Wireless Video Surveillance System Funded By Seized Narcotics Cash Goes Live In Texas City

The city of Mission, Texas is now live with a state-of-the-art wireless mesh video security network providing this border town’s police department with extra “eyes in the sky” to help keep the community safe.

With the deployment, Mission becomes the first city in the Rio Grande Valley to install and operate a wireless mesh security network. The system was deployed by RedMoon Inc., a Texas-state approved vendor.

The Mission Police Department (MPD) chose Firetide Inc., a Silicon Valley-based company, for their wireless infrastructure mesh equipment and Axis’ network cameras. RedMoon of Dallas has installed similar systems in many Texas cities including Temple and Highland Village. The security network enables the Mission police to watch for crimes in progress and better identify perpetrators, and is one of the many tools to deter border crime. “

While other cities in the Rio Grande Valley have been talking about installing such a state-of-the art, wireless security system, the city of Mission is the first to complete and be operational,” said MPD’s Chief Leo Longoria who is the visionary and champion of the network with the support of Mayor Norbeto Salinas. “We’ve been researching and evaluating wireless mesh network equipment and providers for about a year. We chose Firetide’s cutting-edge network after reviewing their successful installations in Dallas, Chicago and Phoenix. We believe Firetide’s is one of the most reliable and expandable wireless network systems, since it is uniquely capable of supporting video plus other data and voice applications on the same network.”

Security cameras have been installed over the new Mission Athletic Park on Inspiration Road, Bandworth Park, the new Mission International Border Crossing Bridge over the Rio Grande to Mexico, and other select but undisclosed areas in the town, with the video streams being monitored at the Mission Police Department.

The MPD’s Mobile Command Center has also been equipped with a mobile node in order to connect to the wireless network for viewing the video streams. As an added bonus to the community, the city is trialing free public internet access in the Mission Athletic Park, using Firetide’s outdoor access points.

Funds to build the network were awarded to the MPD by the Texas courts from money seized in narcotics enforcement operations. The video feeds are streamed at 12 fps and are stored at the Mission PD. The video can be transferred to CDs if needed for evidence-grade video or for long-term storage. In the next phase of the deployment, funding permitting, the city will include other city parks and public areas, and provide access to video feeds from the Mission police patrol cars to further increase response times when incidents occur.

The city of Mission is using outdoor Firetide mesh nodes connecting Axis PTZ and fixed megapixel network cameras with on-board analytics and a five terabyte NVR server running OnSSI video management software. The police can control the PTZ cameras in real time to better watch certain sites. While the analytic capabilities of the cameras are not yet used, the MPD plans to activate the feature soon to help them identify the specific location of any unusual activities.

“We chose the Axis network cameras because of their unique analytics which will become an important part of our system in the near future,” Longoria said.

“This installation shows how municipalities can take advantage of the latest wireless technologies to improve public safety, while keeping budgets and schedules in check,” said Bo Larsson, chief executive officer of Firetide. “Mission serves as an example to other cities who may think that critical capabilities such as video surveillance are not within financial reach. They are, when enabled by Firetide infrastructure mesh.”

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