City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland Improves City Security, Building Safety and Community Efficiency while Lowering Total Cost of Ownership
Located between Tampa and Orlando, the City of Lakeland is home to just over 100,000 residents, and the surrounding Lakeland-Winter Haven area, known as Polk County is home to a population of over 600,000 people. Its name stems from the thirty-eight named lakes in the vicinity. The community and culture of Lakeland revolves around these vast bodies of water and the activities available at numerous parks and recreation centers.
While surveillance efforts had been initiated to keep citizens safe, the City of Lakeland was dealing with many different disparate analog and DVR systems. In 2004, the water utility department first began the search to upgrade its video surveillance systems. The City of Lakeland wanted a more robust, and reliable IP-based security system which would help its departments take advantage of the growing fiber infrastructure throughout the city. With buy-in from city board members and the IT department, the water utility department moved forward with Genetec Omnicast IP video surveillance system.
Three years later, the city’s IT department initiated a city-wide expansion project which would expand the system across all other local organizations, and upgrade to IP access control in various buildings. After much deliberation, the City of Lakeland chose to standardize on Genetec Security Center, the unified security platform which includes video surveillance, access control and automatic license plate recognition systems in one solution. SiteSecure, a leading security integrator which was recently acquired by Miller Electric Company, is currently contracted to handle installations and maintenance for the city-wide expansion project.
Security Center Enables Massive Savings and Gradual Growth
While the city-wide system is ever-evolving, Security Center is currently installed at 53 sites throughout the City of Lakeland. These sites include waste and water facilities, police and fire departments, city hall, libraries, park and recreation buildings, public works facilities, the regional airport and others. Omnicast and Synergis, the video surveillance and access control systems within Security Center, are managing a total of 650 cameras and over 450 doors, respectively.
“The scalability and flexibility of Security Center has been phenomenal,” said Alan Lee, Security and Safety Systems Supervisor, Public Works Facilities, City of Lakeland. “With the new unified platform, we have been able to accommodate every single need or application that has been requested by our city organizations.”
One of the biggest persuaders for the City of Lakeland to choose Security Center was its innate open architecture which allows the city to choose its preferred brands and models of hardware, while also leveraging existing investments to lower their total cost of ownership.
We were able to preserve existing analog cameras and also the cable, power and card technologies from previously installed access control systems at various sites,” explained Lee. “This was a huge selling point for senior management, since we were able to capitalize on existing investments and save around $300 per door and $200 per camera.”
Segmented for Easier Management but Centralized for Support
All cameras and access control devices are located within the same platform, but the City of Lakeland has implemented very granular partitioning so that each department has exclusive control of the video and access control for their own buildings.
Over 200 system users have access to the system with specific privileges set according to their various functions, and over 3300 cardholders can freely move through city buildings, when and where permitted. Designated “partition leaders” at each department are responsible for issuing badges, changing rules or accessing video, where applicable. The Active Directory feature helps the city’s IT department streamline the whole process, offering centralized management and synchronization of Windows user accounts with Security Center's administrator and cardholder accounts.
With full administrative control over all local systems, the IT department can also offer convenient and centralized support. “We have become a one-stop-shop for servicing all of our city departments, which saves everyone considerable time,” explained Lee. “There’s no more need to jump through hoops. One call to our department and we can we update door schedules, tweak access control rights, and immediately activate or deactivate cardholders. This helps to keep our buildings operationally efficient and secure.”
Standardization Helps Improve City Living
While the new platform has certainly contributed to keeping city buildings secure, the neighbourhood has benefited from Security Center as well, making life in the City of Lakeland easier and safer. For example, to accommodate community events or city hall meetings, system administrators can implement temporary door schedules to provide citizens with free-flowing access to buildings after-hours.
An incident captured on camera at the aquatics center also contributed to policy improvements. After a resident member slipped at the aquatic center when exiting the pool, video archives showed that the pool equipment container was used as a hand railing. The container rolled and caused the fall. The City of Lakeland was able to quickly address the issue by moving the equipment container away from reach to keep people safer.
According to Lee, “Witnessing the efficiencies that have been experienced by each department and the community as a whole, the City of Lakeland has increased its budget year-over-year for the last five years for continued city-wide expansion with Genetec Security Center.”
Security Center Sets the Stage for Even Greater Expansion
With federally-mandated compliance standards being imposed on all electric utility organizations, the City of Lakeland is focused on re-evaluating and upgrading all of the Lakeland Electric systems, while possibly unifying perimeter protection with Security Center. The city is also making the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport a priority in its expansion, bringing more doors and cameras online. Finally, the city is also looking into AutoVu license plate recognition for both law enforcement and parking applications.
“We started with 12 cameras and a few doors, and now we are closing in on 700 cameras and 500 doors, all connected to our city infrastructure. It is really impressive to see where we have come from, what we can do with the system and what the future holds for the City of Lakeland. We have definitely chosen the right platform as Security Center gives us the flexibility to achieve any objective,” concluded Lee.
Infrastructure at a Glance
The City of Lakeland chose Axis network cameras in the majority of locations, as well as Axis video encoders for analog to IP conversion. HID Global V-100 and V-2000 controllers were chosen to get the 450 doors onto the network. All systems are connected to the city’s fiber network, streaming video and access control data back to centralized archiving. As per Florida laws, video and data are kept for a minimum of 30 days.