America’s smaller cities face a unique challenge. They need to create communities with a quality of life that draws people to live and work there. At the same time, they need to keep spending (and as a result, taxes) low enough that people stay. City officials such as mayors, city managers, and police chiefs confront this tension between services and budget constraints almost every day. However, there are ways for municipalities to expand resources significantly without significantly expanding their budgets.
Video monitoring and surveillance or a wireless network? Yes.
Here’s how it primarily works. First, cities add wireless video monitoring & surveillance to specific areas of their city. Then, they leverage this private wifi network to expand data access and make better use of their current broadband service.
The video monitoring & surveillance component
Unlike traditional systems, which require significant time and expense to dig trenches and run cable, modern video monitoring and surveillance systems are wireless. This approach makes them faster and less expensive to install than those traditional surveillance systems. Cities will focus on a single area to keep costs down. This area might be a public pool or park, or a traffic intersection that experiences lots of accidents. When the public knows that their behavior is being monitored, their behavior generally improves. They drive more safely, and they engage in less illegal or dangerous activity.
The wireless network component
The same wireless network that provides connectivity to the video monitoring & surveillance system can provide additional network access to your key departments. When you add wireless video monitoring & surveillance, you’re creating your own secure, private wireless mesh network. To keep things simple: a wireless mesh network is one where the infrastructure nodes (things like bridges, switches, and other infrastructure devices) connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate to route data efficiently from and to clients.
Benefits of a wireless mesh network
In a word: flexibility. As more or less coverage is needed, you can add or remove wireless mesh nodes. Wireless Mesh is very useful for areas where you have a lack of sight or where network devices are blocked occasionally.
For example, you might have large trucks or buses that sometimes block two nodes from talking to each other. With wireless mesh, adding more wireless mesh nodes will adjust to find a clear signal. Wireless Mesh networks are also a good solution when you lack wall connections — like a public park, a warehouse or a transportation hub.
Where (and how) to get started.
If you like what you’ve read so far, we can help you to learn more and even test the technology without making a financial commitment.
1. Learn the basics.
No one expects you to make this kind of decision, based up one short article. (To be clear: you shouldn’t make this kind of decision based on one short article!) We’ve created an excellent primer on adding video monitoring and surveillance to your city. It’s a quick read, full of useful information, and not a sales pitch. If you’d like a copy, you can get one here [link to content offer landing page]
2. Demo the technology.
We offer a free, no-obligation trial so that municipalities like yours can see the power of PASS Municipal OverSite™ firsthand. To see if you qualify, fill out this simple form. [link to Free Trial landing page]
3. Start with a Pilot program.
If you’re seriously interested in adding video monitoring & surveillance and a wireless mesh network to your city, it’s still wise to approach the process gradually. We generally recommend that you start small, with a single location and just a few cameras. Over time, you can expand features and service progressively, as your need and your budget permit. You can find more information about our Pilot Programs here. [link to Pilot Program landing page]