Colorado Arts Town Implements Standardized Video Surveillance System

Nestled east of the Rocky Mountains less than 50 miles north of Denver, the City of Loveland, Colorado, is home to a sophisticated, integrated, citywide security solution. How did it come to pass that such a scenic but unassuming location would be at the cutting edge of security?

The implementation came about from an incident in 2010 when a piece of art was vandalized at the Loveland Museum/Gallery. It is unfortunate, but all too often the case, that effective preventative measures are introduced following an event that highlights the shortfalls of an existing defence.

The aging installation of analog cameras at the site was not producing the quality of surveillance video needed. On top of that, none were focused on the vandalized display. The incident meant the city IT department would look closely at implementing a standardized, citywide solution that could be used at the museum and other facilities simultaneously encompassing the Loveland Museum/Gallery, Traffic, Parks & Recreation, Police, Courts, and other departments and facilities.

After a failed attempt to achieve centralized video management with cameras and video management software from another vendor, Loveland decided Panasonic Full HD 1080p and HD 720p cameras, recorders and ASM200 management software could help them achieve their overall goals of comprehensive security, centralized management, cross department accessibility and the ability to easily add to and upgrade the video infrastructure to meet future needs.

The Loveland Traffic Division had been a long-time user of Panasonic cameras, but its VMS system was aging and not capable of integration with the newer software solutions being implemented. The VMS system was not Panasonic, but provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation; and, while it supported Panasonic analog PTZ cameras at traffic intersections and hot spots, there was no available local support, making it cumbersome to add IP cameras and download updated software drivers.

Currently the Traffic Division is using some 31 WV-SW396A cameras, and will soon install another five as part of a plan to expand traffic monitoring and take advantage of the city’s access to a fiber optics infrastructure adding video viewing and recording capabilities to intersections as well as other parts of the city’s infrastructure.

The Police and Courts building also had an aging system, with no backup or RAID storage. The police system now consist of 42 cameras [WV-SFV631L WVSW158, WV-SF336, WV-SF438, WV-SC385, WV-SW538] providing internal and external coverage, including garage bays, prisoner transport areas, entrance ways and courtrooms. The Police Department uses three WJ-NV200 network disk recorders to record 24/7 on motion/exception at night and full motion during the day.

To best leverage the broad surveillance deployment the city also provides the police department access to the Traffic Division’s cameras. Loveland uses the i-PRO WV-ASM200 video management software to allow the unification of large, multi-recorder, multisite networked video systems.

The police now have the ability to take control of cameras used by other departments to quickly achieve situational awareness in the event of an incident. In addition, the police are using the Panasonic Arbitrator 360° HD for in-car digital video evidence collection in some cars and in investigation interview rooms. The system records in 1080p full HD resolution to provide image quality and an indisputable record of events.

The Police also use some 84 Toughbook® rugged laptops, with another 12 in use by the Loveland Fire Department. The Police Communications Center provides fire, police and ambulance dispatching and enables dispatchers to monitor all cameras at the Police and Courts facility.

The city also integrated analog cameras in the Justice Center, Larimer County courtrooms with the WJ-GXE500 IP encoders, the latest Panasonic technology. Demonstrating Panasonic’s dedication to backward compatibility, the encoders integrated seamlessly with cameras installed some five years ago – protecting the County’s existing technology investment while allowing them to take advantage of the latest video technology.

The city of Loveland has access to a 10 GB fiber-optic network backbone connecting some 20 different facilities. The infrastructure was able to easily support Panasonic’s distributed processing system and quad streaming technology, making it the perfect solution for video as it enables high resolution 720P/1080P performance and recording.

After the department upgraded to Panasonic WV-SW396A network cameras and WV-ASM200 software, the city experienced a major success with the deployment when Loveland hosted the USA Pro Challenge Professional Cycling Race in 2013, one of the largest cycling events in the U.S. and the largest spectator event in the state of Colorado, drawing onlookers and participants from across the country. Due to a high-profile security breach at a similar sporting event, sensitivities were heightened across the country and in Loveland. Police personnel manned the Traffic Department as an Incident Command Center and cameras provided real-time monitoring of the heavily attended community event, keeping residents and visitors safe and secure.

The city of Loveland continues to expand its surveillance solution to provide a safe and secure environment for both residents and the thousands of visitors who attend annual events and participate in other community activities throughout the year.