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Chicago police enlists help of Sony security cameras

Published on 20 May, 2009

 The Sony camera provides irrefutable evidence due to its high-quality recording
IP-based Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras help raise arrest rate and record criminal evidence
The city of Burbank, Ill., which neighbours Chicago and has a population of more than 28,000, has installed a new video surveillance system using 22 Sony SNC-RX Series IP network security cameras to aid the police department in preventing and solving crimes.

Since completion of the upgrade in November 2008, images captured by the cameras have helped police make more than 13 arrests and recorded evidence for use in more than 45 cases.

The cameras are programmed to patrol and move from position to position automatically to assist officers with 24/7 video monitoring in the control room.

"It's like having an additional 22 sets of eyes at your fingertips," said Burbank Police Captain Joe Ford. "It is a force multiplier, enabling us to see areas not currently being patrolled while officers are concentrating on other assignments. Our ultimate goal is to enhance our law enforcement function with all the tools available, combining good police work with advanced technology."

Ford said the cameras' presence has already proven to motivate those accused of crimes to plead guilty due to the irrefutable evidence the video provides, saving the criminal justice system valuable time and resources.

Waypoint Consulting of Chicago, Ill. designed and engineered the system for the city, selecting the pan-tilt-zoom multi-codec SNC-RX530N/W and SNC-RX570N network cameras to serve as work horses for incident recording.

"In addition to their phenomenal reliability, what sold us on these cameras was the SNC-RX570N's 36X zoom lens with its 122.4 millimetre focal length," said Jim Trofimuk, owner and principal of Waypoint Consulting. "It makes accurate facial recognition and license plate reading possible from a distance of up to 500 feet. The image quality is outstanding and continues to impress anyone who sees it."

The SNC-RX530N/W and SNC-RX570N cameras offer 360 degrees of endless panning and rotation for precise capture of any object surrounding the camera. They also employ the latest H.264 compression technology - the highest available for image transport and storage. According to Trofimuk, this enables the police department to extend its data storage capacity to up to 30 days, ideal for its incident recording needs.

 The SNC-RX530N/W and SNC-RX570N cameras offer 360 degrees of endless panning and rotation for precise capture of any object surrounding the camera

Trofimuk says that video captured on the cameras is transported via Firetide HotPort 6000 wireless mesh nodes to centralised aggregation points. Motorola 58600 Point-to-Point Bridges link the mesh nodes with the Burbank Police Station, transferring the images at Ethernet data rates up to 300 Mbps to Network Video Recorders. 

The cameras have been installed at numerous outdoor locations including city hall, bus stops, public parks, schools and shopping centre parking lots. The SNC-RX570N serves as the primary outdoor camera due to its extensive focal length. The RX530N/W's lower lux rating makes it ideal for lower lighting day and night positions such as parks and pathways.

The city is reviewing locations for additional cameras and is building partnerships with local businesses to expand its presence in commercial locations.

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