Think about how many more ways we have to communicate now that incorporate live video into the conversation: from FaceTime on our smart devices to Skype to other video conferencing systems. It is not enough to just be heard, but now we can be seen as well. This visual addition certainly makes the conversation a lot more personal when you can actually see the other person or persons you are communicating with, but it also provides a lot more information. For example, if I am on a Skype video call with my wife and I ask her if she likes the new golf shirt that I picked up on my trip she may by saying “It looks awesome” with her mouth while she is rolling her eyes back into the furthermost regions of her head. Without seeing the “eye roll” I might have missed the sarcasm in her message. For First Responders, the focus on being able to utilize live video in an incident response situation is very beneficial.
There is a huge amount of focus and money being spent by Police Departments all over the country on Body Cameras that allow the officers to record their activities during an incident response. More and more agencies are looking at UAVs or Drones that are equipped with high-resolution cameras that allow them to get live video feeds from high altitudes to assist them in an emergency response or search and rescue operation.
Many cities and states deploy fixed camera systems that monitor high traffic and/or high crime areas. Video surveillance trailers are being deployed all over the country to provide temporary video surveillance at large public events, in high crime areas, or even construction zones. License plate recognition cameras are deployed around cities to record and track vehicle movement and to help identify known criminals and stolen cars.
Although we spend a lot of time at CCS promoting our MERC Command Center trailers, we are very involved in the video surveillance market. We have our own line of video surveillance trailers we call the MERC-V that we both sell and rent. The City of Dallas Police Department has a fleet of seven MERC-V video surveillance trailers that they deploy at major sporting events, outdoor concerts, political gatherings, etc.. anywhere that they need additional video security. These units can be equipped with solar panels for long terms deployments, onboard generators, 20-30 foot pneumatic or winch based masts, LTE modems for network connectivity and remote monitoring, onboard DVR recording, and multiple camera options for day/night operation and infrared capabilities. One of the main goals of these MERC-V video surveillance trailers is to serve as a deterrent to any potential threat.
Construction on the new Mobile Emergency Response Centers for the Texas National Guard continues. These 8 new MERC units will be added to their existing fleet to bring their total to 30. Every year new upgrades are done to these mobile command centers to better equip the soldiers assigned to them to quickly set up their deploy-able communication packages. This includes VSAT satellite connectivity, land mobile radios with interoperability, internet access, hosted VoIP telephone service, cellular gateways, and video conferencing. The members of the J6 Team in Texas that work under Col. Brian Attaway are constantly drilling and practicing setting up these very advanced comm packages and are very prepared when the time comes to respond to a disaster.
Hope everyone is having a great summer and are avoiding the extreme heat we are getting in Texas. Please contact me with any questions about our products and services.
Gary Collins – CEO