Securing Large Events

Cities look to integrated, data-drive video solutions

A highly integrated, data-driven approach to securing and managing major special events is driving cities to adopt innovative video technologies for safety and security.

From the NFL to the PGA to NASCAR, when a major special event comes to town, city managers and local law enforcement must quickly deploy an efficient and responsive system to proactively manage and monitor the event. Security teams need a flexible, reliable and scalable way to safeguard multiple venues, manage crowds and traffic, and provide first responders with the information and situational awareness they need to make decisions.

Many cities are now leveraging the capabilities of open platform video management solutions and data-driven video technologies to address the unique needs of world-class sporting events.

Beyond Standard Operating Procedures
Major sporting events are often multi-day, multi-location festivals with any number of performances and entertainment activities leading up to game day. Attracting hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, large sports events often involve many, if not all, local venues such as stadiums, theaters, convention centers, hotels, parks and temporary outdoor venues. In planning for these events, public safety officials must also deal with the added city congestion of portable stages, booths, displays, expanded parking areas and the fluctuation of crowds moving from attraction to attraction around the city.

For large events, law enforcement's top priority is identifying dangerous situations and proactively mitigating risks. Smart video systems can detect potential threats by flagging unattended bags, perimeter breaches, unauthorized area access and the unplanned formation of large crowds. Video analytic capabilities such as drone detection, people counting and image detection can alert operators of suspicious activity and potential threats. In all cases, open platform VMS bring together the core technologies, edge devices, specialized software, and the multiple agencies involved to secure these special events.

Prepare for a Team Effort
One of the first actions city officials must take in preparing for a special event is to review all existing camera systems. Many city departments have their own video management systems, which can be valuable resources for law enforcement. Public works, transportation, parks, water; all these departments have cameras positioned throughout a city, and when accessed as a single system, they can provide a comprehensive view of what is happening all around town. In many cases, public/private partnerships can also be beneficial, and agreements can be put in place that allow law enforcement to access private systems during a large event, such as within stadiums, convention centers, shopping areas, airports and transportation hubs.

Planning for these events usually takes place many months in advance and requires extensive research and coordination. Law enforcement needs to know what camera systems are available and have a plan in place for using as many existing cameras as possible. If all department sites are on the same VMS, that is a significant advantage, especially with an open platform system that can offer interconnection capabilities that make shared video systems very easy to set up and manage.

And because city officials, local police departments, and other first responders often work closely with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, a comprehensive security solution, a proactive inventory of available camera systems and pre-established interconnection procedures will be invaluable in sharing information with federal authorities, transit officials, law enforcement and other first responders.

Cyber Resilient
As with any network and technology-based solution, cyber security is a major concern. There have been situations where, before a big event, a host city fell victim to DDoS attacks that took down the network. A city may have a mitigation strategy in place, but those solutions usually take several minutes to kick in, and with large events, downtime is unacceptable.

In one mid-west city, the state’s regional city streets departments all worked together to create their own private fiber network that never touched the internet. While hosting a large event, managers were able to route all video and security data over the existing “dark fiber” so that if there was an attack and the internet went down, the security system would remain operational.

Additionally, an open platform VMS can provide solid security protection against external and internal security threats. Tiered administrator and user rights enforced on the server side, combined with standard IT security procedures, make an open platform approach the perfect choice for mitigating attack risks.

Working Smarter
At a time when many cities face with first responder staff shortages, access to data is more critical than ever before. Capturing hundreds or thousands of hours of video, audio and other data streams can become overwhelming and nearly meaningless if there are not sufficient staff for real-time monitoring or reviewing recorded data.

Today's AI- and metadata-driven video technologies turn what is generally regarded as a reactive system into a proactive system with real-time capabilities. Integrated analytics built into the VMS can tirelessly search all live or recorded camera feeds for flagged license plates, abandoned vehicles, left-behind objects, and more. Smart video analytic systems can notify security and law enforcement to what is important, so they can make informed decisions and respond appropriately.

An integrated, open platform, data-driven VMS can help cities rise to the challenge of providing for the safety, security, and enjoyment of all during large special events and beyond.

This article originally appeared in the March / April 2023 issue of Security Today.

Featured

  • President Biden Issues Executive Order to Bolster U.S Port Cybersecurity

    On Wednesday, President Biden issued an Executive Order to bolster the security of the nation’s ports, alongside a series of additional actions that will strengthen maritime cybersecurity and more Read Now

  • Report: 15 Percent of All Emails Sent in 2023 Were Malicious

    VIPRE Security Group recently released its report titled “Email Security in 2024: An Expert Look at Email-Based Threats”. The 2024 predictions for email security in this report are based on an analysis of over 7 billion emails processed by VIPRE worldwide during 2023. This equates to almost one email for everyone on the planet. Of those, roughly 1 billion (or 15%) were malicious. Read Now

  • ASIS Announces ANSI-Approved Cannabis Security Standard

    ASIS International, a leading authority in security standards and guidelines, proudly announces the release of a pioneering American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved standard dedicated to cannabis security. This best-in-class standard, meticulously developed by industry experts, sets a new benchmark by providing comprehensive requirements and guidance for the design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and maintenance of a cannabis security program. Read Now

  • ISC West Announces Keynote Lineup

    ISC West, in collaboration with premier sponsor the Security Industry Association (SIA), announced this year’s dynamic trio of speakers that will headline the Keynote Series at ISC West 2024. Read Now

    • Industry Events

Featured Cybersecurity

Whitepapers

New Products

  • QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    The latest Qualcomm® Vision Intelligence Platform offers next-generation smart camera IoT solutions to improve safety and security across enterprises, cities and spaces. The Vision Intelligence Platform was expanded in March 2022 with the introduction of the QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC), which delivers superior artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing at the edge. 3

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3

  • 4K Video Decoder

    3xLOGIC’s VH-DECODER-4K is perfect for use in organizations of all sizes in diverse vertical sectors such as retail, leisure and hospitality, education and commercial premises. 3