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City of Baltimore: Benefits of Secure Cities and Smart+Connected Community approach

November 21, 2011 - 0 Comments

City of Baltimore: Benefits of Secure Cities and Smart+Connected Community approach

The City of Baltimore is a remarkable example of a successful project demonstrating the clear benefits of a Smart+Connected community approach for government agencies worldwide.

The City of Baltimore deployed an integrated video sharing platform that allowed 20 city, state, federal and private agencies to easily and quickly communicate, collaborate and share resources to enhance overall city-wide operations for public safety and transportation during the Baltimore Grand Prix event, and helped manage responses during Hurricane Irene, and the recent earthquake in Baltimore.

What is most interesting about this project is that it highlights the impactful outcomes that are possible when smart, collaborative leadership working together are enabled with effective,  smart technologies deployed using a network platform approach.

Enabled with a technology known as Physical Security Information Management  (PSIM) software provided by VidSys, the City of Baltimore was able to easily extend the capabilities of their existing CitiWatch network to create a connected community for inter-agency collaboration using video enabled city-wide situation awareness to provide a secure community to residents, visitors, and businesses.

At a recent Secure Cities event, Mayor Rawlings-Blake spoke about the benefits to the city including having cameras act as force-multiplier that enables the City of Baltimore to do more with less.   As a result, the city was able to improve overall city-wide operations for public safety, traffic and utilization of resources, that improved effectiveness and response times.  Benefits included:

  • Sharing technologies and systems across agencies
  • Ensure secure ownership  and control
  • Providing a common operational picture
  • Enabling situational awareness, real-time collaboration for improved decision making
  • Improving services levels, resource utilization, and response times

Recently outlined in an OVUM report on Digital Renewal, The City of Drancy in France used a Cisco Smart+Connected community approach and achieved economic, social, and environmental benefits. Unlike projects built from the ground up the City of Baltimore project is remarkable because it was accomplished with existing video camera feeds, assets and public and private agency resources.

What Secure Cities and the City of Baltimore project in particular, clearly shows is that the sum can be greater that its parts, enabled by collaborative network platform synergies, distributed visual intelligence and real-time situational awareness, and this capability can be achieved with minimal cost to the participating agencies.   What this means for governments and organizations is that a new set of tools and technologies now exist to help city governments manage public safety and city services, improve management of city resources, share information effectively, manage data deluge, improve decision making, and collaboration, to deliver safer and more secure communities.  In brief,  Smart+Connected communities deliver transformational benefits: Economic, Social and Environmental.

Kudos to City of Baltimore and its public and private organization leadership and companies involved in demonstrating how a smart city does more with less and the collaborating agencies that made it happen.

What are your thoughts, examples or experiences of interagency video sharing across public and private organizations?

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