Download PDF version Contact company

Situated north of Boston, the city of Lawrence is a densely populated area of over 79,000 residents. It’s known for being a manufacturing hub. When looking to address crime, the community found themselves lacking surveillance capabilities.

As a result, government officials saw a critical need to deploy a wide-spread, situational awareness system. Familiar with the Urban Area Security Initiative Homeland Security District in Boston and FLIR Systems’ instrumental role, the city of Lawrence was interested in what FLIR could offer.

Comprehensive video system

To install and integrate a new video system, Lawrence administrators turned to LAN-TEL Communications, Inc. Founded in 1992, LAN-TEL is one of the premier cabling, security, and IT infrastructure installation and integration companies in New England. Having worked with FLIR for over 15 years, LAN-TEL worked to design a customised FLIR system for the city of Lawrence.

To provide a holistic view of the city, LAN-TEL designed a comprehensive video system that utilised FLIR Quasar 1080p IR PTZ cameras, FLIR Ariel Full HD Mini Dome cameras and FLIR Quasar 4 x 2K Panoramic cameras all tied together through FLIR United VMS.

Mini-dome cameras

FLIR’s pan-tilt-zoom cameras provide ‘eyes’ to local law enforcement

In order to take on such a massive project, the deployment was broken down into phases. In April of 2018, the Lawrence City Council approved the first 75 cameras, which were then installed in July of 2018. A year later, in April of 2019, the remaining 65 cameras were approved and installed during the summer of 2019.

LAN-TEL’s talented technician team installed FLIR Quasar and Ariel cameras outfitted with built-in analytics at major thoroughfares and high-crime areas throughout Lawrence. FLIR’s panoramic 180-degree multi-imager cameras provide wide area surveillance of city intersections, major roads, parking lots, and bus depots, while fixed high-definition mini-dome cameras enable live streaming of these areas. FLIR’s pan-tilt-zoom cameras provide ‘eyes’ to local law enforcement, allowing for efficient monitoring of expansive open areas.

Enabling mission critical systems

To manage such an extensive system, the city of Lawrence needed a central operations hub to house monitoring equipment and an enterprise level video management system to support the new video surveillance network. LAN-TEL transformed the Lawrence Police Department into a functional FLIR command centre, installing a video wall display for recording and live streaming, while FLIR’s Latitude video management software allows for in-depth forensic video review and analysis.

The system provides local police with vital information, notifying authorities when someone is in an area they should not be, whether that be a public park after hours or a critical infrastructure site. Additionally, FLIR USS server storage units and USS client work-stations were also deployed. The system operates over a multi-server head end architecture. Because of FLIR’s fail over services, the system can tolerate server failures and still enable mission critical systems to remain operational.

Dedicated wireless technologies

The city of Lawrence had a limited budget when deploying their new city surveillance system

Like many municipalities, the city of Lawrence had a limited budget when deploying their new city surveillance system. To cut down on cabling installation costs, LAN-TEL utilised dedicated wireless technologies to seamlessly transport data from the endpoints to the back-end, allowing the city to better use their budgets on camera coverage as opposed to infrastructure.

Another key part of the FLIR video system is its integration with the city police dispatch center’s Computer-Aided Dispatch system (CAD), used to facilitate improved incident response and communications in the field. The city surveillance solution was nearly an instant success, and has been used on homicide cases, missing persons’ cases, larceny, motor vehicle accidents and the recovery of firearms. By providing real-time intelligence, the cameras have greatly enhanced the dispatchers’ ability to appropriately allocate resources to calls as they come in.

Amplifying public safety

The solution has also given local law enforcement the ability to better forensically piece together a case, making it simple to identify suspects and submit a case for prosecution with ample video evidence. “The reality is, fighting crime today is a multi-faceted approach,” said city of Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera in an interview with CBS Boston in April 2019. “This is just another step to modernise crime fighting in the city of Lawrence.”

These cameras are enabling crucial intelligence in realtime,” said John Grennon, director of business development at LAN-TEL. “This technology is amplifying public safety by notifying the dispatch centre of a disturbance immediately. They also assist in piecing together incidents that may have happened days, or even weeks ago, without needing to rely on faulty witness memories.”

City surveillance system

One unexpected benefit the system has provided is the pressure it removes from the community. The constant recorded footage provides Lawrence Police with clear, actionable evidence without citizens placing themselves in potential conflict to act as a witness, and officers having to rely on human memory alone.

The FLIR city surveillance system has directly contributed to dozens of arrests in the city of Lawrence

Since its deployment, the FLIR city surveillance system has directly contributed to dozens of arrests in the city of Lawrence. With cameras covering the city’s busiest areas and FLIR’s United VMS aiding in efficient monitoring, crime in Lawrence has seen a decline. “Just a couple of weeks ago, we had a bank robbery in which the individual eventually discarded his clothing,” said Police Chief Roy Vasque during an interview with WCVB Channel 5, an ABC affiliate in Boston, in April 2019.

