How VMS Solutions Enhance Municipal Surveillance

Video camera

Video camera

You may have seen more and more video cameras around your city or neighborhood. The municipality owns most of these, but some might be privately owned. If you start looking for them, you’ll see video cameras in many places, including traffic intersections, freeway ramps in the city, parks, and many other areas. Usually, they are integrated with existing structures, such as light poles, so you may not even notice that they have been installed. And all of these video cameras need monitoring. Otherwise, what is the point of having them? To help sort through the thousands of hours of video captured daily with these cameras, a video management software system is really at the of a surveillance department. This VMS system enhances the video network’s efficiency, allows disseminating information to appropriate parties, and even allows dynamic additions of video from remote locations. All of this is meant to help provide safety for everyone.

Ways VMS Solutions Enhance Municipal Surveillance

System integration

One of the critical aspects that an open-source video management software solution offers is integrating with various other available technologies but rely on images or videos to work. These include license plate recognition, facial recognition, time and attendance, visitor management, access control, and more. Video surveillance is the backbone of this complex, integrated system that can provide an end-to-end solution.

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When video management software is paired with some of these other technologies, it enables much more robust data collection, with multiple data points being generated compared with keeping these technologies separate. To put it simply, when integrated, these technologies make 1+1=3 accurate. All of this data can be analyzed to check against various policies and, if necessary, specific protocols can be activated, such as contacting the local police. As more technologies are connected, more data is generated, providing a much more complete story.

Application flexibility

A community decides to implement a basic video surveillance system and installs an excellent open-source video management software system to go with the video camera network because they know that they want to change and grow in the future. While they don’t know precisely what they might want to add or change, just having the flexibility to do so is the vital piece. And law enforcement begins to utilize the video surveillance system for positive effects.

What typically happens in the above scenario is that positive results happen, and then the video network is expanded to include other areas. The video management software system will be updated to accommodate these new video feeds. They then get a license plate reader system, which utilizes the video feeds from specific cameras at intersections. Some businesses, including a downtown bank, agree to provide their video surveillance feeds to the centralized video management software system. With these added video feeds, including the bank, a facial recognition system is added to help with thieves’ apprehensions. As you can see, the amount of information can quickly expand over just a few years. Still, when or if some of these additions happen cannot be predicted, so you need to have the flexibility to add parts to the system when they are required and to grow as needs dictate.

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Mobile applications

Perhaps one of the more helpful parts of a robust video management software system is incorporating smartphones into the system. This integration includes sending video feeds and other information to smartphones and receiving and incorporating video feeds from smartphones and other devices. This feature is incredibly helpful with law enforcement. For example, if an alarm is tripped at a business and the police respond, the guilty party may not be there any longer. As part of the investigation, the police may request specific video feeds from cameras in the vicinity and send them to their smartphones. In this way, they could see how many might be involved and what direction they fled the scene.

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In another scenario, there might be protests going on in a part of the city. Video feeds from existing cameras might help monitor things, but sometimes it might also be possible to include additional video feeds from smartphones or other video devices. In this way, dynamic video monitoring can augment existing static video monitoring to provide a complete unfolding story. Only with having an open-source and flexible video management software system can such options even be considered.


When you only have a handful of video feeds or even dozens of video feeds, it is relatively easy to have a person or a few people monitor these feeds. But typically, this doesn’t last long, as technology can monitor multiple feeds and be continually looking for specific things. When those things are met, it gets the attention of a person to help monitor the situation. The video feed in question (or multiple, if appropriate) can immediately be put up on the primary monitor or even sent to a mobile device off-site. Intelligent technology filters the information and combines alerts to provide meaningful events, which helps prevent “false positives” and take time away from more critical tasks.

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No matter how hard you try, eventually, some aspects of the video management software system will need to pay attention to because it isn’t functioning correctly. Maintenance costs need to be factored into the ongoing costs of the video management software system Older systems may need to have a technician appear on-site to deal with issues. Still, newer methods offer the ability to have a technician remotely access the system to help diagnose problems, and in some cases, even correct issues remotely as well. The newer methods can also provide update capabilities so that the end-users will be using the latest versions without needing someone to be on-site to do it.

Artificial intelligence


Installing a video management software system is a significant expense. Still, if you get a good one that is open source, it will provide the flexibility to integrate with various other technologies. Utilizing license plate recognition for law enforcement, or incorporating facial recognition for organizations to maintain safety, or any number of different technologies enhance the investment of the video network that was initially established. The enhanced capabilities offered to municipalities through these video management software systems readily make their costs acceptable.

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