Eucalyptus Park, once an inviting recreation center for residents of Hawthorne, Calif., had become a favorite hangout for drug dealers, truants and vandals. To make the area safe again, the Los Angeles suburb initially stationed a police officer in the park every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“It was an enormous drain on our resources,” said Lt. Jim Royer of the Hawthorne Police Department. “And it left us with fewer officers to patrol our streets.”
Hawthorne needed a more effective way to increase public safety in the six-acre park. Physical security specialist Iron Sky stepped in with a solution.
Iron Sky designed a wireless surveillance system consisting of AXIS 233D PTZ network cameras and AXIS 216 MFD network cameras connected through a mix of wireless mesh and point-to-point radios to transmit video to a communications tower adjacent to the police station.
Police officers use Iron Sky’s custom video management system to control the cameras, view live video, record events and search for forensic evidence that can be used to prosecute offenders. They simply click a camera icon superimposed on a Google map of the park to view video streaming from a specific camera. The cameras can also be accessed remotely over the secure network from any authorized location in the city, including patrol cars.
Since the network cameras went live, problems in Eucalyptus Park have decreased dramatically. Instead of hardcore crime involving narcotics and alcohol, police are now only seeing such minor, everyday offenses, like loitering and skateboarding outside the designated area. The cameras provide critical situational awareness and the recordings have helped police identify and prosecute vandals. The solution has been so effective that the department has reassigned the dedicated park officer to a regular street beat. — Contributed by Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of the Americas for Axis Communications