Coastal Texas City Installs Wireless Video Surveillance System

The city of Freeport, Texas has selected ADT Security Services to provide and install the first phase of a wireless video surveillance system to help reduce crime in a public housing project and a marina. Later planned phases of the system will help protect critical infrastructure in one of the nation’s largest ports and home to the fourth largest oil reserve and 29 chemical companies.

The project’s first phase, expected to take two months to complete, will include a wireless mesh network to transmit video from IP-based cameras located throughout the city to be recorded in city hall and monitored 24/7 in the nearby Freeport Police Department headquarters.

The first cameras will monitor a large housing project, where drug trafficking, vandalism and illegal dumping have been a concern. The system also will monitor Freeport’s public marina, providing boat owners with the capability to log onto an Internet site to check the security of their boats. An access control system will be installed to limit entry to the docks.

The second phase of the project will add cameras to monitor three bridges that provide the only vehicular access to the city located between the Gulf of Mexico and an intracoastal waterway. At that time, major chemical companies are also expected to link their surveillance cameras to provide a system capable of monitoring a larger area.

Later phases will expand the system to cover a sports complex, area high schools and the downtown shopping district. The entire multimillion dollar project is expected to be completed in 2012.

Ty Morrow, chief of Freeport’s police, said the video surveillance system will help his department focus on high-crime locations and protect critical infrastructure that could be targeted by terrorists.

“Freeport is basically an island that is home to assets of critical importance to the nation’s economy,” he said. “This wireless video surveillance system will help us do our job of providing public safety by adding extra ‘eyes’ in the field.”

Sam Sutherland, ADT’s regional account manager, state and local government, praised the city for its innovative arrangement to pay for the security upgrade. Funding for the system will come from federal grants, the Freeport Economic Development Corp., Port Freeport, the local port authority, and the city’s major petrochemical companies.

“This is a situation where the politicians, the downtown business owners and the area’s chemical companies are all pulling together for the benefit of the entire city,” he said.

 

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