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GSN to present ‘Extraordinary Public Service Award’ for Total Recall’s ‘Dream Team’ surveillance and security upgrade of Statue of Liberty
In recognition of a remarkable act of generosity and concern for public safety, Government Security News has announced that it will cap off its 2013 Homeland Security Awards Program with the presentation of a new award for an “Extraordinary Achievement in Public Safety and Security” to Total Recall Corp., of Suffern, NY, and nine state-of-the-art vendors who partnered with Total Recall in a surveillance and security upgrade of the Statue of Liberty.
The project was completed following eight months of renovations and repairs that were needed as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The Statue was re-opened to visitors on July 4, 2013. It has averaged 25,000 visitors per day in the ensuing months.
According to Jordan Heilweil, CEO of Total Recall, the company reached out to the U.S. Park Police, the National Park Service (NPS) and the Department of Interior (DOI) with a digital surveillance and security proposal that would involve design, installation and maintenance of the Statue as a pro bono donation from the consortium of 10 companies, now known as the “Dream Team.”
In the upgrade that took place following acceptance of the proposal, Total Recall and the technology team migrated the Statue from outdated analog CCTV to the latest in digital video technology to enable the park to cover areas with high-quality video surveillance that could not be reached before. The team also constructed an intelligent and ultra-modern command center to help the National Park Service and National Park Police do their jobs more effectively.
During a half-day press tour of Liberty and Ellis islands and Lady Liberty, Heilweil identified the nine other members of the Statue’s “Dream Team” and described their contributions to the project as follows:
AXIS Communications – Provided a mix of nearly 160 IP cameras with HDTV quality, exceptional nighttime performance, powerful zoom, reliability and discreet appearance (“Simply the best,” according to Heilweil);
BriefCam – For its unique video synopsis software solution that enables law enforcement and security personnel to review hours of surveillance video in minutes;
Dragonwave – Supplied multi-gigabit packet microwave radios, delivering carrier-class transport for mission critical public safety communications;
Milestone Systems – For its open platform IP video management software that enables first responders to quickly search for incidents while pushing video to mobile devices;
Pivot3 – For reliable digital storage and computer devices specifically designed for the IP video industry;
Proxim Wireless – Delivering high-capacity, wide-area wireless broadband utilizing WORP technology in order to connect IP cameras in areas the previous system could not be reached;
RGB Spectrum – For enabling multiple video feeds to be displayed on the massive video wall in the new command center, using its MediaWall 2900 display processor;
Scallop Imaging – Providing perimeter security via its all solid-state M-200 IP cameras with six megapixel, extreme low-light video and undistorted panoramic 200-degree FOV;
Winsted Corp. – For ergonomically designed command center consoles that allow operators to be as efficient and comfortable as possible in a high-stree environment.
Captain Greg Norman, of the U.S. Park Police, served as host of the November 20 press tour and provided numerous points of interest regarding the Statue’s new digital security system. How bad was Hurricane Sandy? The water level was so high -- and the situation was exacerbated because some of the infrastructure was located below ground level -- that the islands’ electrical systems were destroyed. He also described additional impediments encountered by the Dream Team, including other projects that were taking place at the same time in the same locations, requiring after-hours work.
He also noted that in the past, command centers had often been relegated to small areas that were available in the corner of a room, but in this renovation, provisions were made for a spacious command center with a state-of-the-art media wall in an undisclosed location, with a connected area that was set aside for other police work. Captain Norman also commented that a lot of thought was put into making sure that the various cameras were placed, so that they did not seem intrusive or intimidating to visitors.
A statement was also released by the U.S. Park Police during the press tour, which read:
“The National Park Service and Statue of Liberty National Monument greatly appreciate the donation of the state-of-the-art comprehensive security system developed by Total Recall. This system has already helped the park not only maintain the security of the park through a busy summer, but has also added visitor protection by helping NPS employees respond promptly to visitor needs.”
Summing up his thoughts on Total Recall’s longstanding relationship with the National Park Service and the Park Police, Heilweil said, “We have been dealing with shortfalls in the system since 1999. Some were due to budgets, others due to technology. Remember, when we started, it was VCRs and multiplexers. My concept was to design and build the best system possible, and base that design not on cost or a fixed budget, but on performance and features that were meaningful solutions that would help the park every day.”
In retrospect, Heilweil made it clear that he was quite satisfied with the accomplishments and contributions of the team. “By moving from an old analog technology, with many disparate systems, to a state-of-the-art digital solution that via IP technology allows a unified campus;
“A mix of wireless and fiber connections has enabled us to cover areas of the island, statue and perimeter that we couldn’t reach with the old system;
“With the intelligence of the system, thanks to the Milestone and BriefCam software, we can instantly search video that happened either moments ago or days ago in just seconds;
“It used to be when you had an incident, was the tape in… was the video recording? Was this the same tape used for the last five years;
“Now, with Pivot3, those worries don’t exist;
“If you saw the old command center you would see how many command centers are built. OK, we have some space, let’s put it here. Not necessarily the best location, but the only location;
“Now we have a location that is off-site and designed to function as a command center. The purpose-built console allows operators to work long hours and be in a spacious, comfortable environment.”
Total Recall and the Dream Team clearly have a lot to be proud of in their upgrade of one of America’s most beloved and treasured symbols of freedom and opportunity. But let’s get an opinion form Frederick Auguste Bartholdi, Gustav Eiffel and Robert Morris Hunt, the architects, and the French government officials who created and presented America with Lady Liberty, and maybe New Yorker Emma Lazarus as well, whose comments on the Statue of Liberty are studied and revered by every school child in America. If they were around today, in our opinion here at GSN, they’d most likely want to say to Jordan Heilweil, Total Recall and the other members of the Dream Team something along the lines of,
“Bravo pour le magnifique geste!”