Premier Alarm & Security Inc. ‘commutes’ 14 hours to install a $160,000 34-camera system at Luck

The vision of Native Americans as a rugged people abandoning modern conveniences to lead a more natural life – in tune with the forces of the universe – is a common cliche. While this might be a pleasant stereotype for some, the real world can be much different.

When the Lucky Star Casino decided to update its CCTV system, only the latest technology would suffice. In fact, after Premier Alarm & Security Inc. of Rochester, Minn., performed the first installation of 24 cameras, the casino management was so impressed with the system’s capabilities, it had the company return to install an additional 10 cameras.

“We were given the opportunity to go into an environment that had limited security and design the system from the ground up,” says Scott Rose, Premier’s general sales manager, who handles both installations and sales for camera systems.

High-Resolution Color Cameras Are Required

The casino covers more than 80,000 square feet. At any given time, the stand-alone facility holds up to 2,300 guests in its casino and 1,200 in its bingo hall.

In addition to monitoring the casino floor, all key back areas, including control rooms, paymaster windows, safe and cash rooms, as well as inventory store rooms and gift shops, needed to be incorporated into the new surveillance design. Due to the nature of the casino business, high-resolution color cameras needed to be employed to keep watch over the operation.

“The casino’s security director had a very clear idea of what he wanted. We just had to update him on the latest technology,” adds Rose.

Since the casino is located on an Indian reservation about 20 miles west of Oklahoma City, there were no specific regulations regarding camera placement.

“One specification we did consider was placing the cameras to follow money drops. They had to be able to follow employees all the way from when they take money from the machines to the vault,” admits Rose.

Premier, which is an authorized Panasonic CCTV installing dealer, installed only Panasonic CCTV Digital Color technology and Unitized Camera technology. The first phase added 24 cameras to the eight black-and-white cameras that were already installed in the casino. This installation took place in July 1998.

“Once the casino management saw how the system benefited them and what it could do, they requested 10 more cameras,” Rose adds.

The total cost of the installation was approximately $160,000.

Surveillance Control Room Is User Friendly

“The most time-consuming and technical aspect of the installation was programming and configuring the system to be user friendly for the casino’s staff. The casino management wanted the highest technology available that was the easiest to use,” admits Rose.

This system is monitored by security personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week from a centralized surveillance control room. Lucky Star’s control room features a control system working in tandem with five digital multiplexers. All of the cameras are recorded on real-motion time-lapse recorders.

Security officers can monitor all cameras on the multiplexers, which are being recorded at 24-hour speed on a series of recorders.

In addition to the central control room, there is a satellite monitoring system with camera call-up capabilities located in the casino’s general manager’s office.

Englander is a freelance writer based in Redondo Beach, Calif.

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