Relying on Power
Mohegan Tribe surveillance operations seek bold network connectivity
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Aug 01, 2019
Mohegan Sun is a premier gaming and resort destination
covering 185 acres of reservation land along
the banks of the Thames River in the foothills of
southeastern Connecticut. First opened on Oct. 12,
1996, Mohegan Sun can truly be classified as a mega-
resort. It features an impressive 300,000 square feet of gambling
floor space that anchors two luxury hotel towers with 1,564 rooms,
two world-class spas, 130,000 square feet of retail space, over 40 restaurants
and bars, two indoor pools, a 17,500-square-foot outdoor sun
terrace, a three-story crystal mountain and a 55-foot indoor waterfall.
Add to that the 10,000-seat capacity Mohegan Sun Arena, home
of the New England Black Wolves of the National Lacrosse League
and the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, as well as a 400-seat Cabaret
Theatre, the 300-seat Wolf Den, and 275,000 square feet of meeting
and function space. The classic rock radio station WMOS is also
The gaming floor at Mohegan Sun is impressive in its own right
with nearly 5,000 slot machines, and more than 300 gaming tables.
Additional gaming attractions include a state-of-the-art race book
that offers live horse and greyhound racing from around the U.S., as
well as from Australia and England. It also offers wagering on jai-alai
From a Security Perspective
Needless to say, there is a lot to look after at Mohegan Sun from a
safety and security perspective, which is largely the responsibility of
Roland Ocampo, director of the Surveillance Technical Group for
the Mohegan Tribe. Ocampo is responsible for all technical aspects
of the surveillance, access control and security systems at Mohegan
Sun and its surrounding tribal properties. He reports to the executive
director of Public Safety, Joe Lavin, who coordinates the activities of
the Mohegan Tribe reservation’s police chief, fire chief and director
of surveillance, who is responsible for surveillance operations across
all gaming operations.
Keeping the extensive surveillance, access and security network
running smoothly and up-to-date is a huge task. Doing so is Ocampo’s
Surveillance Technical Group team of 10 technicians, three
supervisors, a project manager, system administrator, and a security
engineer and technical specialist, who handles all system service.
“Our team works under the premise that any solution we implement
has a ‘lifetime warranty,’” Ocampo said. “We know how we
wanted systems built, and exactly how they’ve been implemented, so
there should never be any reason why our networked system doesn’t
perform to the highest levels.
“All of our systems are networked to provide us with comprehensive
oversight of all activities,” Ocampo said. “It initially
started with surveillance, and as we grew over the last 22 years,
all related systems were integrated on a single dedicated network.
This provides our safety and security staff with the advanced technologies
needed to maintain constant situational awareness, supported
by technical operations to ensure all systems perform with
the highest levels of performance and reliability.”
Thousands of Cameras Deployed
Mohegan Tribe has thousands of surveillance cameras and access
controllers already deployed with additional devices being added as
needed to accommodate special events and continued expansion.
“What’s interesting is that our resort is one building that houses
multiple casinos that’s equivalent to 30 to 40 connected buildings,”
The sheer size and layout of Mohegan Sun and reservation properties
can be daunting, but Ocampo and his team have a firm grip on it.
One of the biggest technical challenges when implementing an
integrated surveillance and access control networked solution at a
facility as expansive as Mohegan Sun relates to power distribution
and data transmission over long distances. Ocampo’s team overcame
these issues with innovative solutions from Altronix.
“I’ve been in the industry for more than 30 years, and Altronix
has consistently been a go-to for us,” said Ocampo. “Altronix really
stepped-up their game from being just a power supply company over
the years. They offer versatile solutions that allow us to install and scale
our networked systems with the environment. They’ve been really great
in assisting with system design and deployment issues, helping us work
through some unusual situations that come up now and then.”
Deploying the Mid-span
According to Ocampo, Altronix NetWay mid-span injectors are deployed
throughout the properties’ interior locations across the reservation.
Specific models include the NetWay8GP 8-port mid-span
that provides up to 60W power per port to power PoE/PoE+/Hi-PoE devices (480W total), and the NetWay16G 16-port mid-span that
provides up to 30W power per port for PoE/PoE+ devices (480W total).
This allows Ocampo’s technicians to remotely deploy more highperformance
edge devices using fewer power supplies, saving both
money and valuable space.
“We have close to 150 IDF closets located throughout the interior
of the facility, and you’ll find at least two to three units in each one,”
Ocampo’s team initially intended on running fiber in the property’s
parking garage, where each of the five floors of the structure
have camera runs that can run anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 feet.
They later decided against it, fearing that possible vandalism or damage
to exposed conduit could affect the fiber cabling, which is not
easy to fix. Instead, they chose to deploy the Altronix NetWay midspan
injectors successfully deployed in interior locations. The units
are installed in one IDF closet on the bottom level of the garage,
distributing power and transmitting data to the five floors above. For
those cameras that are at extended distances from the closet, Altronix
IP extenders are installed.
“The ability to deliver low voltage power and transmit data over
these long cable runs is really efficient because we didn’t have to install
AC power throughout the garage,” Ocampo said.
However, there are several areas at Mohegan Sun where composite
fiber cabling is deployed, such as in the recently opened
125,000-square-foot Expo Center, and on numerous light poles located
throughout the Mohegan reservation.
“The ability to deliver power remotely has been key for us,” Ocampo
said. “It’s a tremendous cost-saving measure that eliminates the need to
purchase unnecessary equipment and get electricians involved.”
For these extended run fiber applications, Ocampo’s team deployed
the NetWay Spectrum PoE+ Switches with SFP (fiber) ports.
These hardened PoE switches and Ethernet to fiber media converters
accommodate single or multi-mode fiber, as well as composite cable,
combining fiber with copper to simultaneously deliver low-voltage
power and data at distances up to a mile.
Aside from delivering power and pushing data, Altronix NetWay
solutions feature embedded LINQ Network communications technology
to remotely monitor, control and report power and diagnostics.
“The remote management capabilities provided by LINQ Technology
really makes life a whole lot easier for my technicians,” Ocampo
said. “When an issue arises, our techs have the ability to remotely
call up the NetWay units to help them pinpoint the exact source and
cause of the issue before we dispatch a service technician into the
field. Most often, they can resolve the problem by simply remotely
resetting the power to reboot a device.
“Overall, the power and data transmission solutions provide
great cost efficiency by reducing installation time, equipment needs,
as well as service and maintenance costs,” Ocampo said. “Conserving
man hours is perhaps the most important benefit, followed by
our ability to easily add cameras to the network using the multiport
solutions, which we can basically do on demand.
Installations that could possibly take two
to three days can be completed in a couple of
hours with less people. This provides substantial
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Security Today.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.