A Light of Freedom

A Light of Freedom

A Light of FreedomShe stands as a beacon of liberty to the free world, solidly poised on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The Statue of Liberty, or Liberty Enlightening the World, is the beloved work of art from the people of France to America, celebrating freedom.

La Liberté éclairant le monde, a colossal neoclassical sculpture, stands as a welcome to New York and Manhattan, and is as much a fixture in New York City as any other well-known landmark. The statue, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was dedicated on Oct. 28, 1886.

Security at the Statue of Liberty has never been taken for granted; it just hasn’t been a top priority of the government. That is not the case with the U.S. Park Police. They have used, to the best of their ability, security equipment that was appropriated but lacked the highest technology. Only a few months ago, the Park Police were saddled with outdated, analog cameras to protect the most treasured of national icons.

Since 1999, the Statue of Liberty has been the favored customer of Total Recall Corp., a security integrator based in Suffern, N.Y. Jordan Heilweil, president of Total Recall, made it a personal mission to replace the antiquated security equipment with the newest, most technologically-advanced security on the market. He transformed a security control room from an operators’ dungeon to a state-of-theart monitoring center.

“The Statue of Liberty is very important to me,” Heilweil said. “This is the icon for freedom of the world. I hope it stays there for generations.”

Of course, Heilweil speaks from experience being a New Yorker and having endured the 9/11 attacks in September 2001. Terrorists flew two airliners into the World Trade Center, striking freedom on American soil. The Statue of Liberty could just as easily have been a target, though Lady Liberty is as bold as ever.

The Statue of Liberty, however, weathered devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29, 2013. Following eight months of refurbishment, the Park Service reopened Liberty Island to the public on July 4, 2013. It was Total Recall who spearheaded the project by contacting U.S. Park Police, National Park Service and the Department of Interior. As can be expected, there was plenty of Red Tape for the integrator to work through to make it all happen, including a proposal that stated all work would be designed, installed and maintained as a donation by the company. Heilweil persisted for more than a year, and in the meantime, he put together a “Dream Team” of products and technologies.

“Once we explained our goals and the necessity of the system, I believe it was an easy decision for each member of the team to join in,” Heilweil said. “It was an amazing opportunity to build a solution where money wasn’t the gating factor. Each member had the same goal, ‘How can we provide the best solution possible?’”

It wasn’t all easygoing in bringing the solution on board. Delays from an ongoing, life-safety project within the statue’s pedestal and extensive damage by Sandy delayed full access until May 2013. Coupled with the Park Police’s desire to reopen the island to the public on July 4 meant hard work, with an even harder deadline.

“The logical steps of our deployment plan were to instantly throw them out because of Hurricane Sandy,” Heilweil said. “We had to work completely out of order in whatever space we had access to. The schedule changed daily. It was similar to making a movie, filmed out of order, but it all comes together in the end.”

While Total Recall did the heavy lifting, sometimes at night, for deployment of the various parts, various manufacturers contributed mightily to the worldclass integration.

A security industry press tour was conducted Nov. 20, 2013, where Heilweil introduced other members of the “Dream Team.” Donating companies included Axis Communications, BreifCam, DragonWave, Milestone Systems, Pivot3, Proxim, RGB Spectrum, Scallop Imaging and Winsted Corp.

In this new upgrade, Total Recall and the assembled technology team migrated the Statue of Liberty from outdated, analog CCTV to the latest in digital video technology to enable the park to cover areas with high-quality video surveillance that they could not reach previously. The team constructed an intelligent and ultramodern command center to help the NPS and Park Police do their jobs more effectively.

Axis Communications

While the specific cameras at the Statue of Liberty cannot be declared, because of security reasons, Total Recall installed a mix of Axis Communications indoor- and outdoor-ready fixed, fixed dome and PTZ dome network cameras throughout. There aren’t any specialty cameras, per se; however, some of the cameras use Lightfinder technology for color video at night.

“This was a very exciting project to be involved with because of the importance of this U.S. landmark,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager Americas for Axis Communications. “We love the challenge of working in this environment where security equipment was exposed to the elements on an island. It is great to see the best of security equipment available, at work. When you can see it all at work from the command center, you also see IP at its best.

