Telephone system, highway system, transit system, heating system, cooling system. We talk about systems all the time, but just what is a system? Merriam-Webster.com defines a system as a group of devices or artificial objects, or an organization, forming a network especially for distributing something or serving a common purpose.
This holds true for IP camera systems too. Their common purpose is to provide situational awareness. But this is possible only if the cameras are working together, and optimally placed.
As police come to depend more and more on the forensic assistance IP camera systems can give, they are also becoming increasingly frustrated when a video is of such poor quality that it cannot be used to furnish positive identification of a suspect. To this end, several police departments have taken to the Internet to offer assistance to citizens wanting to install cameras.
- The Philadelphia Police Department devoted a post on their Philly Police Blog. to proper mounting practices for installing IP camera systems on the typical row houses found in so many Philadelphia neighborhoods.
- The Oakland Police Department offers for downloading what it calls a Security Systems Tool Kit, an 11-page white paper that amounts to a crash-course in surveillance camera systems, starting with what they are, what is needed, an explanation of terms and features, then on to the best installation and maintenance practices, and finally, how to contact them should a camera capture video that can be of forensic value to their detectives
- The San Francisco Police Department posts one of their press releases entitled Retail Video Tips for Crime Prevention that covers a wide range of points, including camera selection, placement and placement.
Lights, Cameras, Action
The FBI has gone Hollywood in its efforts to advise on the optimum usage of surveillance systems. Their Operational Technology Division created a 20-minute fictional video, using real actors and narrated by Annie Wersching, co-star of TV’s 24, which they make available to law enforcement, business owners, schools, security camera vendors, and installers at no charge.
Caught on Camera portrays fictional terrorists shopping for bomb-making supplies in a pharmacy and a home improvement and how one store’s properly installed, well-maintained security cameras are able to aid the FBI in apprehending terrorists while un-maintained cameras placed without much forethought produce a flawed video that is next to useless in terms of forensic value. In the end, one of the characters sums it all up quite nicely.
“When the system works, it can make all the difference… If you are going to install a security camera system, do it right, for yourself, for law enforcement, and for your community.”
Kintronics, as ever, is available to answer all questions about IP technology, whether it’s IP camera systems, IP door access control, or PA over IP. Call 914-944-3425 to speak to a sales engineer or fill out an information request form.