Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
Firetide, Lenel and Axis contribute video surveillance network for Little League World Series
Firetide, Inc., a provider of wireless infrastructure mesh networks, announced on August 15 that it has joined forces with Lenel Systems International and Axis Communications to contribute an extensive wireless video surveillance network that will play a critical role in keeping the 66th annual Little League Baseball World Series (LLBWS) players and more than 400,000 expected spectators safe during the 10-day event.
“The annual Little League Baseball World Series is the largest international gathering of youth sports in the world and we have an obligation to provide a secure environment over the two week competition,” said Jim Ferguson, director of security for Little League Baseball and Softball. “The technology solutions from Firetide, Lenel, and Axis enable us to provide our joint security forces with the high-performance wireless video network they need to ensure a safe, fun, experience for all the players and fans.”
For the past 65 years, the small borough of South Williamsport, PA, with a population of less than 6,500 hosts the two-week baseball tournament that brings 16 of the world’s best Little League baseball teams together to compete head-to-head to determine a world champion.
Providing a safe and fun environment during this annual summer tournament is often challenging for such a small town, but with the cooperation of the technology partners, the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, Local South Williamsport Police and Little League Baseball World Series security forces, the annual tournament continues to provide a safe and secure, yet family-friendly atmosphere.
For the past two years, the LLBWS has greatly improved its security technology with Lenel access control and a mix of Axis IP-based digital surveillance cameras. This year, Firetide will contribute 13 outdoor HotPort 7020 mesh nodes to connect a real-time network of multiple IP cameras covering the vast majority of the 79-acre baseball complex and surrounding areas. With Firetide’s wireless infrastructure mesh technology, LLBWS has increased the video surveillance coverage area significantly over previous years.
The Firetide wireless video network coupled with a new mix of Axis Communications network cameras will provide security forces with live video feeds of areas directly surrounding the baseball stadiums, public parking lots and the dormitory complex known as the International Grove that houses all players and coaches during their two-week stay.
In addition to the fixed camera locations, motorized mobile security vehicles will be outfitted with Firetide wireless mesh nodes, effectively turning them into roaming hot spots that provide network access to security forces roaming the grounds via portable devices such as laptops, smart phones and iPads. The roaming capability increases the overall coverage area of the video network, and provides security officers with live visibility even as they are approaching a scene.
Little League Baseball security officers will have the ability to access the video network and control each camera from a centralized location, enabling them to help locate lost individuals, detect people approaching secured areas, track suspicious items, monitor public parking lots, count crowd size and provide an overall sense of security for the players and attendees. Additionally, the wireless network now enables Little League Baseball safety and security personnel to monitor the highway that abuts the facility, protecting family and fans as they cross the street to attend a game.
The video surveillance network and cameras will be in open public view, providing a subtle yet authoritative presence that is critical for preventing crimes and maintaining crowd control. The video security network was designed and installed by Lenel Systems International, a Rochester, NY-based provider of advanced turnkey security systems who has contributed their products and services to the Little League Baseball World Series event for the past 14 years.
On top of the 1080p and 720p HDTV pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) and thermal network cameras installed in the past, the LLBWS will utilize the latest in low-light, color-at-night video technology with the AXIS Q1602-E Network Camera featuring Lightfinder Technology.
For areas where sun and stadium light creates difficult viewing conditions, AXIS Q1604-E Network Camera with Dynamic Capture wide dynamic range will be installed. The tournament will also employ 5 MP fixed dome IP cameras and Axis’ latest covert camera, the AXIS P8514 Network Camera, to help prevent loss in the merchandising areas.
“The flexibility and performance of Firetide’s wireless infrastructure mesh network opens up new opportunities and enables us to easily deploy any of our network cameras -- HDTV PTZs, thermals, Lightfinder and even covert cameras -- in locations we were not able to before,” said Robert Muehlbauer, business development programs manager of Axis Communications, Inc. “As more of our partners join this cutting-edge security system network, we can do more to protect the players, friends, and families who come to South Williamsport once a year to enjoy one of the best tournaments in the world.”