The Ruckus Room recently visited Fresno, California. During our stay, we had the opportunity to sit down with Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer to discuss how Ruckus Networks is helping law enforcement officials keep the city’s 535,000 residents safe.
“The Fresno Police Department has over 200 video cameras that are strategically located throughout the city,” Dyer told The Ruckus Room.
“We also [use] license plate readers that allow our officers to locate vehicles in [specific] areas. [In addition], we operate a real-time crime center, with personnel monitoring video cameras throughout the city, as well as some of the other technology, [such as] gunshot detection.”
According to Dyer, the above-mentioned police cameras are strategically placed throughout Fresno.
“Generally, [their deployment] is based on where there is a need. That need is based on criminal activity, but also [takes into consideration] where our fiber-optic [infrastructure is installed],” he explained. “However, we do not have fiber optic infrastructure in certain parts of our city where there is a tremendous need for police cameras.”
In those areas, says Dyer, the police department had at one point attempted to wirelessly transmit camera data.
“[Unfortunately], there wasn't the reliability that we needed. Whenever we would have an incident – and we really needed that video – it wasn't there,” he elaborated. “We, therefore, didn't have the evidence or the ability to track down who might be involved as the suspect.”
Dyer ultimately turned to Pelco, a Ruckus partner, for help in improving wireless video transmission. Working with Ruckus, Pelco deployed Ruckus outdoor Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) access points (APs) across the city, which are managed by the Ruckus ZoneDirector Wi-Fi Controller.
“I think the number one key feature that really helped seal the deal [with Ruckus for] this particular project was its mesh networking capabilities,” Stuart Rawling, Director, Head of Segment Marketing at Pelco, told The Ruckus Room. “[Meaning], the ability to have multiple access points (APs) that seamlessly join together and provide the necessary backhaul, [while] dealing with all of the wireless radio interference possibilities that could exist in a downtown or a neighborhood environment.”
As Dyer notes, Ruckus APs have enabled the Fresno Police Department to significantly increase the reliability of its camera feeds.
“Prior to Ruckus, I would say there was a 50/50 shot that we were going to have good, reliable video. Today, that's up at the hundred percent mark. So, we now have a solution in play that allows us to put video policing cameras in areas [without] fiber optics and still have the same reliability,” he concluded.