Reading, Pennsylvania implements citywide wireless video surveillance

Reading, Pennsylvania (pop. 400,000) is installing a municipal wireless video surveillance network. In phase one they are setting up 22 cameras around the city and providing 4.9 GHz mobile access to police officers. The backhaul is the fiber optic network owned by MAW Communications. The city has partnered with Wi4Net, a division of CelPlan Technologies.

“We are implementing this video surveillance system as part of a larger effort to reduce crime in our City, and we are extremely excited with the broad support in our community,” said Chief William Heim with the City of Reading Police Department. “CelPlan was able to offer a perfect balance between cost and performance with their hybrid fiber-wireless backbone approach which allowed us to optimize our grant funds allocated for the project.”

Video surveillance is the fastest growing application for municipal wireless broadband networks. Police departments claim that they are very effective. Residents, although fearful of invasions of privacy, accept it, if it results in a significant reduction in crime.

I recently posted articles about video surveillance implementations, including an interview with Lt. Tony Crawford of the Dallas Police Department about the Dallas video surveillance project. One of the most surprising findings (at least for me) is that it’s not the residents who are initially opposed to the new video surveillance systems, it’s the police officers.

Related stories on video surveillance in municipal wireless networks:

Two Georgia municipalities go wireless for public safety and video surveillance

Granbury, Texas to deploy wireless video surveillance

Southlake, Texas uses Wi-Fi for video surveillance

Korean city deploys muni wireless for public safety and free Internet access

Korean city deploys muni wireless for public safety and free Internet access