“Because of Total Recall’s passion in this landmark, we are able to see the trust that the end user [U.S. Park Police] has with their longtime partner. The integrator brought together a well working system for the best interest of the end user.”

Milestone Systems

The Statue of Liberty project team epitomizes the strength of Milestone’s ecosystem of partners.

“From our certified system integrators to our alliance partners in hardware and third-party software solutions, we see strength,” said Eric Fullerton, chief sales and marketing officer at Milestone. “The unlimited potential for interoperability utilizes our video management software as the enabler of greater operational efficiencies both today and well into the future.”

Milestone delivered their XProtect Corporate and XProtect Enterprise software solutions for the security upgrade at the Statue of Liberty.

“Milestone’s video management software acts as the core of the solution with our open platform empowering the integration of all the components into one cohesive system, ensuring the ability to constantly deliver more value by upgrading the system as new innovations come out in the market,” said David King, manager of city surveillance and critical infrastructure at Milestone Systems.

Milestone is coordinating a video on the Statue, which they hope to release in late February, prior to ISC West.

Pivot3

More than 50 percent of the cost of almost any security system is for storage. Pivot3 donated eight vSTAC(R) Watch appliances, providing a fully protected array with failover. This means that if one appliance stops functioning no video recording will be lost. Pivot3 vSTAC Watch appliances store and protect video data allowing the end user to be worry-free about losing critical data.

“Pivot3 was chosen as the leading video surveillance storage platform since it met the Park Service’s demanding storage application requirements of maximum resiliency, availability and data protection. Patented Pivot3 vSTAC unified storage and compute technology now delivers the industry’s most advanced video surveillance data storage and protection to the Statue of Liberty,” said Olivier Thierry, chief marketing officer, Pivot3. “We are very proud to be providing such an important contribution to our nation’s most valued symbol of liberty and freedom.”

The vSTAC Watch is a high-performance appliance that is fully integrated. Each vSTAC Watch appliance contributes a high-performance Vmware ESXi virtual server environment with dedicated local compute resources and enterprise class storage. The video management software and analytics run on the vSTAC Watch array so physical servers are not needed. The Park Service saves up to 40% on rack space, power and cooling using Pivot3 appliances. If more storage or compute is needed in the future an additional vSTAC Watch appliance can be added to the array on the fly without losing any video.

DragonWave

For the Statue of Liberty security installation, information needed to be wirelessly transferred from Ellis Island, where the control center is, to Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty stands. DragonWave made this wireless data communication possible by installing a high-capacity, point-to-point, microwave wireless system that uses a 1.6 gigabit-per-second link that “can easily carry all of their video traffic and any other data that they require in the future at Liberty Island,” said Chris York, the director of channel sales and marketing at DragonWave.

York, who made a trip to New York from DragonWave’s headquarters in Ontario for the unveiling of the security system, was in awe of the way the new video system functioned as opposed to the old one.

“They showed us the old analog cameras,” said York. “You could wonder on the island and see a little bit, but you couldn’t see a lot of details—it’s a very grainy picture. And then, you flip over to the new high-definition camera system, and the resolution is just really quite incredible.”

Winsted Corporation

Minnesota-based Winsted Corp. participated in the security installation for the Statue of Liberty by providing an ergonomically-designed command center console that allows for security operators to be both efficient and comfortable. According to Wayne Cook, the vice president at Winsted Corporation, one challenge his company faced during the installation was creating a twoperson console that allowed for proper viewing of the video wall.

“The facility doesn’t really have tall walls, so it was a challenge to get the measurements correct [in order] to be able to see not only the modules they work with, but the video analytics displayed on the large screen as well.”

Another challenge Winsted faced was working within a very limited space, according to Cook.

Though Winsted Corp. did not have to be present on-site for much of the installation, as they did all of the manufacturing at their factory and then shipped it in, Cook felt very honored to participate in the project, especially considering the U.S. Park Police did not have the financial capabilities to get the project done without the help of the vendors.

“It was exciting because it is a high-profile project, but it was also something we felt—from a corporate standpoint—would contribute and do some good for the city of New York.”

