LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT
UPDATES FORENSIC VIDEO ANALYSIS UNIT FOR ADDED FUNCTIONALITY
As criminal activity takes on new forms, so does the technology used to stop it. The use of video surveillance cameras is now a common security option to monitor shops, restaurants, and even city streets. However, these video cameras are not just monitoring the inside of a store, or recording the face of someone taking money out of an ATM, they are helping police investigators across the nation solve crimes.
Often, when police show up on the scene of a crime they now look for video surveillance cameras in the area that may have caught the incident, or perpetrator, on tape. These can include ATM machines, store cameras, personal video cameras from witnesses, and street cameras. With so many cameras monitoring a specific area, sometimes the entire incident is caught on tape. That is why police departments nationwide, like the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, are investing in a new era of crime-fighting technologies to make their jobs more efficient.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department handles the policing for all of Las Vegas and most of Clark County. Their job is to ensure the safety of Las Vegas residents, and the thousands of tourists who visit their city every year. With a population of around 478,000, monitoring the safety of the entire city is no small task, and like most popular tourist destinations - Las Vegas sees its share of criminal activity.
To aid the department in solving criminal investigations, the LVMPD utilizes a forensic video analysis unit. Their job is to study video images from surveillance cameras, personal video recorders, and even ATM cameras shot at crime scenes. The analysts prepare the video footage and put it into a storyboard format that is then accepted as evidence in the courtroom.
The LVMPD recently upgraded their forensic video analysis unit by adding custom-designed vertical racks to house their sophisticated video playback equipment. The new design, created by the Winsted Corporation, was designed to improve workflow, add comfort, and increase productivity.
After a visit to Los Angeles and seeing the Los Angeles County Police Department's forensic video analysis unit, the LVMPD knew they needed to streamline their current layout. “Basically, we were working on banquet tables and desks,” says Andrew Vineyard, Photo Technician for the department. “Video analysis can take extended periods of time, and we really needed something that would make the video analysis process more efficient and comfortable.”
After discussing their needs internally, the LVMPD applied for a homeland defense grant, and was awarded the additional funding. With the help of the government, the LVMPD put their grant to good use and contacted the Winsted Corporation of Minneapolis, Minnesota to help create the work environment they were looking for.
Known for their expertise in design, fabrication, and installation of technical furniture environments, Winsted was tasked with creating a set of vertical racks that would improve workflow for the department's video analysis unit. Upon getting the call from the LVMPD, the Winsted team started to put together renderings of the type of equipment that would most benefit the department.
“What really helped us in our design process was Winsted's ability to graphically represent its product line,” says Vineyard. “They were easily able to conceptualize a design from the elements we gave them.”
The LVMPD chose to outfit their new video analysis work area with two of Winsted's Prestige Slim-Line consoles. Slim-Line consoles feature a pullout lower equipment shelf, solid or vented lower doors with a spring latch and a large work surface. The Prestige Slim-Line series is designed to be comfortable, and functional for long hours of watching video images. The two Slim-Line consoles are L-shaped, and are positioned next to the vertical equipment racks.
For the vertical racks, the LVMPD went with Winsted's standard Pro Series II welded vertical equipment racks. The main benefits the LVMPD saw with the racks were their expandability and durability. As the LVMPD continues to add additional equipment and monitors, the Pro Series II will be able to easily exchange equipment and expand to add equipment rack space. Some of the standard rack features are fully adjustable rack rails, heavy-duty welded frames, large corner uprights for cable management, and custom vented side panels.
The racks were designed to house the equipment vertically, which lets the staff watch footage while maintaining operating workspace. With rack mount options, analysts are able to put equipment on a slide, and move it in/out when it needs to be utilized. This design approach makes adding source-ins and equipment maintenance more manageable.
“Having everything at the right height, the right reach, and having the right amount of space makes our job easier and more organized; and organization in this type of work is critical,” says Vineyard. “With a long-term investment like this, we wanted to make sure we could add to it while still maintaining comfort for the analysts.”
Additional functionality for the LVMPD's new equipment includes fan cooling, sturdy steel construction, pullout surfaces, and easy access to the back for power cord management. “Winsted's design keeps the workstation clean, organized, and functional,” says Vineyard. “For our job we often have to make good what was not intended to be, and Winsted's ergonomically-designed vertical racks, make our job much more pleasant and predictable.”
WICHITA'S MID-CONTINENT AIRPORT
TAKES OFF WITH AN UPGRADED AIRPORT SECURITY CONTROL ROOM
Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport recently upgraded their airport security & fire control room to monitor the increase in passenger traffic due to additional flight services offered by national carriers. Along with a larger volume of passengers comes a greater responsibility to monitor the airport’s safety and security. In order to provide the highest level of security, Mid-Continent Airport saw that a new design and system upgrade was required.
Serving more than one million people a year, Wichita Mid-Continent is Kansas' largest airport. The airport hosts fourteen airlines, and offers non-stop flights to over fourteen major US cities. Mid-Continent was built when the government acquired the old Wichita Airport and turned it into McConnell Air Force Base in the early 1950s. Today, the airport plays an integral part in South Central Kansas' economy.
When the airport decided to remodel their security & fire control room they called on Jim Cook, a Senior Project Manager for Siemens Building Technologies - Security Systems Division. Cook, who has been working with the airport for over ten years, knew it was time for a design and system upgrade.
“The old console design needed a total upgrade,” says Cook. “They had five vertical racks and a very basic design. The console itself was over ten years old. They needed something that wasn't so fragile.”
The first step in the remodel was finding the right manufacturer to design and build the quality technical furniture the job required. Cook called on Winsted Corporation of Minneapolis, Minnesota to create the design for the security room console.
While the office was being completely remodeled, the workers created a temporary console in another room and completely removed the old one. When the office remodel was complete, Cook had the new console installed, and covered, until they were ready to switch over and use the unit.
During the security room remodel, the airport was also removing concourse doors and adding surveillance cameras in the main terminal. Due to construction, access to the new security room was not possible for several weeks. However, once the remodel was complete, the airport was able to switch over to the new console in just a few hours.
The new console design featured Winsted's Matrix™ Modular Console. The attractive Matrix System is the newest addition to Winsted's line-up, combining form, function, and aesthetics for high-tech work environments.
“The new design is more user-friendly because of its shape and design,” says Airport Chief Gary Bauer. “The larger monitors, the color, and the convenient custom panel with control switches make navigating the new system a cinch.”
Mid-Continent chose a 7-bay Winsted console configured to hold eleven flat-screen monitors and two CRT monitors. Manufactured with welded steel frames, and clad-wrapped with molded ABS plastic tops and backs, the new console adds additional sturdiness that was lacking in the previous setup. The console has open corners and shelves, with a custom panel in the center that houses radios, controls, and switches. On either side of the control panel are two PCs where logging functions and alarms are monitored. Winsted added the final touch to the console design with a solid Corian® work surface.
The rest of the console consists of the eleven flat-screen monitors equipped with glare covers. The flat screens monitor the inside/outside of the terminal, the gates, and the runways. The cameras are set up so that if certain gates or doors are opened, an alarm goes off and an image comes up on the screen. “Our security is set up so we know everyone working here at the airport,” says Bauer.
“As a full system, there is nothing nicer in Wichita,” says Cook. As with all their installations and equipment, Winsted Corporation is creating flexible, comfortable, quality workstations to move industries forward. With its recent facelift and security room upgrade, Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport has everything in place to become one of the safest airport hubs in the US.