Residents and tourists are feeling more secure in New Orleans thanks to Christie® technology and Interstate Electronics Systems (IES). The Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) comes complete with over 80 cameras in the French Quarter alone and another 125 located at various crime ‘hot spots,’ capturing video and acting as a deterrent for illegal activity.
With an additional 125 cameras set to be installed around the ‘Big Easy,’ the RTCC is part of a $40 million public safety program that will also allow residents, property owners and business owners to register their private cameras with the city and permit police to quickly locate camera footage after a crime occurs. In some cases, the private cameras will link to the Real Time Crime Center, allowing the footage from the cameras to be immediately available to law enforcement.
Bringing in the IES and Christie experts
With its expertise already deployed on numerous projects with Homeland Security and familiarity with the Christie Phoenix® video wall processor, having used it in other installations, IES was the ideal choice for this endeavor.
“We had done some work with the New Orleans office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. We did an upgrade to that facility in July of last year and prior to that, we had done some work for Homeland Security with their mobile command bus,” said Mike Rideau, managing partner, Operations, Interstate Electronics Systems.
“We had deployed the Phoenix product in an EOC (Emergency Operations Center) in St. Tammany Parish, the Port of Morgan City, and the Livingston Parish sheriff’s EOC.”
For the RTCC project, the IES team, which also included managing partner Lloyd Francioni and system specialist Lindsay Weidman, selected Christie Phoenix and Christie FHD553 LCD flat panels. The Center includes a main command center with 2 x 19 wraparound wall of flat panels as well as a collaboration space featuring a 2 x 2 LCD panel wall. In addition, another room used for press conferences and Homeland Security issues uses a 2 x 4 flat panel wall with the Phoenix system providing immediate data collection and recollection.
“The RTCC ties into the 911 dispatch system and when dispatch gets a call, the RTCC immediately sees the location thanks to the its cameras and geo-mapping and the information is then shared in real-time with 911 and reported to the officers involved,” said George Barlow Brown, COMMS / IT Manager, New Orleans Real Time Crime Center.
If, for example, there is a break-in and the perpetrator is wearing a red shirt, they pull up the cameras in the area and the RTCC relays that information to local officers – thus, narrowing the search parameters.
Completed in five months, Rideau noted the effective teamwork among those involved in the project and called it a true collaboration.
“You don’t always get that with a manufacturer and vendor,” Rideau concluded. “Everybody was working towards the same goal and the consistency of interaction between Christie, IES, the owner was able to get this project completed in that amount of time. The byproduct of it is that there is a “wow-factor” when you walk into that room and see that large wall wrapped around that room. It’s impressive and useful. That’s the biggest take away from me: everybody involved worked very hard and consistently to get it done.”