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GOP convention will use ‘behavior recognition’ software on video surveillance cameras in Tampa

GOP convention
site in Tampa, FL

The police department in Tampa, FL, is deploying behavioral recognition software from BRS Labs on dozens of the video cameras that will provide round-the-clock surveillance at many of the venues where the GOP national convention will take place August 27-30.

The cameras will use AISight, release 3.0, which can look for abnormal activities, send real-time alerts to security personnel and take “deep dives” into the intelligence that the system has collected over the course of time, said John Frazzini, president of BRS Labs, in an exclusive phone interview with GSN on August 20.

Frazzini said he was allowed to acknowledge that BRS Labs has licensed the use in Tampa of its behavioral recognition software to Aware Digital, Inc., a surveillance system integrator based in Miami, FL, but he was not allowed to disclose whether BRS will play a similar role at the Democratic national convention, which will be held in Charlotte, NC on Sept. 3-6. Frazzini did point out nonetheless that he was standing in a parking lot in Charlotte, NC, while conducting the telephone interview with GSN.

“From our perspective, what’s taking place at this National Special Security Event in Tampa is a good example of how police are moving to a pro-active posture, rather than remaining in a reactive posture,” said Frazzini, who was a U.S. Secret Service agent earlier in his career.

The Houston-based company’s AISight software has the ability to capture and process video images over a long period of time, and use a form of artificial intelligence to “learn” what activities are deemed normal and what atypical activities should be considered abnormal. For example, said Frazzini, a truck backing into the loading dock of a venue at the GOP convention at an unusual hour might be considered abnormal. Similarly, a group of people accessing a building, where they’ve never appeared before, might be deemed abnormal, he noted.

The AISight 3.0 software has been deployed on cameras in Tampa for more than a month, said Frazzini, so they are already beginning to “learn” which activities in and around the convention venues should be considered routine.

The latest release of AISight offers heat-mapping for the first time, Frazzini told GSN. It can also display some of the intelligence it has been gathering. “You can now look and see how our system has collected knowledge,” Frazzini said.

During the convention, the BRS Labs software will be deployed within a perimeter around the convention sites that has been determined by local police and the Secret Service. The radius of that circle is somewhere between a few blocks and a few miles, he added.

After the convention is over, he expects the Tampa police department to continue deploying his company’s behavior recognition software in an expanded footprint.

For the GOP convention, the system integrator, Aware Digital, has signed a site-wide license with BRS Labs that enables the integrator to deploy the software on at least “dozens” of cameras, according to Frazzini, and perhaps as many as hundreds.

He couldn’t say what, if any, role his software might play at the Democratic conclave next month.