Protecting the 2012 DNC With IP Solutions

When the city of Charlotte hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) last September, city officials sought to harden security in preparation for the roughly 30,000 people who would be part of the convention.

The city, which received federal funding for the security upgrade, put out a request for proposal (RFP), and allowed the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) to select Washington, D.C.-based integrator Avrio RMS Group for the job. 

Started in 1976, Avrio RMS began as a custom software developer. In time, the company grew into a leader in IP surveillance solutions that designs, engineers and deploy turnkey wireless security solutions for government and private organizations. 

One thing that helped integrator land the DNC job was its experience with large events.

“We were the integrator on the last DNC, the Republican National Convention, the G20 in Pittsburgh, the inauguration and the Super Bowl in Phoenix,” Avrio RMS CEO Mark Jules explains. 

Even with all that experience, there were still some challenges Avrio RMS had to overcome. In addition to lead-time being very limited, interference was a huge concern, given all the different agencies that would be there operating within a confined space. To counter this, Avrio RMS opted to collaborate with Fluidmesh

“Their radios are very robust and can operate on different channels and frequencies,” Jules says. “They consistently deliver an extremely reliable wireless solution for video surveillance. For this installation, we went with 4.9Ghz Fluidmesh 1100, 3100 and 2200 radios.” 

Avrio RMS deployed more than 95 Pelco Spectra IV cameras throughout the city via wireless. Fluidmesh radios were used for mesh radios and as backup backhaul radios. The network architecture involved using high-rise buildings as a collecting point for all the wireless devices to bring camera feeds. A majority of the cameras and radios were installed to cover the entrances, exits and gathering area for DNC events and venues. Also positioned throughout the city were Skywatch Manned Mobile Units, which connected to the camera network using Fluidmesh radios. 

Additionally, the integrator designed the system to have cameras all over the city streaming video to the central command room at police headquarters during the convention. 

So how does CMPD feel about the roughly $2 million project? 

“We are very, very pleased with the results,” CMPD Captain Steve Willis says. “We’ve relied on the system since the convention to enhance day to day public safety and assist in our investigations.”


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