Criminals ‘Caught on Camera’ by Mission Police Department Using Firetide

Newly expanded wireless network provides immediate results in high-crime areas and improves response times for police and emergency services.

Firetide, Inc., the leading provider of high-performance wireless infrastructure mesh networks, has announced that the City of Mission, TX Police Department has successfully completed phase two deployment of Firetide’s wireless infrastructure mesh video surveillance network. The newly expanded video security network enables the Mission Police Department (MPD) to watch for crimes in progress and better protect the citizens of the community.

Armed robberies, vandalism and police pursuits have been caught on MPD’s wireless video surveillance system that is playing a key role in the arrest of criminals and improving the city’s safety. The system, designed and deployed by Houston-based systems integrator Teksys Inc., uses Firetide’s wireless infrastructure mesh equipment and a combination of Axis and Sony video cameras which are monitored in real-time, 24x7 by police officials.

“Within the first week of operation, the newly expanded Firetide wireless video network has been a huge success and was instrumental in identifying and arresting criminals in three separate felony offenses,” said Marin Garza Jr., Mission Police Department’s Chief of Police. “The wireless mesh network gives us coverage and clear visual access to areas that don’t have continuous police presence. Additionally, it greatly improves police and emergency personnel response times to incidents occurring in these locations.”

Since it was first deployed in July 2009, the Firetide wireless system has grown considerably from the original six mesh node system, to the current 33 mesh node wireless network. MPD chose Firetide’s wireless infrastructure mesh system over a fiber-based solution because it provides the equivalent functionality and performance at a much lower cost and gives them the flexibility to move and place cameras when and where they are needed most. The new expansion includes 27 outdoor HotPort 7020 mesh nodes which form the wireless network and a combination of 23 fixed, point-tilt-zoom (PTZ) and thermal imaging cameras from Sony and Axis Communications. The video cameras connect directly to the mesh nodes and are placed in high-crime areas, parks, and on utility poles located at multiple traffic intersections throughout the city. Funding for the project comes from a combination of Mission’s city budget and the police department’s drug-seizure fund.

The live video feeds are sent to a primary MPD viewing station where designated watch commanders, police officers, and 911 dispatchers can monitor cameras around the clock. While most of the success stories were real-time apprehensions of criminals by police alerted to an incident by a 911 dispatcher, many are also after-the-fact apprehensions that result from reviewing video recordings stored on the system. For example, one recording helped identify a suspect targeting copper, wood and construction materials in a new development area of town.

“We chose to partner with Firetide because they have proven that they deliver the industry’s best performing wireless solution for video surveillance. We have deployed more than 1,000 Firetide wireless mesh nodes for our customers over the past three years with excellent results,” said David Madrigal, president of Teksys Wireless Solutions. “The flexibility, performance, reliability and advanced features of their infrastructure make it a perfect fit for the Mission Police and other public safety, municipal and industrial installations.”

“The success of the surveillance system in Mission, TX serves as an example to other cities of the tangible benefits a high performance wireless infrastructure can provide for law enforcement and public safety officials,” said Duane Zitzner, CEO of Firetide. “Wireless greatly speeds deployment and simplifies installation, allowing cities to deploy many more cameras in remote, high-crime locations at a much lower cost than a conventional wired surveillance network.”

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