The American television show CSI is not only one of the most popular series in the North American market, but with syndication in the majority of the world's countries, one of the most popular shows on the planet.
However, the work done on shows like this is not simply Hollywood magic. Instead, it is based on real science done by real law enforcement agents, forensic technicians, and scientists. And just like the Hollywood sets depicted, this work requires a great many resources and a state-of-the-art facility to achieve its goal.
But, unlike Hollywood's CSI, where security is simply a few extras standing around wearing police officers uniforms, and the ubiquitous access control pad for the stars to swipe their cards against when entering, real CSI security is serious business.
Case in point is the brand new Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex in Toronto, Canada. This facility, opened in September 2013, and is the largest of its nature in Canada, and represents one of the three largest in the entire world.
Not only will TV-style CSI operations be housed in the Forensic Services and Coroner's Complex (FSCC), but it is also designed to handle issues related to biology, toxicology, chemistry, firearms, document and photo analysis, and electronics. Additionally, the FSCC includes multiple examination bays, ballistics facilities, and Canada’s first Containment Level 3 autopsy suite, as well as being equipped to cope with mass fatality events such as airline crashes.
Extremely lofty goals. However, to protect these scientists, researchers, examiners, and administrative staff, as well as the facilities themselves, something more down-to-earth was needed: Hikvision security technology.
Marcomm Systems Group Inc., the integrator working on the project, teamed with Carillion (the facility management company for the FSCC) to design a comprehensive solution to achieve these ends.
David Trudel, President and CEO at Marcomm Systems Group Inc., explained: "At Marcomm Systems Group Inc., we do all of our product testing in-house, so we know - without a doubt - that what we recommend does what its specifications say it should." As testament to this work ethic, Marcomm Systems Group Inc. was recently awarded SP&T News' 2013 Security Integrator of the Year award. And due to this confidence, Mr. Trudel believed Hikvision would benefit all of the involved parties, as well as the overall solution, since Hikvision provided a wide range of cameras with top-tier performance in addition to working seamlessly with a variety of VMS software manufacturers.
The Hikvision Advantage
During the installation process, Hikvision cameras were chosen "because Hikvision not only met the project specifications, but in many cases, exceeded them," noted Mr. Trudel.
Interestingly, this project marks an important step for Hikvision in the Canadian market. Specifically, it is the first massive public project of this scale in which Hikvision has been involved. As such, it was critically important for Infrastructure Ontario (the quasi-public, quasi-private owner of this project) to see proof of Hikvision's quality. Hikvision’s quality passed testing at all levels. And, being able to seamlessly integrate with the existing VMS software platform without any difficulties, or modifications was the final seal of approval.
Once approved, four Hikvision camera models were selected - The 2MP Vandal Resistant Network Dome Cameras, 1.3 MP Indoor and Outdoor Network High Speed Dome Cameras, and 1.3MP WDR Outdoor Network Cameras now provide the eyes for the FSCC.
These models, placed liberally throughout the FSCC, are positioned to monitor the roof line, building exterior, parking areas, medical labs, courthouse, jail cells, ballistics testing rooms, administration facilities, as well as other critical areas.
Due to the sensitivity regarding the nature of this project, exact locations, as well as Hikvision camera benefits in relation to these areas cannot be specified. However, Mr. Trudel did note, "As for where the cameras are placed, we were given a scope of work that helped determine where the cameras should be positioned. Our goal was to put Hikvision technology in specified areas in order to achieve the greatest performance and highest impact possible."
Realities of the Public Sector
The issue of quality is paramount for the Government of Ontario, as well as its real shareholders - the general public, who will ultimately be paying for a portion of this facility with their tax dollars. As such, financial responsibility is a real concern for all the players involved - from Infrastructure Ontario to Carillion to Marcomm Systems Group. Therefore, the ultimate goal was to provide top-level technology, but at a competitive price.
Mr. Trudel summed up, "With Hikvision, we feel extremely confident that we can provide tremendous value. The technology in our eyes is top-notch, as is the sales and engineering support we’ve received to date. The synergy is a true advantage."