Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A virtual standing ovation....

to Karen and Mr. Zurik

WWL-TV's Lee Zurik honored by investigative reporters and editors group for NOAH stories

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Next up for my esteemed journalist colleague Mr. Zurik:

NETMETHODS & BATON ROUGE (AKA Security Canopy Program)

What do they have in common? ShotSpotter!!!

Remember the crime camera's went over budget by over $4 million dollars--why? Someone needs to look at ShotSpotter and its annual maintence costs. Remember ShotSpotter integrates with out existing Crime Cameras thanks Tropos & NetMethods.

How about a device that where the cost for a single square mile of coverage can cost from $250,000 to upwards of $1 million dollars!


Mayor Kip hands over the keys to Greg Meffort & NetMethods--

Tropos MetroMesh & ShotSpotter partnered up to reduce crime in Baton Rouge.

Tropos & EMS--NetMethods just got a contract through the City of Baton Rouge as a sub without an RFP being issued with Our Lady of the Lake Hospital & the EMS. Where is the link? Tropos units are installed on all fire & police vehicles. No word yet from Mayor Holden on how much money he illegally gave to NetMethods yet.

Mayor Kip Holden boats in his 2009 AOB how he misspent over $8 million dollars. (See page 8)



138 Cameras & counting under Operation "Security Canopy Program" for BR


"CIO on Video Surveillance
April 15th, 2005 No comments CIO has a great article on the growing market of video surveillance:

(I took a large snippets, because this is a very meaty article)

Proving ROI on digital surveillance may not be as hard as you think either. The post-9/11 obsession with security created this surge in surveillance investment, but what’s sustaining it is that digital video surveillance appears to be living up to its hype. And, when done well, it provides real ROI for the business. First off, it allows for consolidation of monitoring: You can watch many geographically disperse sites from one control room—something that was impossible with closed-circuit systems. An even bigger benefit of digital is that central control and monitoring allows you to put cameras at smaller sites and monitor them from the central operations center. With CCTV, you’d require a closed system at that smaller site and onsite monitoring, which itself requires at least one employee. Digital video also beats tape in terms of storage and retrieval. Tape-based systems can require a full-time employee just for retrieval. (For even more benefits, see “The Little Things,” this page.)

But the key to IP-based video surveillance’s appeal is the ever-expanding roster of applications being attached to it. In other words, surveillance isn’t just about security anymore. For example, British bed superstore Dreams recently deployed video surveillance for measuring foot traffic through a store to understand both peak traffic times and also shoppers’ browsing habits, which in turn allows them to better configure merchandise around the store. Of course the surveillance is used for security as well, but it’s also being utilized to train new employees.

Training, in fact, has become a possible killer applet for video surveillance, due in large part to the increased quality of the images. Video of cashiers at a grocery store doing their jobs correctly (and incorrectly) is edited into video packages that train new hires. Sandy Jones, a surveillance consultant, says Dreams isn’t alone in its use of cameras to assist retail; other companies are using surveillance for similar purposes. Still others are using cameras to improve logistics, assembling trains at humpyards (where the rail cars come off boats and trucks), for example, or monitoring assembly lines for quality control. Suddenly, surveillance is a business enabler, not just barbed wire.

Many CIOs say they spend considerable time fending off aggressive surveillance vendors. “I almost canceled our contract twice over what I thought was really aggressive behavior,” says Greg Meffert, CTO of the City of New Orleans, who is in the middle of a citywide surveillance project that will eventually include 1,000 wireless, IP-based cameras. “All they wanted to do was tell me how great I was and then, ‘Why aren’t you rolling this out faster?’”

“The vendors are coming at us with the ‘wow’ factor,” says Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport’s Bowen. “If you don’t pay significant attention to it, you’ll buy lots of things that can do lots of stuff, but your [total cost of ownership] and integration will be no good.”

Meffert provides a great example of a successful, IT-driven digital video surveillance deployment. When the current New Orleans city administration came into office, he says, the city had about two days worth of cash on hand and ranked at the bottom of a list of major cities when it came to technology infrastructure. “Everything we could do had to either be budget-neutral or save us money,” he says. New Orleans’ paramount problem was its murder rate, the highest of any city in the country, and Meffert believed a high-end wireless surveillance system with motion detection could help. But that would require a huge investment in the neighborhood of $300,000 just to start a pilot.

To jump-start the program, Meffert piloted the system in one of the highest-crime areas of the city. In six months, the murder rate in this area dropped 57 percent; auto theft, 25 percent; and burglary, 32 percent. He then started a website, Iseecrime.com, where neighborhood watch groups could sign up to become part of the city’s surveillance network. For $5,000, people could “adopt” a camera, and the city would integrate those views with its overall surveillance operations. In two days, Meffert says 220 groups and individuals registered. “That’s a million bucks right there,” he says.

All this success convinced the city to up its investment to more than $4 million for the first 300 cameras and to deploy as many as 1,000 cameras around New Orleans. (Right as Meffert started his pilot, the American Civil Liberties Union filed two restraining orders and threatened a lawsuit against the city; privacy and ethics issues abound and should not be discounted.)

But Meffert believes that the public safety rewards outweigh the privacy issues. He recalls an incident in which someone shot one of the wireless cameras. When damaged, the cameras automatically send a signal to police headquarters along with the last 10 minutes of footage from the location. (There’s up to a week’s worth of footage archived from every camera at any given time, depending on the camera’s setup.) Headquarters reviewed the video and forwarded it to a cruiser in the area. Meffert says those officers quickly tracked down the suspect who, it appeared, had done more than shoot at cameras. He was wanted for murder."

1. Now you see why its so important that Greg Meffert, et al control the technology departments in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. He who controls the technology controls the City and the public.
2. Everything is linked through Tropos and that's where the Feds need to start interviewing people ASAP.