Houston Eyes Networking Private and Public Video Surveillance Networks

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Houston civic and business leaders are lining up behind an effort by a local private non-profit group to finance the deployment of a network of security cameras in an affluent area in the city's western section.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle and KHOU-TV, Operation Westside Success, a non-profit neighborhood organization in the Bayou City's Westchase District, is seeking permission to install up to 12 cameras on public right of way. It would be the first phase of the what the organization envisions as a network of surveillance cameras that would cover the district. The Westchase cameras would be linked into surveillance systems already operated by the Houston Police Department as part of a larger city initiative to assemble a network of hundreds of security cameras to monitor public streets, stadiums, freeways and the Port of Houston.

A similar approach is being used in Chicago, whereby the city aims to create a massive surveillance network using a combination of city resources as well as public-private partnerships. London is generally credited with pioneering networked surveillance from multiple sources. Worldwide interest in the model grew when it proved instrumental in the in thwarting a series of bombing attacks on West End nightclubs in 2007.

The Houston Police Department, the Mayor's office and local businesses are behind the idea, which they believe mainly will reduce property crime. Westchase business leaders say that after an eight-month trial using 11 cameras in a four-square mile area, parking lot crime dropped 70 percent.

A photograph accompanying the Houston Chronicle's story suggests CPS Security Inc., a Gardena, Calif.-based security systems integrator with a multistate footprint, provided cameras and wireless video transmission equipment for the project. Security Squared has contacted both Operation Westside Success or CPS for details on the surveillance network, including the types of cameras and NVR and storage systems, being used, whether or not they are using IP, and how connections to other surveillance systems.

We had not heard back from either by end of day Wednesday, but will report further details if they are disclosed.
Houston civic and business leaders are lining up behind an effort by a local private non-profit group to finance the deployment of a network of security cameras in an affluent area in the city's western section.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle and KHOU-TV, Operation Westside Success, a non-profit neighborhood organization in the Bayou City's Westchase District, is seeking permission to install up to 12 cameras on public right of way. It would be the first phase of the what the organization envisions as a network of surveillance cameras that would cover the district. The Westchase cameras would be linked into surveillance systems already operated by the Houston Police Department as part of a larger city initiative to assemble a network of hundreds of security cameras to monitor public streets, stadiums, freeways and the Port of Houston.

A similar approach is being used in Chicago, whereby the city aims to create a massive surveillance network using a combination of city resources as well as public-private partnerships. London is generally credited with pioneering networked surveillance from multiple sources. Worldwide interest in the model grew when it proved instrumental in the in thwarting a series of bombing attacks on West End nightclubs in 2007.

The Houston Police Department, the Mayor's office and local businesses are behind the idea, which they believe mainly will reduce property crime. Westchase business leaders say that after an eight-month trial using 11 cameras in a four-square mile area, parking lot crime dropped 70 percent.

A photograph accompanying the Houston Chronicle's story suggests CPS Security Inc., a Gardena, Calif.-based security systems integrator with a multistate footprint, provided cameras and wireless video transmission equipment for the project. Security Squared has contacted both Operation Westside Success or CPS for details on the surveillance network, including the types of cameras and NVR and storage systems, being used, whether or not they are using IP, and how connections to other surveillance systems.

We had not heard back from either by end of day Wednesday, but will report further details if they are disclosed.

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