RGB Spectrum

Total Recall consulted RGB Spectrum, a company that makes video display technology and control room systems. According to Bob Ehlers, the vice president of business development at RGB Spectrum, his company provided the architecture for application integration using video. RGB used its MediaWall2900 Display Processor for the Statue of Liberty installation, allowing the video wall to work in a variety of ways.

“You can have a single image that goes out across many screens, or you can have an image as a picture-in-a-picture so the whole wall becomes a canvas,” said Ehlers, who added that his company’s processor allows one to “resize imagery and lay it out any way they need to.

“This is a showcase installation for all [the companies] that participated, and I think it’s an ideal demonstration of our technology and how we can interoperate with lots of different vendors to solve some real problems, like what the United States Park Police faced,” Ehlers said.

BriefCam

For company leadership at BriefCam, participating in the security restoration at the Statue of Liberty was partly international pride and a desire to be part of a cutting-edge installation of best-of-breed technologies. Amit Gavish, general manager of the Americas for BriefCam, said that this Israeli company takes a lot of “pride in protecting this landmark in the United States.”

BriefCam joined the integration with open licenses of Video Synapsis enterprise v2.4 that will be upgraded this year to the Syndex V3.0. This allows operators at the Statue of Liberty to take all camera recordings, process and produce a quick summary from the entire facility. A tour of the recorded video can happen in minutes, as opposed to viewing recorded images over a series of hours. Being a part of this integration, BriefCam created a system that protects itself physically and also allows the extraction of value information when needed.

Integrator Total Recall has worked with BriefCam before through several government clients and asked them to come on board for the Statue of Liberty project.

Proxim Wireless

According to Mike Kemp, the director of federal sales at Proxim Wireless, Total Recall emphasized choosing vendors who they have good, trustworthy relationships with for the Statue of Liberty installation, and Proxim was no exception.

“We personally have had a long and successful relationship with Total Recall,” Kemp said. “Total Recall likes to build their business on relationships, and I think that’s one of the reasons they chose us, as well as all [the other vendors] to participate in the project.”

For the installation, Proxim Wireless provided a high-capacity, wide-area, wireless broadband network using WORP technology. Their rugged, point-topoint system connects IP devices (surveillance cameras, in this case) to areas that the previous system could not reach. In fact, their product was part of the previous system that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

“It was a great honor to participate in the securing the statue project,” said Kemp. “If you look at some of the names of the participating vendors, all of them are considered best-of-breed in their market.

Scallop Imaging

For all that is the Statue of Liberty, perhaps the perimeter is the most vigilant place to start. This Statue is on an island and access to it is guarded by U.S. Park Police; however, Scallop Imaging included its solid-state M6-200 IP cameras with six megapixels, extreme low-light video and undistorted, panoramic 200 degree field-of-view.

“The camera is a 6-megapixel camera specifically designed to work in near total darkness,” said C. Jack Lester, vice president of marketing at Scallop Imaging. “It delivers a monochrome high-resolution image at up to 10 frames per second and is a virtual video, working without ghosting, around the perimeter.”

The Bottom Line

Without question or reservation, it was Total Recall who put this project together. A partner with Park Police for nearly 20 years, Jordan Heilweil felt it was his duty to protect Lady Liberty. Each vendor had nothing but praise for Total Recall’s efforts, passion and ability to provide the best-of-the-best when it came to security equipment.

For Capt. Gregory J. Norman, Liberty District Commander of the U.S. Park Police, this security install has been a lifesaver. As noted, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the national park and what was a poorly functioning security system.

Flexibility became the watch word to getting the new system installed.

“It was certainly a pleasure for us to work with Total Recall,” Norman said. “This company is great to work with because they were very flexible to meet our needs and still hit the timeline for when the Statue of Liberty was to reopen.”

The system has met every expectation and exceeded every goal that the Park Police had envisioned. Norman said that it is intuitive and easy to use in monitoring activity at the national park.

“Now, we have the ability to have several remote locations where the system can be monitored from, in addition to our new command center,” Norman said. The image quality is far superior to the old analog system, and we also are afforded the ability to have cameras in locations that otherwise would have been almost inaccessible with the previous system.”

This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of Security Today.

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