Published on 30 July, 2015
|Genetec Security Center combines video surveillance, access control, ALPR systems into one central monitoring
The City of Lakeland in Florida has recently standardised its security operations with Genetec Security Center, a unified security platform that combines video surveillance, access control and automatic license plate recognition systems into one central monitoring and management platform.
Located between Tampa and Orlando, the City of Lakeland is home to just over 100,000 residents. While surveillance efforts were already in place to keep citizens safe, the City of Lakeland was dealing with many different disparate analog and DVR systems. City administrators wanted a more robust and reliable IP-based security system. After much deliberation, the City of Lakeland chose the Genetec Security Center and SiteSecure, a leading security integrator that was recently acquired by Miller Electric Company, is currently contracted to handle installations and maintenance for the city-wide expansion project.
While the city-wide system is ever-evolving, Security Center is currently installed at 53 sites throughout the City of Lakeland. These sites include waste and water facilities, police and fire departments, city hall, libraries, park and recreation buildings, public works facilities, the regional airport and others. Omnicast and Synergis, the video surveillance and access control systems within Security Center, are managing a total of 650 cameras and over 450 doors, respectively.
“The scalability and flexibility of Security Center has been phenomenal,” said Alan Lee, Security and Safety Systems Supervisor, Public Works Facilities, City of Lakeland. “With the new unified platform, we have been able to accommodate every single need or application that has been requested by our city organisations.”
One of the biggest persuaders for the City of Lakeland to choose Security Center was its innate open architecture which allows the city to choose its preferred brands and models of hardware, while also leveraging existing investments to lower their total cost of ownership.
“We were able to preserve existing analogue cameras and also the cable, power and card technologies from previously installed access control systems at various sites,” explained Lee. “This was a huge selling point for senior management, since we were able to capitalise on existing investments and save around $300 per door and $200 per camera.”
All cameras and access control devices are located within the same platform, but the City of Lakeland has implemented very granular partitioning so that each department has exclusive control of the video and access control for their own buildings.
Over 200 system users have access to the system with specific privileges set according to their various functions, and over 3300 cardholders can freely move through city buildings, when and where permitted. Designated “partition leaders” at each department are responsible for issuing badges, changing rules or accessing video, where applicable. The Active Directory feature helps the city’s IT department streamline the whole process, offering centralised management and synchronisation of Windows user accounts with Security Center's administrator and cardholder accounts.
“With the new unified platform, we have been able to accommodate every single need or application that has been requested by our city organisations” says Alan Lee, Security Systems Supervisor, City of Lakeland
With full administrative control over all local systems, the IT department can also offer convenient and centralised support. “We have become a one-stop-shop for servicing all of our city departments, which saves everyone considerable time,” explained Lee. “There’s no more need to jump through hoops. One call to our department and we can we update door schedules, tweak access control rights, and immediately activate or deactivate cardholders. This helps to keep our buildings operationally efficient and secure.”
While the new platform has certainly contributed to keeping city buildings secure, the neighborhood has benefited from Security Center as well, making life in the City of Lakeland easier and safer. For example, to accommodate community events or city hall meetings, system administrators can implement temporary door schedules to provide citizens with free-flowing access to buildings after-hours.
According to Lee, “Witnessing the efficiencies that have been experienced by each department and the community as a whole, the City of Lakeland has increased its budget year-over-year for the last five years for continued city-wide expansion with Genetec Security Center.”
With federally-mandated compliance standards being imposed on all electric utility organisations, the City of Lakeland is focused on re-evaluating and upgrading all of the Lakeland Electric systems, while possibly unifying perimeter protection with Security Center. The city is also making the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport a priority in its expansion, bringing more doors and cameras online. Finally, the city is also looking into AutoVu license plate recognition for both law enforcement and parking applications.
“We started with 12 cameras and a few doors, and now we are closing in on 700 cameras and 500 doors, all connected to our city infrastructure. It is really impressive to see where we have come from, what we can do with the system and what the future holds for the City of Lakeland. We have definitely chosen the right platform as Security Center gives us the flexibility to achieve any objective,” concluded Lee.