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Government and People
|April 8, 2008
Mayor Fenty Launches VIPS Program; New System Will Consolidate City’s Closed-Circuit TV Monitoring
Mayor Adrian Fenty today announced the launch of the Video Interoperability for Public Safety (VIPS) program to connect the city’s more than 5200 cameras into one network to provide additional public safety support, while maximizing resources to provide a 24-hour a day, 7 day a week awareness for emergency managers.
When fully operational, VIPS will consolidate the various closed-circuit television (CCTV) operations currently located in nine different city agencies within the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA). HSEMA will develop the system through a partnership with the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) who will develop the technical framework for the program.
“The consolidation of the city’s CCTV functions within HSEMA will provide the city with an advanced video monitoring system that will give us the ability to streamline our resources to better capture information,” said Mayor Fenty. “It will provide decision-makers with a more efficient and effective source of video information, both for day-to-day monitoring as well as during emergencies.”
Mayor Fenty noted that unlike CCTV initiatives in other major cities, which only focus on crime, the VIPS program will also have an all-hazards approach. VIPS will serve as an advanced video monitoring system that provides real-time and after-event video capture and storage.
HSEMA Director Darrell Darnell said, “In developing the VIPS program we were careful to ensure that our use of CCTV monitoring be proportional, legal, accountable and necessary and that we have safeguards in place that prohibit the release of images except for purposes of crime prevention and detection.
“Our guidelines will ensure that cameras are installed at locations based on public safety needs, that the system is used only for the purpose of enhanced situational awareness and not for other labor or employee performance reasons and that we have safeguards in place to prevent improper access to images and maintain records that show access and chain of custody for images.”
VIPS will provide instantaneous situational awareness through a common, interoperable infrastructure and framework. Implementation will proceed in two phases, resulting in a CCTV system that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and support requirements of multiple District agencies.
Phase one of the program will consolidate CCTV monitoring functions under one roof for four current video user agencies, including The District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Protective Services Division (PSD) of the Office of Property Management (OPM), the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA). During this phase, HSEMA will develop standards for CCTV technology and will establish policies and procedures for multi-agency procurement and other administrative tasks.
During phase two of the project, all remaining CCTV user agencies will be integrated into a central facility and a new common monitoring facility will be established.
It is expected that the VIPS program will reduce the cost to monitor the city’s CCTV cameras by one third, improve command and control interoperability for all hazards and greatly enhance the city’s capability to fight and prevent crime, monitor traffic safety and maintain situation awareness and site security, both during day-to-day monitoring as well as during emergencies.
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