Tampa Allocates $2M for CCTV Cameras at 2012 GOP National Convention

TAMPA, Fla. – City officials here have agreed to spend $2 million to install about 60 video surveillance cameras ahead of the Republican National Convention, which will be held Aug. 27-30, 2012.

In a cost-savings maneuver, the city trimmed its original plans for more than 200 cameras after bids for the project approached $5 million, according to a report in the St. Petersburg Times. Also cut from the city’s security technology wish list were helmet cams and unmanned drones.

“All that stuff is very expensive, and we’re on a budget, so we’re going to have to be more prudent,” Tampa police Assistant Chief Marc Hamlin told the newspaper. “We thought $5 million was way too much to spend, so that’s why we had to scale it down and tighten it up.”

Money for the cameras will come from $50 million in federal funds that Tampa will receive to provide convention security. An estimated two-thirds of that money will pay for the 3,000 to 4,000 law enforcement officers that officials think the event will require.

Police are expecting upward of 15,000 demonstrators to converge when the convention meets at the St. Pete Times Forum. The city issued its latest request for proposals in November. Responses are due Jan. 18, and the cameras must be in place by July 1, according to the newspaper.

The city also is seeking prices on a video management system (VMS) that can “‘intelligently’ recognize normal and abnormal behavior, without the need for human interaction” and alert officials within seconds, according to the newspaper.

The system the city wants should be able to track at least 300 moving objects within a single frame, monitor video feeds from at least 25 cameras simultaneously and give remote access to up to 150 users.

Source: St. Petersburg Times


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