Colorado town fields video surveillance system

The town of Parker, Colo., tapped CDW Government to provide a video surveillance security system that spans a newly built 100,000-square-foot recreation center.

The town worked with CDW-G to evaluate technology options and selected 18 motion-activated cameras from Axis Communications. Those cameras are located inside and outside Parker Fieldhouse, which includes a gymnasium, inline hockey rink and artificial-turf field.

The surveillance solution also includes Axis software, which runs on a file server to record video. The video feeds are transmitted to a front-desk monitoring station, where employees can view up to 16 feeds at one time.

The software also lets police dispatchers log onto the system and view cameras remotely through a Web page.

The town’s video gear includes Axis 221 network cameras and Axis 216 fixed-dome network cameras. The IP-based network cameras provide the ability for future expandability and scalability, said Terry Denison, the town’s systems analyst.

Denison also cited ease of maintenance and accessibility. He said an analyst can log onto a Web browser across a virtual private network connection at home and pull the system up to troubleshoot it.

In addition to the network cameras, the town uses six analog CCTV units attached to light poles outside the field house. The analog video feeds run on coaxial cable and are digitized into an IP video stream via Axis 240Q video servers.

The town used the analog cameras in locations that were beyond the range of Ethernet. Some cameras are located more than 500 feet from the center and Denison said he could find no good way to deploy a wiring closet or switch to bridge the distance.

“We ended up going with, basically, a hybrid system,” Denison said.

Denison said the video surveillance solution has been mostly trouble-free except for the now-resolved issue of cameras unexpectedly dropping off the network. The source of the problem was the enablement of Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) on the switch that powers the IP cameras. The town uses Hewlett-Packard’s Procurve 2626 switch, which has Power-over-Ethernet functionality.

Denison said the switch comes with LACP turned on by default. That setting caused issues with the cameras, but turning off LACP solved the problem.

Tony Sivore, senior sales manager for state and local government at CDW-G, said the company has provided video surveillance gear for schools and corporate settings, but Parker Fieldhouse represents the first time the company has worked with a recreational facility.

About the Author

John Moore is a freelance writer based in Syracuse, N.Y.

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