What are the benefits of video analytics for Public Safety Organizations?

Author: Rachel Engel

According to the National League of Cities' State of the Cities report, public safety is among the top priorities for U.S. mayors.

To help make their cities safer, many municipal planners are implementing smart city technologies to gain insight into their communities to extract data for better decision-making. Data is the backbone of modern public safety, and technology advancements, like the use of video analytics for public safety, can give leaders better access to near real-time situational awareness.

What are video analytics?

Video analytics, also called video content analysis, are applications that use advanced algorithms and machine learning to monitor, analyze and manage large volumes of video data to detect and determine temporal and spatial events. The program scans images for specific parameters based on the location and type of information requested, giving users the ability to make better-informed decisions.

In the context of video analytics for public safety, an application can perform different automated responses based on the activity it detects, such as alerting law enforcement or private security when suspicious activity is detected. This can also include automatic license plate recognition.

Initially, the footage will be from publicly managed cameras. However, some law enforcement agencies, such as those in Paterson, New Jersey, have begun connecting private video feeds so officers can view live feeds of connected cameras.

Use cases of video analytics for public safety

Video analytics offer a number of ways law enforcement and public safety officials can more effectively target resources and respond to incidents.

Crime detection

Software designed to analyze video feeds can be added to most modern security systems, which can help detect anomalies in the collected data and help automatically alert law enforcement. For example, a camera in a parking lot programmed to identify cars will send an alert if it captures data that is determined to be an anomaly, for instance a human figure. Meaning the system can help possibly identify an in-progress burglary. An analyst can then quickly assess the alert and the footage to determine if police should be dispatched.

Now, imagine the benefit to public safety officials of this system throughout your city and how quickly video analytics could improve near real-time situational awareness, Live video feeds of an ongoing incident can be shared with first responders, incident commanders and others to assist with the response.

Over time, video analytics can help collect and derive actionable insights for data-driven safety, security and operational decision-making. This can include spotting patterns of criminal activity or helping to quickly determine where to strategically place assets, such as staging police vehicles near areas where crime is statistically likely to occur.

Video analytics can also accelerate the evidence-gathering process by reducing the time and resources needed to sift through large amounts of potential video evidence.

Crowd control

One of the most effective uses of video analytics for public safety is to monitor and manage large crowds at events or venues in the community. Through wireless sensors, crowd analytics can privately and anonymously—but accurately—measure everything from wait times to the physical spacing of patrons. This could lead planners to stagger crowd entry or open another access point for attendees to enter or zero in on an unusual gathering of people that could indicate a fight has broken out.

Benefits of Intelligent Video

Verizon's Intelligent Video system provides advanced video analytics, including archived video synopsis, near real-time video analysis and dashboard visualization metrics. Using our video analytics for public safety has a number of benefits:

  • Force multiplier. Whether it's keeping track of high-risk infrastructure in remote environments, reducing time spent gathering evidence or simply providing enhanced near real-time situational awareness of your city, video analytics can help you do more with fewer monitoring, intelligence and investigative resources.
  • Faster access to data. Video analytics can help analyze trends in minutes, such as pedestrian counts and vehicle traffic, rather than waiting for the results of a months-long study.
  • Straightforward management. Intelligent Video is a pay-as-you-go, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution and includes licensing, support, cloud and wireless network access. Another benefit of a SaaS service is rapid time to deployment.  With fully featured cloud implementation and managed services, your security team can stay focused on what's most important. 
  • Scalability and interoperability. A video analytics solution can be adapted to your specific needs with support for more than 100,000 cameras and the ability to integrate with other security solutions.
  • Easy to use. Verizon's Intelligent Video solution is designed to be easy to use, allowing public safety officials to be operational with minimal training.

Prioritize near real-time situational awareness with a reliable network

Applications of video analytics of public safety can efficiently provide near real-time situational awareness of local communities, prioritizing the security of residents and increasing their quality of life. Video analytics requires a reliable network. Verizon's advanced network makes first responders on the front lines our priority.

Learn more about how Verizon supports public safety in communities across the country.

The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.