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DES overhauls David L. Lawrence Convention Center surveillance system

Dagostino Electronic Services migrated the David L. Lawrence Convention Center's security camera system from analog to IP-based.
Nov 1, 2016

PITTSBURGH — Visitors to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) in downtown Pittsburgh can feel safer and more secure thanks to a massive overhaul of the venue’s surveillance and security system designed and implemented by Dagostino Electronic Services, Inc. (DES).

Convention center management wanted improved camera coverage throughout the 1.5 million square foot space with the ability to easily share images with select departments, law enforcement and first responders, as needed.

DES installed an OnSSI Ocularis video management system and deployed more than 100 Axis Communications network video cameras at the venue.

The solution also allowed the DLCC to keep 50 original analog cameras in use. The cameras were integrated into the new IP video system with an Axis video encoder rack and will gradually be replaced with new network cameras as they reach end-of-life.

The new IP cameras, a mix of fixed dome and pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ), are run by Power over Ethernet (PoE) so they can easily be redirected or moved to suit the specific requirements of exhibitors and event planners, a must for a space that can hosts events ranging from several hundred to 50,000 attendees.

“Each time a new event pops into the building, our security team has to cater to the needs of that particular event,” said Andre Henderson, chief of security at the DLCC. “With our Axis network cameras and Ocularis VMS we have the tools and flexibility to adjust our game plan.”

The Axis cameras are also linked to panic buttons throughout the venue and door access control.

DES worked closely with the DLCC to strategically install the right camera for the right space.

“By choosing the right model and placing it in the right location, we’re able to achieve great coverage with fewer cameras,” explained Steve Morrison, director of information systems for the DLCC. “It’s really helped us stretch our budget.”

He continued, “We have a 40,000 square foot hall that’s a low utilization space so we couldn’t justify putting in a dozen IP cameras. Pairing the two Axis cameras gave us an uninterrupted view of the entire area and the option to zoom in for a closer look.”

Since the cameras have been installed, they’ve helped police locate a suspect and first responders assist a man having a seizure.

In the first instance, police were trying to locate a suspect they thought might’ve boarded a city bus in front of the DLCC.

A review of the center’s video showed which bus the individual boarded. From there, the detectives determined where he went, tracked him down and brought him in for questioning.

In the second instance, a security officer monitoring the cameras saw a man fall to the ground. The guard immediately dispatched someone to the location and called 911 for assistance.

The DLCC opened in 1981 but was completely redesigned in the early 2000s. Hundreds of events are hosted at the site each year from international G20 summit to national festivals, local conferences and industry expositions.

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