High-Tech Security of Long Beach
Mike McMullen, Long Beach Port Operations Manager, spoke with ActiVu about the new Joint Command and Control Center launched in January 2009. Mr. McMullen was hired to assist in defining and developing the new facility. To protect Long Beach Harbor, 28,000 square feet of high-tech equipment worth $ 10 million was installed.
Can you start with a view of the Joint Command and Control Center in Long Beach Harbor?
The development of a new Joint Command and Control Center in Long Beach Harbor is a five-year development project. We officially started work in 2007 and the new building was handed over to us in October 2008. In January 2009 the Security Department was quickly removed.
That’s why we haven’t been here for a year. Our center is a $ 30 million structure built with high-tech security systems that place alerts in the port. The building is valued at $ 20 million and we have invested $ 10 million in residential plans in the building, excluding all sensors in and around the port. The twenty-eight thousand square feet building is three stories high and has a high profile.
As many companies live on-site, including the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Security, Harbor Patrol, the LA Police Department, and the Long Beach and Maritime Exchange, all of our business operations are on the third floor. The port department will make every effort to install cameras in the area if necessary. We have a very sophisticated trading team with a crew of 50 m boat and six full-time divers. These people dive in and around the port every day. Therefore, from the point of view of daily work, it is a comfortable structure with very moving parts.
Can you easily integrate new software applications into the viewing solution?
Yes, we have no problem adding new software applications to existing systems. When we first installed the viewing solution, everyone thought it was the only wall in the command center.
In our opinion, this is not the intention. Our goal is to share information in the structure. There are eleven locations in this building where we can view and share content on monitors, LCD screens, video walls, or top projectors. When designing the system, we ensured that any digital signal such as radar, sonar, video, amber warning/port information signal, or TV channel could be digitized and shared anywhere in the building.
So when we come up with something out of the ordinary, then they have to re-think their position. As we develop and begin to add more resources, integration into our current focus and collaborative solutions is part of ensuring that we can keep it on the grid even in newer systems.
Are your cameras IP video cameras
Ignore IP cameras. We enter the code and separate the edges. So we have the NR solution. We are currently installing our cameras on a 650MB wireless network and are in the process of installing 35 miles of fiber. When we go to camera areas, we connect those cameras to our fibers for unwanted video feeds. But in the meantime, we will take the analog camera and put the connector at the end, and digitize it. On the other hand, it sends over the wireless network and when it comes to our control center we send it through an encoder to make it an analog and pipe it to our servers.
Will the watch system stream video?
The way we released the program was that the whole version was integrated with the visual view solution. We have middleware software so operators do not have to learn to use a different system. It is important to note that we currently have nine active programs, fourteen purchased, and another four on the drawing board. So we have eighteen major events coming up. We bought the middleware package to capture all the camera systems so we didn’t want to teach all the officers to use all eighteen systems.
With our visualization and collaborative software, we replicate all the systems on the grid in their native way so that we can bypass all the different GUIs in the administrative view area. If officers want to see more cameras, they can display the camera feed on the video wall, fill it in, and I can share it in any of the twelve locations across the building. So site viewing solution that allows us to do so. It is a teaching tool.
What is the video feed on the wall I imagined?
No, we have different content that we post on the wall without our camera feeds. For example, we pull and push tools from the access control system to the wall that holds our badges and our alarm monitoring. We also have a military software package that tracks ships across the port.
We have VTS, the official ship tracking system from Maritime Trade. We have 3 high-quality video surveillance programs, a website that shares our video feeds with our owners and their cameras, and we have it as a symbol for our information port on the highway.
AM Radio has a GUI as well as other wall-mounted features to watch what is being broadcast. There are tons of apps and we integrate them all into View Solutions, so it doesn’t matter if you are in a management conference room, a department office, or a living room on the second floor. If you want to see any of this information, you can see.
What is the size of your wall in the main command center?
We have 12-inch Mitsubishi cubes in the command center. That’s the big wall.