Superior customer support

We were able to backtrack the suspects movements using the city cameras and some private cameras to find out his identity.” “It’s no surprise that FLIR is protecting most of the eastern coast of Massachusetts,” Grennon said.

FLIR’s technology is tried, tested and true. The thermal imaging is state-of-the-art, and their recording capabilities are second to none, combine this with their superior customer support, and it explains why no one can surpass what they have to offer. We are a proud FLIR partner.”

Inside the FLIR Command Centre, the video wall shows live streaming and video recordings for total awareness. The FLIR Latitude video management software enables forensic video review and analysis.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach
Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach

The 2020s will be a wireless decade in access control, says Russell Wagstaff from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. He examines the trends data, and looks beyond mobile keys to brand new security roles for the smartphone. The benefits of wire-free electronic access control are well rehearsed. They are also more relevant than ever. A wireless solution gives facility managers deeper, more flexible control over who should have access, where and when, because installing, operating and integrating them is easier and less expensive than wiring more doors. Battery powered locks Many procurement teams are now aware of these cost advantages, but perhaps not their scale. Research for an ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions (AAOS) benchmarking exercise found installation stage to be the largest contributor to cost reduction. Comparing a typical installation of battery-powered Aperio locks versus wired locks at the same scale, the research projected an 80% saving in installers’ labour costs for customers who go cable-free. Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks Operating costs are also lower for wireless: Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks, which normally work via magnets connected permanently to electricity. Wireless locks only ‘wake up’ when presented with a credential for which they must make an access decision. AAOS estimated a 70% saving in energy use over a comparable lock’s lifetime. Find out more about wireless access control at ASSA ABLOY's upcoming 29th June webinar Deploying wireless locks In short, every time a business chooses a wireless lock rather than a wired door, they benefit from both installation and operating cost savings. A recent report from IFSEC Global, AAOS and Omdia reveals the extent to which the advantages of wireless are cutting through. Responses to a large survey of security professionals — end-users, installers, integrators and consultants serving large corporations and small- to medium-sized organisations in education, healthcare, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, retail, banking and other sectors — suggest almost four locations in ten (38%) have now deployed wireless locks as a part or the whole of their access solution. The corresponding data point from AAOS’s 2014 Report was 23%. Electronic access control Electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling Without doubt, electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling: Even after a year when many investments have been deferred or curtailed, the data reveals fast-growing adoption of wireless locks, technologies and systems. Is mobile access control — based on digital credentials or ‘virtual keys’ stored on a smartphone — an ideal security technology for this wire-free future? In fact, the same report finds mobile access is growing fast right now. Among those surveyed, 26% of end-users already offer mobile compatibility; 39% plan to roll out mobile access within two years. Before the mid-2020s, around two-thirds of access systems will employ the smartphone in some way. The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights Driving rapid adoption What is driving such rapid adoption? The convenience benefits for everyday users are obvious — witness the mobile boom in banking and payments, travel or event ticketing, transport, food delivery and countless more areas of modern life. Access control is a natural fit. If you have your phone, you are already carrying your keys: What could be easier? IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022 Less often discussed are the ways mobile management makes life easier for facility and security managers, too. Among those polled for the new Wireless Access Control Report, almost half (47%) agreed that ‘Mobile was more flexible than physical credentials, and 36% believe that mobile credentials make it easier to upgrade employee access rights at any time.’ IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022. Workers in every impacted sector require solutions which can get the job done from anywhere: Access management via smartphone offers this. Site management device The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights. For example, one new reporting and analytics tool for CLIQ key-based access control systems uses an app to collect, visualise and evaluate access data. Security system data could contribute to business success. The app’s clear, visual layout helps managers to instantly spot relevant trends, anomalies or patterns. It’s simple to export, to share insights across the business. Reinvented for learning — not just as a ‘key’ or site management device — the phone will help businesses make smarter, data-informed decisions. The smartphone will also play a major role in security — and everything else — for an exciting new generation of smart buildings. These buildings will derive their intelligence from interoperability. Over 90% of the report’s survey respondents highlighted the importance of integration across building functions including access control, CCTV, alarm and visitor management systems. Genuinely seamless integration They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term Yet in practice, stumbling blocks remain on the road to deeper, genuinely seamless integration. More than a quarter of those polled felt held back by a lack of solutions developed to open standards. ‘Open standards are key for the momentum behind the shift towards system integration,’ notes the Report. As well as being more flexible, open solutions are better futureproofed. Shared standards ensure investments can be made today with confidence that hardware and firmware may be built on seamlessly in the future. They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term. Open solutions and mobile management are critical to achieving the goals which end-users in every vertical are chasing: scalability, flexibility, sustainability, cost-efficiency and convenience.

