Video Surveillance & Physical Security Industry Viewpoints
October 23rd, 2019
Author: Tim Convery

Can Police Departments of Any Size Integrate Video Intelligence Software?

Municipalities of all sizes are increasingly adopting information technology (IT) solutions that streamline their everyday operations and improve quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors. Town and city managers must weigh the costs vs. benefits of various IT solutions, as well as the significant demands of managing and maintaining the technologies. This is particularly true for smaller municipalities, which often face financial constraints and fewer trained IT personnel to implement technology solutions. These organizations seek solutions that are affordable, easy to rollout, and simple to maintain.

Consider, for example, the technology needs of police departments. Technology is dramatically changing and shaping the nature of police work, both in the field and in administration. To improve citizen satisfaction, respond to crimes and emergencies, and prevent crime, police agencies want to invest in technologies for enhanced 9-1-1 systems, internal communications, computer-aided dispatch with GPS, suspect identification, records management, in-field computers, video surveillance, and other areas. Very often, these systems must be implemented by a professional to facilitate the integration, analysis, and dissemination of information both within a department and with other municipal departments and law enforcement agencies. While these systems are commonplace in large urban police departments, the time and costs of such integrations can be daunting for police departments of all sizes.

Plug and Play Solutions

No police department, regardless of size, is the same as another, especially in terms of technology landscape and resources. But police departments with less manpower to devote to technology implementation and training, or systems integration, are at a disadvantage. Technology providers and systems integrators can help police departments overcome those hurdles by offering turnkey solutions that incorporate customized hardware and software packages for them. Police departments are looking for plug and play solutions that enable quick implantation and avoid large-scale integration costs. By having pre-configured hardware that has lower implementation costs, departments with limited budgets can more easily deploy and embrace enterprise technology.

Flexible and Scalable Deployment Models

To meet the unique needs of each police department it’s also important that vendors are able to deploy and implement the software in ways that work for different business models. Whether an expansive on-premise deployment is required or a more flexible Cloud or appliance-based solution is adopted – or even a hybrid solution that combines multiple deployment models, vendors and their police department clients must also make sure that the solution can scale to meet the growth needs of the department in the future.

Video Content Analytics Leverages Existing Surveillance Systems

Because many police departments and towns have already invested in traditional security surveillance systems, video content analytics (VCA) is an example of a technology that can deliver a high return on investment for police departments. As such, it is playing an increasingly important role in modern day policing and is helpful for police departments, because it augments the efforts of their limited staff. Even in a large police department there are not enough officers to constantly monitor every video camera, or to review all the footage that is collected by those cameras. Therefore, it’s extremely efficient and more effective to have an intelligent video analytics system as a force-multiplier, driving the continuous processing and rapid review of hours — or even days — worth of video.

Video content analytics technology allows officers to hone in on certain details about people and objects in video, such as color, gender, vehicle type and more, to pinpoint crucial evidence for post-incident investigations. By increasing the efficiency of law enforcement manpower, video investigation software helps officers locate actionable insight and evidence, accelerate investigations, and close cases.

Fortunately, the implementation and management costs of technology solutions need not be overwhelming for police departments. Video surveillance analytics is just one example of how sophisticated technology can be delivered to and supported by police departments of all sizes. When police departments evaluate their existing infrastructure and identify ways to improve internal processes and optimize public safety, they should consider the advantages of plug and play solutions, such as video content analytics, that are flexible enough to accommodate the department’s evolving needs.

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