Firetide wireless network was designed and deployed by systems integrator Avrio RMS Group
The Firetide wireless video network provides the Atlanta Police Department with real-time video feeds

Firetide, Inc., the leading provider of high-performance wireless infrastructure mesh networks, recently announced that the city of Atlanta deployed a Firetide wireless mesh video surveillance network to help the City of Atlanta Police Department control vehicle traffic and protect more than 500,000 fans during the 2013 NCAA Final Four basketball tournaments which concluded April 8. The ability to view live wireless video feeds enables Atlanta Police Department to make fast, well-informed decisions on how to best respond to traffic congestion, accidents, and illegal behaviour such as theft, vandalism, and physical altercations. 

For the third time since 2002, the city of Atlanta and the Georgia Dome hosted the NCAA Division I men's Final Four basketball championship, held April 6-8, 2013. For the first time two semi-final games and the National Championship match for all three NCAA divisions were crowned in the same city. The events were held at the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center, and Centennial Olympic Park and both pedestrian and vehicular traffic was heavy around these venues.

“The City of Atlanta Police Department planned for this five-day event for more than a year and urged visitors to expect, and prepare for, large crowds in excess of 100,000 per day,” said George N. Turner, Atlanta Police Department's Chief of Police. “Video cameras were able to act as a force multiplier and provide our officers with additional eyes on the street to effectively monitor legions of ‘March Madness’ fans and the added traffic they brought to the city.”

The wireless video network

The Firetide wireless video network provides the Atlanta Police Department with real-time video feeds around these sports venues, as well as hospitality areas in downtown Atlanta. Cameras monitor vehicle and foot traffic, multiple parking lots, city parks, and areas surrounding the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center, and Centennial Olympic Park.

“Firetide proved beyond a doubt that their wireless mesh technology could overcome any challenges a major metropolitan area could throw at them”

The wireless network was designed and deployed by systems integrator Avrio RMS Group. Avrio RMS Group was chosen due to their unmatched past performance in deploying wireless surveillance solutions for government agencies including past Democratic and Republican National Conventions and President Obama’s inauguration in both 2008 and 2012. The network uses Firetide’s wireless infrastructure mesh nodes and Sony video cameras which are monitored in real-time, 24x7 by police officials. The network includes 72 Firetide HotPort wireless mesh nodes that were initially deployed in 2012 to support Atlanta Police Department’s video traffic control program, and was recently expanded to provide public safety video surveillance for the 2013 NCAA basketball tournaments. The expansion includes an additional 68 HotPort wireless mesh nodes and a combination of 65 fixed and pan-tilt-zoom Sony EX series IPELA video cameras.

The video cameras connect directly to the Firetide mesh nodes and are placed in areas expecting large crowds, parking lots, and at multiple traffic intersections throughout the city. The live video feeds are sent to Atlanta Police Department’s Video Integration Center (VIC) where designated watch commanders from Atlanta Police Department and other law enforcement agencies can monitor cameras around the clock. Video feeds are stored for designated length of time and can be used as effective evidence in court.

“Firetide was chosen over competitive wireless mesh offerings because it was the only solution that could deliver the high-performance, reliability and flexibility required to quickly and easily support large numbers of cameras deployed in remote outdoor locations,” said Grant M. Hawkins, Vice President of Programs & Strategic Projects for the Atlanta Police Foundation which spearheads this project. “Firetide proved beyond a doubt that their wireless mesh technology could overcome any challenges a major metropolitan area could throw at them.”

“Firetide wireless mesh allows the Atlanta Police Department to cover more areas and to quickly provide an increased level of security that would not have been possible with the limited reach of the existing wired infrastructure,” said Duane Zitzner, chief executive officer of Firetide. “This demonstrates once again the flexibility and reliability of our wireless infrastructure mesh technology, whether deployed for video surveillance or any other mission-critical application.”

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