Securing the Statue of Liberty

Published: December 4, 2013

The massive storm surge whipped up by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 that flooded Manhattan and ravaged the coastlines of New Jersey and New York has been well documented.

A lesser-known property casualty of the devastating super storm was the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The historic landmark was overwhelmed with salt water, damaging the high-voltage electrical systems throughout, though the structure itself was unscathed.

The crisis created an opportunity to upgrade the facility’s dated analog video surveillance system, and NYC-based security integrator Total Recall Corporation donated a state-of-the-art replacement. The company worked with nine vendors to build out an IP-based, all-digital security solution designed to enhance public safety and improve operational efficiencies. Analog CCTV was migrated to the latest digital video technology and a command center, run from nearby Ellis Island, was installed to help the National Park Service and the U.S. Park Police operate more effective.

The new system makes it easy to track individuals and to sort through hours of surveillance footage, as demonstrated by officials during a media tour of the new facilities on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Operators demonstrated how all subjects monitored over the course of a multi-hour period can be brought up onscreen at once, each visible with a time-stamp code next to them. This eliminates the need for scrolling through hours of footage in linear fashion. The system was up and running in time for the site’s official reopening on July 4, 2013, just five months after the hurricane hit.

The upgrades, provided by these vendors, included these:

  • Axis Communications provided a mix of nearly 160 IP cameras with HDTV quality, exceptional nighttime performance, powerful zoom, reliability and discreet appearance;
  • BriefCam installed Video Synopsis software solution that enables law enforcement and security personnel to review hours of surveillance video in minutes;
  • DragonWave supplied multi-gigabit packet microwave radios, delivering carrier-class transport for mission critical public safety communications;
  • Milestone Systems installed open platform IP video management software that enables first responders to quickly search for incidents while pushing video to mobile devices;
  • Pivot3 installed reliable digital storage and computer devices specifically designed for the IP video industry;
  • Proxim Wireless delivered high-capacity, wide-area wireless broadband utilizing WORP technology in order to connect IP cameras in areas the previous system could not reach;
  • RGB Spectrum enabled multiple video feeds to be displayed on the massive video wall in the new command center using its MediaWall 2900 Display Processor;
  • Scallop Imaging for perimeter security via its all solid-state M6-200 IP cameras with six megapixel, extreme low-light video and undistorted panoramic 200-degree FOV;
  • Winsted Corporation for ergonomically designed command center consoles that allow operators to be as efficient and comfortable as possible in a high-stress environment.

The new security system is one of several ongoing structural and infrastructural upgrades made to the facility in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The donation of products and services has been vital to the implementation of the projects, officials said, given the cash-strapped position of the National Park Service.


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