When Brown County decided to install a centralised surveillance solution throughout its government facilities, Milestone XProtect Corporate video management software was deployed over the existing private communications fibre network to increase safety for its departments.
The improved IP video management system was designed to keep workers and the publicly owned property safe, with streamlined efficiency. The county installed a fibre communications network connecting government buildings, with a complete digital surveillance system in a significant number of government buildings, incorporating digital cameras from Axis Communications. Interconnected through Milestone XProtect Corporate video management software (VMS) with Milestone Federated Architecture, Brown County can now efficiently monitor public buildings - including the airport, museum, courthouse, library, Community Treatment Centre, gaol and more. The Milestone open platform allows the value-adding integration of Agent Vi analytics software.
Comprehensive coverage needs
Brown County, Wisconsin covers 1373 km² and is home to 13 townships, nine villages and two cities. Recently, the county fitted its buildings with a top-tier fibre communications network to ensure uninterrupted contact for day-to-day business. When looking to upgrade its video surveillance system, Brown County Information Services searched for a solution that would not only integrate seamlessly with the existing fibre network, but one that would also provide efficient, high-resolution digital surveillance to manage the varied safety needs of the publicly owned facilities.
With departments scattered throughout the area, the ideal solution would allow administration controlled, restricted access to video from specific areas, enabling all departments to share video, providing fast and efficient views of security related events. A video management system that offered easy integration with value-adding third-party systems and multi-phase scalability for a future-proof investment was required to meet these demands.
Technology Resource Advisors, Inc. carried out the county-wide installation. “When the information came through our department from TRA about Milestone’s IP open platform allowing analytics integrations and other security systems for access control, we were very impressed,” stated Kevin Raye, network support manager, Brown County. “Everything, including the pricing standpoint and the fact that Milestone’s technology is compatible with a large variety of cameras - helped us in our final decision to choose this surveillance solution.”
Full scale system
“From a user standpoint, the Milestone system is especially great for Brown County,” stated Carrie Borofka, programmer/analyst for Brown County. “As an administrator of the software, I turn it on and quickly open up to the Milestone XProtect Smart Client and see the entire system, log in and we are good to go.”
For users logging in from multiple sites, the central administrators securely and rapidly allow or deny access to views as needed. For example, the Community Treatment Centre is a state-licensed psychiatric facility, where surveillance may be used for medical instances – more than just security. Patient privacy concerns are considered, so the assigned roles set up in the system mean that unauthorised users are blocked.
When it came time to roll out the system, Raye, as the head engineer, worked to ensure the cameras were properly installed and calibrated. TRA provided and deployed the Milestone solution, as the brains of the operation, according to Tom Reminga, CTO, Technology Resource Advisors.
The system’s storage capabilities give the flexibility to determine video backup on a camera-by-camera basis. For example, the county can use licence plate video captured in conjunction with the data from the application to verify a customer’s bill at the Solid Waste Transfer Station. A minimum of 30 days of full video backup is kept for the entire county, and can be adjusted if archived images are required for longer periods. Video can be pruned to use a much lower frame rate – similar to a series of digital photographs.
A centralised setup
With a system so dispersed throughout the fourth-largest county in Wisconsin, it was imperative for Brown County to have its surveillance needs centralised, but also available for each department to monitor and export video.
The first phase of the networked camera installation implemented the Milestone VMS system in nine of the departments. Austin Straubel International Airport (the third largest in the state), the Community Treatment Centre, courthouse, gaol, public libraries, Neville Public Museum, the Northern Building, Sheriff’s department and the Sophie Beaumont Building all are equipped with Milestone XProtect Corporate and connected through the Milestone Federated Architecture.
“We were able to develop a solution that combined multiple aspects including Milestone Federated Architecture and Agent Vi analytics to fit the large-scale needs of Brown County,” stated Reminga. “The reliable, cost-effective and scalable nature of Milestone allows the county’s IT department, along with other department administration, to easily monitor government buildings for the safety of the community.”
Analytics aid the airport
Throughout Austin Straubel International Airport, the county has implemented an analytics system from Milestone Solutions Partner Agent Vi, integrated with the Milestone system. A previous brand of analytics had multiple issues caused by failing hardware and inefficient software.
Rather than stationing TSA agents or security guards at additional checkpoints in the airport, Vi-System, Agent Vi’s real-time detection and alert software, monitors the video footage for predefined security and safety events and scenarios. When an event is detected, an alert is sent to the Milestone system, which triggers various actions including live video pop up of the relevant camera.
Agent Vi’s analytics are used in various applications at Austin Straubel airport, including sterile zone monitoring whereby Vi-System detects movement by people in restricted areas and alerts security personnel of such events. With polygons being drawn in certain regions in the video images, the security operator is immediately notified if anyone passes through a restricted area. This enables an immediate response in line with the level of threat associated with the event.
The runways also use Axis thermal IP cameras to monitor the movement of aeroplanes, service vehicles and personnel. Vi-System analyses the images provided by the thermal cameras to differentiate between people, vehicles and static objects. In this case, Vi-System has been predefined to detect and alert when there are people present in a vehicle-only lane, while disregarding the movement of vehicles in that area. This eliminates the need for a physical presence by the security team in the area of interest. The corresponding notifications are sent in real-time to the Milestone system, allowing an appropriate response as the event unfolds.
Having a centralised IP video surveillance solution provides Brown County new levels of security that improve operational processes and protects the investments of the hard-working community.
Training the personnel at Brown County for their new surveillance technology was performed by TRA over numerous one or two hour sessions. “The Milestone platform is very user friendly, so each session went quite smoothly,” stated Reminga. “Instructing the team on multiple situations, changing views and differences between administrative duties were easily explained and absorbed quickly by all involved.”
To both TRA and Brown County, it was very important to know the system could scale up protection and service, whether adding more cameras or additional software with Milestone’s future-proof system. They continuously weigh the options of expanding the county’s monitoring system, researching which departments can utilise Milestone.
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