A Light of Freedom
- By Jamie Friedlander, Ralph C. Jensen
- Feb 01, 2014
She 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,
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months ago, the Park Police were saddled with outdated, analog cameras to protect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
“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
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.
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.”
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
Milestone is coordinating a video on the Statue, which they hope to release
in late February, prior to ISC West.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.