Following a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report on workplace violence, Oswego County (N.Y.) legis­lators were compelled to examine safety and security in their own municipal buildings. The conclusion: more needed to be done. After examining 15 different system bids ranging from analog DVR to all-IP, Oswego’s IT department selected a county-wide IP video surveillance system to give the Sheriff’s Department real-time infor­mation it needed to protect employees, taxpayers and county assets.

Located along the shores of Lake Ontario, Oswego Country stretches across 1,312 square miles in upstate New York. Some of its 17 municipal properties sit isolated as far as 45 miles from the central services office. Most county facilities aren’t manned after business hours, leaving them vulnerable to theft and vandalism. Oswego sought a county-wide surveillance system so the Sheriff’s Department could watch these sites remotely, 24 hours a day, for unauthorized activity.

Cedar Path Solutions Group, a N.Y.-based engineering firm specializing in network surveillance and physical security, recommended an IP video system that piggy­backed on the county’s existing wired and wireless net­work. Michael Klapheke, senior engineer for Cedar Path and Axis Certified Professional, led the team that in­stalled more than 50 outdoor-ready and ruggedized Axis PTZ and fixed dome network cameras, feature-rich Genetec’s Omnicast video management software and reliable Hewlett-Packard ProLiant DL380 G6 archiving servers at each building.

Video is stored on archivers and accessed via individual Genetec client stations throughout the county as well as streamed to the Sheriff’s Department’s central mon­itoring station. Motion detection triggers recording to optimize bandwidth and storage while accelerating archive searches.

The Axis IP cameras have helped the Sheriff’s Depart­ment identify thieves and recover expensive assets, in­cluding rolls of copper stolen from county storage fa­cilities. The system is also set up to alert law enforcement to altercations in the courthouse parking lot. The High­way Department even uses network video to monitor weather conditions across the county, dispatching snowplows and sanders as needed from the nearest mu­nicipal garage during a winter storm, which saves the town time and money on potentially wasted man-hours.