High Profile Events
Keeping the network secure helps protect Boston Marathon runners
- By Ron Grinfeld
- Nov 01, 2015
Boston is not only Massachusetts’ largest
city and capital; it is the largest city in
New England. With a territory stretching 48
square miles and an estimated population
of 645,966, it holds the title of the 24th
largest city in the United States.
The city is an important manufacturing hub, port and cultural
center. Its many colleges and universities have made the city an international
center for higher education, as well as a world leader in
medicinal innovation. Additionally, Boston’s rich history attracts
an astounding number of tourists each year. The colonial-era Faneuil
Hall alone draws more than 20 million visitors annually.
Since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, officials at sports
facilities and special events throughout the country have increased
their focus on public safety. In addition, city officials have sought
to provide enhanced coverage for events like the South Boston St.
Patrick’s Day Parade, which attracts nearly 750,000 people.
Realizing the need for stronger surveillance in high-profile locations
such as the marathon route, the city of Boston decided to
increase civilian protection. The new security measures included
doubling law enforcement personnel to about 3,500, the addition
of bomb-sniffing dogs, and a SWAT team provided by the FBI.
The Boston Police Department worked with experienced companies
to install a robust IP-based surveillance network to enhance
video coverage in high-risk areas. Efficient security for events such
as these requires shared visibility of common areas in public-private
partnerships. Participants included LAN-TEL Communications,
a Norwood, Mass.-based contractor; Sonet Electrical Systems
of Woburn, Mass.; and Motorola of Schaumburg, Ill.
Officials leveraged DVTEL’s enterprise-class Latitude Network
Video Management System (NVMS) and associated cameras
to safeguard more than 30,000 runners and nearly one million
spectators along the 26.2-mile course. Equipment was positioned
strategically in various areas surrounding the parade with live
video feeds from the cameras streaming instantaneously back
to Boston Police headquarters. Latitude NVMS was chosen to
merge existing, standalone DVTEL video surveillance systems in
the Metro Boston area into a single, unified system for routine
monitoring, scene recording and general investigation that will
achieve new levels of intelligence.
More than 30 quick-deploy cameras were designed into a system
by a skilled team of technicians in the weeks prior to the
events. The devices, specifically designed for this type of deployment,
each carried NEMA enclosures housing a camera, network
switch, and power supply. The pre-configured units were deployed
for pole mounting on street and traffic lights and wall-mounted
on the sides of buildings throughout South Boston.
This approach provided the police with a direct overview of
the parade route, while delivering live video to command center
personnel for immediate monitoring. The security installation
also integrated the monitoring of all cameras via DVTEL’s
Latitude Network Video Management System. In addition to the
cameras, Shot Spotter’s gunshot detection solution was integrated
into the video management system. DVTEL Cloud Services
was used to monitor all system health components.
Boston’s investment in a robust IP-based surveillance platform
via DVTEL has allowed the city to minimize potential security
risks and build a proactive approach to preventing threats to
public safety. This comprehensive and effective approach to gathering
intelligence has ultimately created a higher level of security
for Boston’s residents and visitors.
Law enforcement and race officials monitored activity from
multi-agency command centers to maximize efforts, while ensuring
collaboration between law enforcement, event organizers, and
other aligned stakeholders. DVTEL’s Latitude NVMS provided
global situational awareness by linking several separate camera
networks to a single entity for greater visibility, and to provide
more insight into safety and security operations.
Following the success of the 2015 Boston Marathon, other
race and special event organizers are looking to Boston for inspiration
on how to best address their own security challenges. This
year’s race is a testament to the capabilities of today’s surveillance
technology, as well as the power of collaboration between police,
event organizers and other stakeholders.
“Since the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon, race officials
throughout the country have made security a number one priority,”
said Yoav Stern, CEO of DVTEL. “DVTEL is proud to be a part
of Boston’s efforts to ensure safety, while providing law enforcement
with greater visibility to effectively and efficiently respond to
incidents. This year’s collaborative efforts were deemed a success,
and other race and special event organizers are now looking to
Boston as a model for their future security endeavors.”
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Security Today.