Virginia City Begins Adding Sony IP Network in Crime ‘Hot Spot’

PARK RIDGE, N.J. – The Virginia municipality Newport News is installing several Sony video surveillance systems that will eventually employ more than 850 IP network security cameras to monitor the city’s public facilities.

The Newport News security system will consist primarily of Sony’s SNC-DF40 mini dome cameras, as well as SNC-DF70 mini domes and SNC-RZ25N pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) cameras. The system will be used by multiple organizations including the police department, schools and public works department. The city’s population is about 179,000.

The new surveillance network is divided into three independently operated systems that can be interconnected during emergencies, according to Convergint Technologies, the Chicago integrator that designed the system.

The city’s move to IP surveillance follows the transition from an analog CCTV system at a local high school to an IP network security system in late 2006, according to Donald Green, supervisor of security for Newport News Public Schools.

“The pilot program at Warwick High School was so successful that we decided to expand the security system to cover the 15 middle schools and high schools in the district with a total enrollment more than 15,000 students,” says Green. “Since the system was built on an IP network, and that backbone already existed at many of the locations where we wanted to install additional cameras, scalability was less of challenge than it would have been previously.”

The system’s flexibility, along with the cameras’ versatile capabilities, were among the key factors that led the city’s police department to deploy Sony IP network security cameras along a one-mile “hot spot” that needed additional police presence, according to Dawn Barber, an assistant police chief with the city.

By using the SNC-RZ25N camera’s 340-degree p/t/z capabilities, officers could keep a 24-hour watch on the high-crime region without actually maintaining a physical presence in the area, she added.

“Whether the need arises to monitor a single incident, or we need to share resources across multiple agencies during an emergency event, we are confident that we are in a much stronger position to protect the community,” says Barber. “Just as important, since the new system is IP-addressable, we aren’t limited to monitoring from single locations as with the old hard-wired CCTV system. Now, we have the tactical freedom of being able to watch all the cameras from any location on the network.”

For public works, Security Director Sabastian Velilla managed the roll-out in libraries, parks and municipal buildings, including City Hall. The department will use the cameras to monitor the city’s infrastructure including locations such as reservoirs, roads, parks and other important sites, Velilla says.

“The Sony cameras have already proved to be invaluable to the city’s day-to-day operations,” he adds. “Based on initial performance, we plan to continue to expand the network to many more high-value locations across the city.”

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