Where to Start with Unification?
Converting and Unifying a City under a single, cohesive Security System may seem like a daunting task. You don't know where to start- facilities? intersections? Public Works or Public Safety? The program is made easier when all parties remember the common goal: simplification of internal processes. This requires patience, communication, documentation, and most of all- understanding.
Build a Department Committee
Typically, Municipal Security is managed by the IT Solutions Department with a separate Police Group managing their own technology. This separation often causes complications when multiple software platforms are used, especially if both are proprietary solutions unwilling to cooperate with each other. This is why building a committee with representatives from each Department is beneficial because each group can voice unique needs of the system. Police can begin building bridges between their own technology and the City, or set up their own instance for system congruence.
- Is the current system centralized, decentralized, or a hybrid?
- Where are the Servers stored?
- What is the current System Information per Server?
- Do you have a list of all the models and names in the current system?
- Does each camera have its system information current?
- Has network improved at the location to allow increased camera resolution quality?
- How many devices are currently operating on wireless network devices?
- How many security devices utilize a cellular network vs direct wireless?
- How many different carriers are involved in existing networks?
- How many workstations per department are currently operating the video management client?
- How old are these workstations?
- Will they meet modern video management client requirements?
- Do the current Access Control Servers require an update, or can they host the new system?
- Is the system centralized, decentralized, or hybrid?
- Is all relevant System information readily available?
- Do you know which doors have access control and what models/device types each door has?
- Have you asked departments if they need any additional doors?
- Have you created a universal naming convention for each facility/door/access type?
- Is the current system operating on a proprietary boardset?
- Do you have a confirmed location for each panel, closet or otherwise?
- Do you have the information relevant to each panel, aka, which doors belong to which?
- Do you have a complete list of active and inactive credentials in the City?
- Have you built and revised groups for the system moving forward?
- Have you formed a policy on handling guests/external agency access/keypad code entry?
Build Out Segments of Your Solution
When building your unified system requirements, begin by asking and answering a few of these questions.
- Do you have a data table of all facilities, addresses, contacts?
- Do you have floor maps/floor plans of each facility?
- Do you know the current network status at each location (bandwidth, throughput, etc.)?
- Do the facilities have backup power?
- Have you identified which facilities will host Workstations with System Client Access?
- Do you have existing Mesh Network/Cellular Modem Devices deployed?
- Do you have any Mobile Surveillance Trailers or Manned Trailer Units?
- Do you intend on putting cameras on intersection poles or buildings detached from Municipal Network?
- Do you know the contacts for State, City, and Private Utility owned street poles?
- Do you know which territories Cellular Carriers yield the best Coverage?
- Will each Department be responsible for managing their own security monitoring?
- Will the City have a central Real-Time Crime Center, SOC, or Fusion Center requiring access to all cameras?
- Which Department will be responsible for distributing credentials, managing personnel, and maintaining the conventions set forth?
- Which Department will be responsible for managing Maintenance and Service Level Agreements?
- Have individuals in charge of each aspect of Network Infrastructure been identified?
- Does the new system require Network Security to instill new policies?
- Will the impact of the new security system require an upgrade of Municipal Network Infrastructure?
- Are there currently any existing separate networks within the system that could be unified?