The role of ‘manageable intelligence’ in public safety
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Combining PSIM and IP Video
There are three distinct ways in which PSIM and IP-based video work well together:
- Post-event. Video analysis has become an indispensable tool for security professionals, as demonstrated by its use in the hunt for the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings. Video from surveillance cameras became an invaluable resource for investigators as they collected and analyzed crime-scene data. Investigators tirelessly searched hours of digital feeds to identify the two men responsible for detonating two bombs at the finish line.
- “In the Moment.”An alarm sensor indicates there’s a fire. Video can confirm whether an actual fire exists or an alarm simply was pulled accidentally. In a PSIM system, this type of incident can be managed more effectively, ensuring timely response by emergency personnel.
- Preventative. For example, loitering detection can determine that a person or vehicle has remained in an area for an extended period of time, which could suggest a security concern. Likewise, unattended object detection can trigger an alarm if someone leaves a bag or other item behind (which could suggest a possible bomb, for example).
PSIM systems can interpret data from multiple sources efficiently and effectively to avoid wasted time or false alarms during critical incidents. They collect video of specific incidents to support rapid response and case-management processes. They enable operators to initiate and manage response to any situation in collaboration with other local agencies. They incorporate real-time information about people, facilities, vehicles and access. They leverage data generated by systems that monitor identity, perimeter security, environmental factors, intrusion detection and more. Fusion-based alerts interpret and guide response to meshed events, including complex combinations of information from a variety of systems. Intuitive software simplifies operation for control-room personnel, and routes the right information to the right person at the right time. As a result, response is faster and more effective.
Higher threat levels and escalating situations make it more urgent than ever to ensure effective emergency response. The frequency, magnitude and types of security threats and natural disasters are increasing globally, which ensures a bright future for PSIM systems that can effectively address the threats.
Expanding video capabilities will be a dominant factor driving the effectiveness of PSIM systems in the future. Camera images are becoming clearer and more detailed, thanks to sophisticated image processing and higher-resolution (multi-megapixel) cameras. Video analytics algorithms also are becoming more sophisticated and more accurate, with lower false-alarm rates. PSIMs can combine better video images and more information with the expanding capabilities of other systems to provide better, more usable information to the operator. PSIMs can provide a synchronized multimedia timeline that includes intelligence from audio sources and video sources to track an incident.
In the future, PSIMs also will incorporate more data points, such as checkpoint databases and mobile-device monitoring. Extraction of cellular IDs can identify individuals, and greater Web-based detection systems can help pinpoint possible threats earlier. These capabilities are here today.
Finally, the future undoubtedly will see greater implementation of more sophisticated systems. These systems will be an essential element of responding to more complex environments, and additional security and safety challenges, from growing urbanization to public unrest to increased natural disasters. Greater collaboration with local businesses can bring even more information into the systems. PSIMs increasingly will monitor high-profile locations, such as transit stations, that could be terrorist targets, while maintaining centralized visibility of other important economic infrastructure. For energy and public utilities, PSIM systems provide a unified strategy to protect against criminals and terrorists. The same potential is there for water, telecom and other infrastructure.
In conclusion, the availability of more information systems that provide new capabilities are a boon to emergency communication and response, but only if the information is presented in a way that is understandable and actionable to an operator. In an emergency situation, an operator does not need to be flooded with data. Instead, he needs to have immediate and timely access to the exact information needed—no more, no less. By integrating, collating, analyzing and digesting the data in real time, PSIM systems do just that – and provide a clear view of what's happening in real time on the operator's screen.
Bill Pryor is senior director of public Safety at Verint Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions, a supplier of video surveillance and PSIM systems for the public-safety and security markets.