HD video eases surveillance in sprawling jail system

HD video eases surveillance in sprawling jail system

Maricopa County, Ariz., operates the third largest sheriff’s office in the United States, with 7,500 to 10,000 inmates in its jail system across six facilities on any given day.

With that kind of exposure to risk yet modest resources to monitor it manually, the office considered video surveillance to record the inmate population when and where the office lacked staff to handle the job.

In doing so, the Sheriff’s Office decided to partner with DataDirect Networks, a company more often associated with high-performance computing than public safety applications.

DataDirect Networks made its name offering storage arrays for the supercomputing, high-performance computing, object storage and big data enterprise markets. Last November, it announced its Infinite Memory Engine system, a highly transactional “burst buffer cache for high-performance computing and big data.”

The technology works well with video surveillance and the accompanying need for high volume video caching and retrieval. DDN said it deployed a state-of-the-art video surveillance and storage archive system with 5.5 petabytes of data to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

The DDN storage system offered real-time data capture and video archive for more than 3,000 HD surveillance cameras. Maricopa County now has the ability to capture and record 24/7 activity across all six jail sites concurrently, with high data availability, simplified storage administration and the ability to scale and manage as many as 30 petabytes of footage.

The system allows officers to store massive amounts of footage that can be accessed almost instantaneously, DDN said, including zoom-in features to see visual details that were previously impossible to decipher.

Maricopa County and DDN have also created a video archive that is 10 times faster than its predecessor, DDN said, enabling law enforcement to capture thousands of incidents annually and retrieve up to 60 days of HD footage in seconds.

The system has also immensely improved officer workflow. Pulling footage from their legacy, tape-based system used to take two days, versus 30 minutes today.

With its upgraded jail-security system, Maricopa County has improved crime detection and intervention, reducing the cost of litigation and saving taxpayers’ dollars, according to DDN.

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