Maricopa System

Maricopa County Video & Control System Storage Solution

MCSO Badge THE MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE IS NATIONALLY recognized for its zero tolerance toward crime and unwavering focus on innovation in law enforcement, detention and support services. As the nation’s third largest Sheriff’s Office, Maricopa County averages between 7,500 to 10,000 inmates in its jail system, which comprises state-of-the-art facilities considered to be among the most secure and technologically advanced in the country. Headed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Maricopa County embraces hard-hitting enforcement methods, including posting the mug shots of all those arrested on the Sheriff’s website. With just under one million hits daily, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office website is one of the most visible law enforcement sites on the Internet. According to Lt. Brandon Jones, public information officer and project lead designer for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the ability to maintain the highest levels of visibility across the county’s jail system is another major crime deterrent. “We capture and record all activity 24/7 to ensure the security and safety of our inmates, detention officers and staff,” he explains. 

The Solution

When Maricopa County sent out an initial bid for a new video surveillance solution, about 80 vendors responded with nearly 200 technical questions to address the scope and depth of the requirements. The Sheriff’s office assembled a team of five officers and hired a contractor to establish selection criteria and vet the various vendors’ approaches. Based on the responses to a formal Request for Proposal, Maricopa County narrowed its search to three contenders, which included Sierra Detention Systems, a Colorado- based company focused on delivering innovative approaches to security. “Sierra had the most professional proposal and they understood that redundancy was our number one priority,” says Jones. “They provided guidance on how to achieve the highest levels of reliability within our budget.” System Details

The Benefits

Together, DDN and Sierra Detention Systems are helping the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office set a new standard in jail system security and safety. According to the Sheriff’s office, the rollout of the Genetec VMS platform, DDN high-performance storage and more than 3,000 HD Bosch cameras is well ahead of schedule. The fully integrated DDN and Sierra Detention Systems solution provides law enforcement with a single pane view of the entire security environment, complete with touch-screen controls of both video and audio recordings. Now, an administrator at the Sheriff’s Office can quickly and easily retrieve footage from the storage repository, which archives surveillance and sensor data for up to 60 days. “The new systems is 10 times faster, even though the amount of data the Sheriff’s office now captures and archives has increased significantly,” says Jones. “As a result, we expect to double our recording capacity to exceed 2,500 incidents each year.” Another strong indicator of performance is the speed with which HD footage can be retrieved. “An officer was able to pull 12 hours of full HD video in 17 minutes, which is astronomically fast,” adds Sims. “Normally, it would take at least three hours to pull that much footage.” Lt.BJones QuoteEase of use is another attribute of the new system that benefits both the officers and Maricopa County taxpayers. Because the new system is so much easier to learn and use than its predecessor, the Sheriff’s Office can eliminate weeks of cross- training. “Having one universal system reduces training considerably,” comments Jones. “Funds that used to be allocated for training can go right back to work in law enforcement, which benefits our citizens.” With DDN’s highly scalable storage platform, Maricopa County will be able to scale seamlessly from 5.5 petabytes of storage to as many as 30 petabytes as site requirements evolve. DDN’s SFA technology provides real-time bandwidth as well as optimized delivery of low-latency access to spinning (HDD) and flash (SSD) media, resulting in best-in-class IOPS performance. “DDN’s approach to storage is very similar to how Sierra Detention Systems approaches security and surveillance,” notes Sims. “It’s nice to come at it with the same focus on innovation and redundancy, which has enabled us to build an infrastructure that balances Maricopa County’s stringent security demands with their budgetary requirements.”

According to Sierra Detention Systems, one of the best attributes of DDN storage is the reliability of the system over time. “With any storage system, you measure ROI based on how often you have to replace drives and we saw a better return with DDN,” Sims adds. “Additionally, the ability to go back two months in surveillance history and retrieve footage in seconds is a powerful testimony to the benefits of the technology.”

For Maricopa County, the speed, reliability and effectiveness of the new video surveillance and security system has enabled the Sheriff’s Office to increase coverage from 89 to 100 percent of its current facilities. In doing so, the county complies with new regulations set forth in the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), which requires correctional facilities to protect individuals from prison rape. “Maricopa County is very big on leading the way to keep our facilities the safest and most secure—both from a technological and administrative perspective,” says Jones. “Having 100 percent coverage of our facility gives more exposure of images to the tower control officers and facilitators, which is critical to running a crime-free environment.” Previously, Maricopa County couldn’t catch everything that happened within its facilities because there weren’t enough cameras and officers didn’t have sufficient data access. With its new video surveillance system powered by DDN and Sierra Detention Systems, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office can put more muscle into its “tough-on-crime” stance without raising taxes.

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