Municipal parking system saves $1m by going digital

December 2001 Surveillance

As part of a major surveillance upgrade, the City of Minneapolis Municipal Parking System has moved to a digitally-based system using Kalatel's DVMRe (digital video multiplexer/recorder with Ethernet compatibility) units.

The city has also connected its 1400 cameras of various makes and models and 1100 'Call for Assistance' (CFA) stations via fibre-optic cable and transmitting video and audio into one Central Command Center. Once completed, Minneapolis expects to save $200 000 per facility per year in maintenance costs.

"Since digital recording is more affordable and easier to use, we expect its contribution to our cost savings to exceed $1m per year once the project is completed," explains Michael Sachi, Minneapolis Parking Facilities Project Engineer.

"The City was very interested in the increased efficiencies they would get by digitally archiving incidents and events," emphasises Electronic Design Sales Consultant Jeff Feldstein, the local dealer. "The Kalatel DVMRe is cost-effective and Internet-equipped. There is a built-in modem which accesses the unit to live or recorded video. With the DVMRe, parking staff can undertake remote searches and playbacks as well as download to another media. Images can be recorded locally, yet available for review at the Command Center." According to security consultant Jim Johnson of James L. Johnson Associates, this will be one of the largest systems in the United States.

Currently, there are 19 facilities in the Municipal Parking System with a total of 22 000 spaces, comprising one-third of all downtown Minneapolis parking. In the midst of a big expansion, 15 to 18 facilities will be added by 2006, adding 15 000 more spaces. To date, three facilities are connected and the Command Center is built. Monitoring commenced in early September. All alarms are recorded digitally. Cameras are located at elevator lobbies, stairwells, entries and exits and in the general parking areas.

For further details contact Visionline on tel: (011) 401 6700.

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