Located on I-20 between Atlanta and Birmingham, the city of Oxford, Alabama has a population of 22,000 local inhabitants. Due to the city’s location, however, it sees an additional 33,000 travelers who either drive through the area or stop to shop in the city’s large retail districts. The Oxford Police department works to maintain law and order within the metro area while simultaneously monitoring and preventing potential criminal activity in the greater surrounding region.
Oxford lies surrounded by several smaller cities and towns that deal with high levels of recorded criminal activity. Statewide crime measurements routinely include Oxford among the neighboring areas resulting in declining statistics for the city. This negative press damaged the reputation of a thriving and successful retail sector. Officials concluded that the most effective approach would be to assist those neighboring areas in their fight against crime. This proactive strategy would then reduce crime throughout the entire region. To achieve this end, the city of Oxford decided to build the new East Metro Area Crime Center (EMACC).
The Mayor’s office and the Oxford City Council brought about the proposal to build the EMACC with a budget allocation of 4 million dollars. 23 different state and federal agencies would work in the new EMACC daily. Law enforcement would use the new Crime Center to regularly monitor IP cameras throughout the region and assign resources as necessary. In extraordinary circumstances, additional agencies could utilize the EMACC to address anything ranging from special events to disaster relief.
Knowing that the Crime Center would need to be able to display dynamic content from hundreds of IP cameras located in the area in real-time, Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge spoke with law enforcement colleagues who directed him towards Haivision. When compared to several other vendors for the proper visualization technology, Haivision’s ability to provide a complete, turn-key solution stood alone. After receiving a hands-on demonstration, Partridge concluded that a custom solution from Haivision would easily meet every one of their requirements stating, “The ease of the technology was what I liked about it. I like the fact that you didn’t have to buy an expensive video management system to run the board itself.”
The East Metro Area Crime Center opened on Friday, May 24th, 2019. The EMACC was constructed to feature three distinct spaces: a briefing room, a 16-desk employee work area, and an operation center with eight stations facing a 5×3 55” LCD CineView Video Wall. All content across the 15 displays is controlled through CineNet software via a 24” Touch Control Point pad or any web browser with proper login access.
Behind the scenes, an Alpha FX Core processor manages each incoming signal from the EMACC’s various workstations alongside video feeds throughout the region. Dispatchers and operators within the facility then direct feeds and information to the video wall as incidents occur or intelligence-gathering is required. This functionality through CineNet is ideal for the needs of the Oxford Police Department as they must have eyes on the hundreds of IP cameras strategically positioned throughout the region as well as the mobile camera trucks designated for special event coverage.
From the control room, dispatchers can monitor Oxford’s high-volume retail areas for criminal activity. If an incident is observed, dispatchers can then reference visual resources, such as real-time maps displayed on the video wall, to direct available units to the scene. By quickly accessing cameras in each area, vital information can be relayed to officers, firefighters, and emergency workers arriving on the scene. This mission-critical information can prove lifesaving for all first responders.
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