Bethlehem Police receive national award for wireless mesh network cameras

Bethlehem, Pa. (Nov. 10, 2011) – Bethlehem Police Commissioner Jason Schiffer accepted a 2011 Mobilizer Award from Mobile Enterprise Magazine during a ceremony today in Palm Beach, Florida. The Mobilizer Awards honor the most effective and innovative mobile technology deployments of the year.

Bethlehem Police were honored in the Best in Enterprise-Wide Mobility Deployment category for use of its wireless mesh network of surveillance cameras.

“Our surveillance cameras act like virtual feet on the street in a time when budget constraints prevent us from hiring more officers,” Mayor John Callahan said. “We’ve seen a drop in crime rates in the areas that are monitored.”

In September 2009, the City partnered with Let’s Think Wireless to use Firetide Wireless infrastructure mesh nodes, Object Video analytics software, Bosch 500 series pan-tilt-zoom cameras and Genetec video management to develop the wireless camera network. The network was expanded in 2010.

Camera footage has aided in the prosecution of crimes, including a Bloods robbery ring which targeted Lehigh University students last winter. Cameras have also captured car accidents and medical emergencies.

“By using the camera network, 911 operators more effectively dispatch officers who arrive on-scene with more information available than ever before,” Schiffer said. “The cameras have acted as a force multiplier.”

In addition to the award, an article about Bethlehem’s wireless mesh network appears in the November/December 2011 issue of Mobile Enterprise Magazine.

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