California City Uses IP Video To Help Successfully Tackle Crime

IP video surveillance technology developed by IndigoVision and Leverage Information Systems is behind an amazing security and public safety transformation in the City of Lynwood, Calif. For the past 10 years, the city has been dealing with an ongoing battle to rid the community of gang related crime and prostitution, which is prevalent along Long Beach Blvd., Lynwood’s busiest thoroughfare.

In 2008 the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Century Station, under the direction of Captain James Hellmold, implemented a tactical surveillance trial in partnership with Leverage Information Systems using IndigoVision’s IP video technology combined with ‘Leverage Surveillance Node’ units.

Cameras were installed using a wireless network at the entrances to two hospitals and at Century Station itself. Shortly after beginning the trial, the Century Station Command Center caught on camera an incident that enabled the Sheriff’s department to intervene and neutralize an escalating situation between two warring gangs. Based on the success of this trial, Captain Hellmold knew that by expanding the surveillance system to cover Long Beach Boulevard, the prostitution issue would be dramatically curbed. By the end of 2008, Lynwood’s Advance Surveillance and Protection (ASAP) program was born. Its goal was to utilize technology and keep the community united and working as a team to “take their city back”.

In early 2009 the installation was completed with cameras located on the busy Long Beach Boulevard corridor and in other targeted areas around the city.

“I don’t like to name other cities, but I can tell you that Lynwood crime statistics are significantly lower,” Hellmold said. “Whereas in the past, Lynwood used to be thought of as a dangerous and violent area, it’s now been turned around and businesses are seeking to invest in the area.”

According to the Sheriff’s Department, these efforts have resulted in the lowest number of homicides in the city since 1985.

“It is because of the cameras that criminals know that they cannot mess around with Lynwood,” Hellmold said. “We have had several recorded interviews with criminals who have admitted that they knew not to enter the city with the intention of committing a crime.”

In 2010 the city won the coveted All-America City Award, which recognizes communities that come together to identify and take on challenges and accomplish results through dedication, inclusiveness and innovation. At the heart of the city’s award submission was the success of the advanced surveillance system.

Commenting on the award, Mayor Maria Santillan, said, “The city has come a long way and that the surveillance camera program has a lot to do with the improvements, along with an aggressive plan to attack violent crime between the Sheriff’s Department, the city and residents.”

IndigoVision’s distributed architecture allows cameras to be located at any point on the wireless network, providing a flexible surveillance platform for the current installation and any future expansion. High-quality live and recorded video, which is archived on IndigoVision’s NVRs, is viewed on a PC workstation running ‘Control Center’, IndigoVision’s Security Management Software. Advanced analysis tools, analytics and alarms all enable operators to quickly identify and respond to incidents. Evidential quality video clips can be exported for further investigation and for use in court.

IndigoVision’s ability to deliver very high-quality low-bandwidth digital video on a flexible wireless platform has meant that it has been chosen for many city surveillance projects around the world. The success in Lynwood demonstrates how a well designed surveillance solution, backed up with the very best technology can have a dramatic impact on crime.


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