Seattle Police Monitor Mardi Gras Festivities With Wireless Video Surveillance

Azalea Networks recently announced a milestone for law enforcement in the City of Seattle. The Seattle Police Department successfully deployed Azalea’s wireless mesh network to establish a flexible video surveillance operation during the annual Mardi Gras celebration in the historic downtown neighborhood known as Pioneer Square.

Facing the need to see and control potentially dangerous situations as they developed during the event, the Seattle Police Department sought a solution that would provide the advantages of additional views of the area quickly and cost effectively.

Azalea’s wireless mesh solution provided the necessary level of video throughput over multiple hops within the network, something the Seattle police had not been able to achieve with a previous network deployment. Semaphore Corp., a network integrator in the Pacific Northwest and an Azalea Mesh360 partner, managed the installation of the wireless network.

Azalea’s wireless network connects a series of cameras that provides streaming video over a 12-square block area. Deployed in just a matter of days, the wireless network offers speeds of up to 30 Mbps for backhaul of video to Seattle police headquarters where the video is recorded, then sends that streaming video over the 4.9 GHz licensed public safety spectrum to a mobile police command center, where each camera view is monitored and controlled.

“The video feeds into a central server and is shared with the command center and our officers on the street,” said Seattle Police detective Monty Moss. “Finally the technology has arrived that lets us do the type of work we need to do to provide the best possible protection for our community.”

Officers on patrol are also able to control the angle and zoom level of each individual camera using handheld multi-media devices. These devices, leveraging the 2.4 GHz spectrum, provide the officers with the ability to modify the scene from each camera and gain a bird’s eye view of their surroundings, particularly useful in high density crowds.

The wireless network technology that provided the Seattle Police Department with high-quality video surveillance was developed by Azalea Networks. Azalea’s Adaptive Wireless Routing (AWR) technology operates at the Layer-3 routing level, ensuring the most efficient path for traffic over the network, enhancing the network’s reliability and scalability.

“With AWR, the network maintains reliability by routing traffic over the most efficient path in the network, ensuring the best possible performance and reliability even if one or more points in the network are not functioning,” said Brian Carlson, vice president and general manager of North America for Azalea Networks. Azalea also offers public safety officials the benefits of its Motrix technology, which allows mobility within a network, even at high speeds, maintaining a continuous connection as the user moves through the network.”

The clarity of the video and reliability of the Azalea network allowed Seattle police officials to provide the public safety they needed without incurring the costs of adding expensive infrastructure. The temporary wireless network was designed to provide the flexibility of removing or repositioning the cameras, routers, and antennas as needed to expand or move the network.

“With the wireless solution from Azalea, we are able to respond to and control numerous situations that arise during these types of events,” Moss said. “The flexibility to easily scale this network wherever and whenever needed helps us become more efficient and effective in our quest to save lives and make the entire community safer.”

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