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Dallas Police Keep Eye on Crime With Wireless Network

Wireless links have reliably transported data for quite some time, and designing a wireless network to carry voice is becoming an achievable goal. Transporting video brings the bandwidth requirements for these wireless links up a notch or two. In a post-9/11 era where the majority of citizens will accept some privacy intrusions, outdoor video cameras--which have been deployed in Europe for quite some time--are starting to pop up all over the country. With the advent of IP-based cameras and wireless transport, video monitoring can be installed anywhere as long as there is adequate electrical power. BridgeWave, together with Firetide, have demonstrated in this Dallas announcement that wireless technologies have what it takes to serve public safety. It will only be a matter of time until these multimegabit streams find their way indoors through broadcast television service, videoconferencing, security services and other applications. The upcoming 802.11n standard could be a catalyst to these future developments.
Frank Bulk
NWC Contributing Editor

The Dallas Police Department is deploying video-surveillance equipment to keep closer tabs on activity in the city's downtown area, leveraging a wireless mesh network to deliver live camera feeds.

The project employs a wireless mesh network that uses 4.9-GHz public-safety airwaves. The network includes 40 IP video cameras from Sony, 35 multiradio mesh network nodes from Firetide and seven high-capacity, Gigabit Ethernet and 100-Mbps backbone links from BridgeWave Communications. The long-range BridgeWave wireless links tie the mesh network to monitoring stations at city hall and the police department. The cameras can clearly capture images as small as a license plate from 300 yards and can be operated remotely by the police.

The Dallas Police Department said it can track activity in 30 percent of the downtown area through live camera feeds delivered to the City Hall offices and police headquarters. A spokesperson for the department said the wireless mesh network appealed to them in large part because it let them use existing equipment and bring the network online quickly.

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