What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?
What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?

Perimeter security is the first line of defence against intruders entering a business or premises. Traditionally associated with low-tech options such as fencing, the field of perimeter security has expanded in recent years and now encompasses a range of high-tech options. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?

Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world
Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world

With the continued rolling back of COVID restrictions in the UK, there is a palpable sense of relief. A mixture of mass vaccinations, widespread testing, and track and tracing of the infection is helping to enable a healthy bounce back for businesses – with secure access control taking an important role in facilitating this. However, rather than just being a reaction to the wake of the pandemic, there is every sign that the economy, and consequently the security sector as well, are both rebuilding and reshaping for the long-term new normal. Prioritising Safety Already deemed an essential service even during the first wave of the pandemic, the security industry has of course taken a vital role in protecting people and property throughout the crisis. Now that venues in the UK are starting to reopen again, our services are key to occupancy management and ensuring that disease transmission is limited as far as possible. Access control is also key in reassuring people that their safety is a priority. Making the upgrade It’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed with a few “tweaks”  Businesses and organisations have a duty of care to their employees and the safety of visitors – so controlling access, employing lateral flow testing, and deploying suitable Track & Trace mechanisms are all key components. I think those outside our industry are surprised to learn that most of the technology being deployed and used hasn’t just magically developed since COVID appeared – it’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed albeit with a few development “tweaks” or adjustments for the situation at hand. This includes using or installing facial recognition readers rather than using fingerprint or contact tokens, it is swapping to automatic request to exit sensors instead of buttons; it is using powered secure doors rather than having people all grab the same handle. Using mobile credentials is also a key technology choice – why not use the highly secure, easy to manage, cost-effective, and of course contact-free benefits of this approach? Touchless solutions We have seen a clear shift in organisations looking to protect their staff and visitors. For instance, we have a big utility customer in Southeast Asia that has just replaced close to 200 sites using fingerprint readers with an additional facial recognition capability. We have also seen a big rise in demand for touchless request to exit sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy Readers for use with smartphone authentication. Working together Integration of security systems is of course nothing new, but in the post-pandemic or endemic age, it has perhaps never been more important. Installations need to be simple, straightforward, and rapid to help maintain safe distancing but also to ensure systems can be deployed as soon as they are needed. The world is changing and developing rapidly and there is simply no place for systems that don’t work with others or cause the end-user considerable cost and inconvenience to upgrade. This flexible delivery of security solutions perfectly matches the evolving and increasing demands of the market. It’s clear that end-users want systems that work well and can easily integrate with their existing systems – not only security but all the other business components which work in unison with each other over a shared network. Great opportunities ahead The recent work-from-home trend is also clearly changing the way organisations and businesses interact with the built environment. Lots of companies are downsizing, offices are being split up, there is lots of revitalisation and reuse of existing office space – all of which creates considerable opportunities for security providers. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value There are also, in the UK at least, clear signs that the construction industry is rapidly growing again -with a forecast of 8% rebound and growth this year. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value – all positive signs for UK-based security providers. Undoubtedly the highly successful UK vaccination rollout has helped considerably, but there are signs that the Eurozone looks set to improve considerably over the next few months as well. Using integrated access control Undoubtedly the pandemic has made security markets around the world more aware of the benefits of integrated access control in managing the needs of the new normal COVID endemic environment. For example, as a business, we have always had keen interest from the UK healthcare sector, but over the last 12 months, we have seen a big growth in previously modest international markets including Morocco, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand – all of which are very keen to adopt improved access control solutions. Learning the lessons Nobody would deny the last year or so has been unprecedentedly tough on everyone, as a society we have had to make huge changes and sacrifices. Governments, organisations, and businesses all need to be better prepared in the future, to understand the things that went wrong and those that were successful. However, there is a world beyond the immediate pandemic and its effects. Flexible working practices and the changes these will have to the way we live and work will undoubtedly present great opportunities for the security sector in helping the world evolve. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many organisations with regards to their duty of care to employees – particularly when it comes to mental health and providing a sensible work/life balance. Where we work and the safety of these facilities has received far more scrutiny than before. Flexible security systems Integrated security solutions have a vital role to play in not only protecting the safety of people during the post-lockdown return to work but also in the evolution of the built environment and move towards smart cities - which inevitably will now need to consider greater flexibility in securing home working spaces rather than just traditional places of work. Importantly, powerful access control and integrated security systems need to be flexible to the uncertainties ahead. The COVID pandemic has shown that nothing can be considered certain, except the need for greater flexibility and resilience in the way we operate our professional and personal interactions.