Hitting A Home Run
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Sep 01, 2016
If you are a security installer, you probably
have a favorite place to work. For instance,
as an integrator of security systems, you
may have a passion for securing schools
or healthcare facilities. Both are honorable goals
and facilities to provide security.
None are higher on the list than any other
installation, but what about installing security
measures at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati?
That’s right, the Cincinnati Reds; the big
red machine. Truth be told, the security install
is less about baseball and more about the thousands
of fans who attend 82 home games, and
any post-season outings. The Reds can host as
many as 42,200 fans on any given night.
Located on the winding banks of the Ohio
River in downtown Cincinnati, Great American
Ball Park serves as the home of the Cincinnati
Reds, baseball’s first professional franchise.
Good security and top tier systems are a
must. The Reds organization has been so impressed
with T.J. Dooley over the past 15 years
that whenever he made a change in employment,
they stayed with him.
The Reds were passionate about good service
and counting on a professional to recommend
and install their security systems. Dooley has been
their Ace in the bullpen for several years now.
About 15 years ago, an extremely important relationship
between the Reds and Dooley began.
Over the years, the security system has
changed and when the Great American Ballpark
with built to replace Riverfront Stadium, digital
security equipment was the only thing on the
table. IP cameras replaced analog equipment as
financial help was available. Only 40 analog cameras
remain in service at Great American Ballpark,
but they too are on their way out. It was a
good switch over to an IP network, and Dooley
proposed a VMS software, manufactured in Austin,
Texas, to run the entire system.
“We’re a local, family-owned business,” said
Dooley of Ginter Electric. “When we started
upgrading this facility, we wanted the best
equipment available for our hometown MLB
team. As for the software we have selected, trust
me, it fits, it handles all the compression needs;
it just works.”
Dooley has had a 15-year relationship with
the Reds organization, longer than most players
on the team, but when security is at the heart of
a safe experience for the fan, that contract is well
worth the money he gets. The upgrades and technology
that Dooley has brought to the facility are
on the cutting edge of using every available electronic
Dooley is a Reds fan, of course, but he also has
privileges to move about the under-side of the stadium
to ensure that all security systems are functioning.
He is able to stay in touch with the system via mobile tablet or smartphone. He
can produce random clicks throughout
a game to pull video or snapshots
to make sure everything is working
as it should.
The stadium sits on 26 acres.
Built in 2003, Great American Ballpark
has more than 10,100 tons of
steel and 150 cameras covering the
stadium and nearby parking facilities.
The Reds security equipment is
maintained by Dooley, and monitored
by the Reds Security staff,
who monitor the command center
24/7. When alarms on the security
network are activated, the command
center staff has the ability to
pull up maps of the facility to see
why there is an alarm and what resources
should be allocated to solve
Security for the Reds goes far
beyond the Great American Ballpark.
Other facilities owned by the
team are also on the network and
get the same professional treatment.
Storage for the video presentation is
kept for 30 days, as mandated by
Major League Baseball.
The Reds, like any other MLB
team, have facilities elsewhere.
Cameras also are placed and working
at the Urban Youth Academy in
Cincinnati, which is a year ‘round
facility, and at their Spring Training
Facility in Goodyear, Ariz., totaling
about 300 cameras streaming
video to the command center. Once
again, Dooley is quick to point out
that the VMS they are using allows
streaming information to be compressed
and flow properly to the
The problem was the previous
VMS couldn’t handle the compression
of so much data, so Dooley
changed vendors, and just like that,
the video was streaming just like it
was supposed to. The importance of
the proper VMS allows staff security
to provide services throughout
the ballpark, especially when more
than 42,000 people are attending a
“I wouldn’t change a thing
about the security system we have
deployed,” Dooley said. “We have
installed various Axis Communications
cameras that are a terrific fit
with our VMS. When someone on
the security staff needs to see some
data or images, it is very easy for us
to grab that.”
The Reds, well, they are having
a tough 2016 season, in last place in
the Central Division of the National
League. However, their security
system is top tier, and it continues
to give a flawless performance day
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Security Today.