

6. Management

The management tools of the Synology Surveillance Station include a full range of services such as flexible privilege settings, the ability to automate different surveillance functions and automatic notification messages that can be sent when the system status changes, errors occur, the camera disconnects or specified events are detected.

7. Centralized Management System

The Synology CMS provides users with efficient management of all recording servers, including being able to access live-view footage and recordings through a single web portal. Hundreds of cameras can be installed and configured in a single step through the batch management features, and the reliable N+M architecture means that failover servers are paired with multiple recording servers to provide backup during unexpected situations like damaged servers or the risk of data loss. Discovering ways to not just monitor environments but also to manage data and footage is a significant concern for every government. As governments look for the solution that is best suited for their needs, the Synology Surveillance Station provides the level of security and technology features that is needed in today’s world. Designed to meet growing challenges, it has the kind of next-generation features that governments need.

Learn more about Synology technology and offerings for government branches and municipalities by visiting aventissystems.com or calling 855-AVENTIS.

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