W.Va. Municipality Improves Monitoring With IP Video Enhancements

By Ashley Willis

BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. — Administrators here reduced the number of security cameras used across various municipal buildings by 75 percent after installing Mobotix network cameras into the existing analog network.

Until recently, about 250 analog cameras monitored the whole city, Berkeley County Director of IT Gary Wine tells SSI. However, the perimeters of some historical buildings were not being monitored. As a result, the IT department looked for a cost-effective solution.

With the help of Martinsburg, W.Va.-based RCS Security, Berkeley County chose Mobotix Hemispheric Q24 and MonoDome D24 cameras to install around its buildings.

“With a historical structure, the fewer holes and cables [during installation] are important and easier,” says Wine. “We looked at how many analog cameras we would need compared to [Mobotix] cameras. Now, only six cameras are used to monitor the entire courthouse compared to 20. We did eliminate cameras from the old system [as a result].”

Though RCS Security helped design and purchase the equipment, Wine and his team integrated the cameras in June 2010. Wine, who has been in the IT field for more than 20 years, says the project only took three days.

“We’re kind of our own integrators,” he says. “Our facilities department ran the cables, and the IT department placed the mounts. The power over Ethernet [PoE] over Cat-5 cables made it very simple. I can honestly say there were no problems with installation.”

It helped that the Berkeley County crew took a one-day Mobotix training course to learn about the technology. He notes that each camera features a recording device that allows it to store important data.

“Each camera is its own DVR, so to speak,” he says. “For cameras we care to keep longer, we can move [data] across our network storage to keep for long periods. What a great technology from an integration standpoint!”

Plans have been made to install more cameras throughout the city, including the emergency communications center, county office complex and judicial center.

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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