Components of Safe City

Safe city solutions incorporate a wide array of technology-driven subsystems. Integration and interoperability of these subsystems is fundamental in obtaining better intelligence from various sources and sensors. From CCTVs to crisis management centers, technology will enable law enforcement, emergency services, and local decision makers. This will help optimize their response to the expected as well as unexpected mishaps. The following are the components that form the basis of the safe city architecture:

7.2.6.1 Surveillance System and Equipment

The focus of any safe city program is to provide officers and first responders with a shared security presence and an enhanced awareness through a system equipped with video surveillance cameras. The network of cameras collects data in the form of images or videos that are required to detect risks and respond to emergency situations. The CCTV camera technology has evolved over time, starting out as 100% analog systems, and gradually becoming digitized. Network cameras and PC servers are now used for video recording in a fully digitized system.

7.2.6.2 Network Connectivity

Network connectivity is one of the most important key features of a safe city project and needs careful attention in assessment, planning, and implementation. This is the backbone of the system in which data travels from the surveillance systems to the data centers and control viewing centers. It is important to ensure that the provisioned connectivity is reliable and secure and not plagued with latency, jitter, packet loss, and performance. A combination of network technologies including leased lines, OFC network, terrestrial networks, wireless broadband, VSAT, and mobile networks are expected to be used to provide seamless connectivity for all surveillance. The provisioning of the network backbone should also ensure connectivity to the data centers and control rooms with scalable capacities to allow for expansion in the future.

7.2.6.3 Data Center

Data centers are the heart of any surveillance-based safe city projects. The data center acts as a warehouse for the data collected from the surveillance sensors. The data center is also responsible for providing continuous, real-time data to the command viewing centers for seamless, efficient, and effective operations. Generally, a primary and a secondary data center are established to ensure that the operations remain uninterrupted even if one is down. This center hosts all the applications that are required by the agencies to operate systems such as the video management software and the analytics application (VMS, VA), the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) application, and the automatic vehicle classification. Appropriate space is provided for storage as well as retrieval of the digital information captured by the system. The design of a data center for a safe city primarily depends on the type of operations that are envisaged by the security agency in a safe city project and the type of processing required on these feeds: indexing, matching in DB. pattern analysis, GIS mapping, video analytics, facial recognition, etc.

7.2.6.4 Command Viewing Centers

A Command Viewing Center (CVC) is an infrastructure that accesses the collated and integrated information available at the data center such as incident video feeds. CVC allows the collation of information, thus helping in the analysis of data for quicker decision making. CVCs will be equipped with an intelligent operations capability to ensure integrated data visualization, real-time collaboration, and deep analytics that can help the agencies prepare for problems, coordinate and manage response efforts, and enhance the ongoing efficiency of city operations. The Graphical User Interphase (GUI) available at the CVC will equip users to take decisions by using the real-time and unified view of operations. Cities can rapidly share information across agency lines to accelerate problem response and improve project coordination. A CVC assists in leveraging information available with all the city agencies, thus allowing the management to make efficient and informed decisions. Furthermore, the center helps in anticipating the challenges and minimizing the impact of disruptions. A CVC will provide a city-wide GUI for visually depicting the video feeds and other sensor data. The GUI will also provide an overall status of the various city operations and its functions. The drill-down capability of such a dashboard will allow the operational users and decision makers to explore the underlying detailed status information to a depth relevant to their role.

The viewing center will have a GIS map of the city giving the status of the area of interest to the agency. Multiple map layers may depict equipment or other assets, events, weather, and positions of resources available to the city operations or boundaries of designated areas. Cross-agency collaboration supports messaging between operators at the control center, response units at the incident sites, and other agencies, with the aim of reducing the response time, sharing information effectively, and enabling collaborative decision making in a controlled and assured environment. It comprises a set of tools such as emergency call response systems and call dispatch systems to support immediate communication between all users and supporting agencies. Incident management capability is achieved through tools that assist in detection and management of incidents. The toolset enables the commanders as well as the executive staff to actively manage all the security aspects of the city since these tools provide real-time information of incident detection, incident correlation, and incident response. All of the capabilities of the CVC put together (the user interface, the GIS maps, the integration of application data, advanced analytics, and incident management) provide the shared situational awareness required to enable the city operations staff and supporting agencies to synchronize and prioritize. The operator will be trained and provided with the standard operating procedures for responses to such incidents and emergency situations for effective crisis management. The control center will be designed to enable all back-office operations which will be closely integrated with the command and control center operations.

7.2.6.5 Collaborative Monitoring

A key enabler for safe city is the aspect of collaborative monitoring. In Indian cities where every establishment, government or private, has realized the necessity to secure its infrastructure and establish surveillance, monitoring, and incident response systems, it is important that the data gathered by these agencies is shared among them. Government agencies such as the aviation and transport department are already deploying onboard surveillance systems by provisioning CCTV-based surveillance on public buses and bus stands, metros, railway stations, and airports. These systems under collaborative monitoring can conveniently share their data in real time with the security agencies of the city. Similarly, live feeds from CCTV systems deployed by private establishments such as malls, business parks, and entertainment houses can be provided to the CVC of the city where the security agency can make effective use of the information. Many cities across the world have surveillance systems deployed by multiple public and private establishments. These cities are using the collaborative framework to receive video feeds from these systems to ensure real-time responses.

7.2.6.6 Change Management and Capacity Building

The change management and capacity building programs form an integral part of the safe city project. These initiatives will acquaint the stakeholders to the proposed system and its associated processes. Furthermore, it will motivate, train, and empower the security agency officials to adopt revised methods of working and appreciate the resultant benefits. Change management will keep every stakeholder informed about the changes in the process flow and information management systems. It will empower the officials with the necessary skill and attitude in order to facilitate them in performing their duties in a more effective manner.

7.2.6.7 Safe City Drivers in India

In order to address the complex security challenges and to develop a data-driven decision-making approach, an illustrative evaluation framework of a safe city project is adopted that offers a detailed logic model for implementing the activities that will lead to the intended outcomes of reduced crime and faster response. State agencies can, however, evaluate their need of implementation of safe city projects on the basis of many other parameters. There can be many factors such as the prevailing crime rates, the extent of urbanization, threats from terrorism and disasters, the socioeconomic importance of an area, literacy rate, political importance of a particular place, etc., that can accentuate the need for adopting a safe city project. However, factors such as Internet penetration, network infrastructure, and the extent of industrialization aid in the successful implementation of such initiatives.

 
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