-- As police departments across the country move to
update their emergency operations centers, some
are being overwhelmed with the sticker shock that
comes with building centralized 24/7 command
centers equipped with massive video walls, communications
links and Internet news feeds.
But not every jurisdiction has to plunk down
$107 million as the Los Angeles Police Department
did to build its Real-Time Analysis and Critical
Response Emergency Operations Center. The solution
is “scalability,” said John Bilar, vice president
of technology for Spectrum Integrated Technology
Spectrum, which is located in Oceanside, Calif.,
was responsible for design, engineering and implementation
oversight of the RACR facility’s integrated
technology. It is now working with the city of Indio,
Calif., to upgrade its 50-year-old EOC. Indio wants
to open a temporary EOC while it considers plans
for a permanent center upgrade, and has the goal
of moving from its current basement headquarters
into an existing building by the end of 2013.
However, using an existing structure presents
challenges for Indio officials. In order to accommodate
the video walls, the L.A. EOC ceilings are 28
feet tall. None of Indio’s existing city-owned buildings
are tall enough to house a high-tech video wall,
according to Bilar. So for an existing structure to be
used, Indio officials would have to agree to raise the
roof of a facility by several feet to accommodate the
proposed video wall, he said.
Convincing officials to fund a roof-raising is a
challenge, but “sticker shock is scalable,” Bilar said.
The final cost of Indio’s EOC is expected to be a fraction
of the cost of the L.A. facility, and what a new
EOC offers will help Indio’s emergency managers
accomplish their mission, he said.
“Money is important, but phasing is also important,”
he said. “Many departments can’t do it all up
front. We help them plan to get the most bang for
the buck they have. We put them into an operable
condition, and two years down the road, it’s not a
disaster when they are ready to incorporate additional
NEC DISPLAY SOLUTIONS
NEC Display Solutions’ X551UN Monitor
At the center of most EOCs is the video wall. The
L.A. video wall is massive, 8 feet high by 24 feet
wide. It is made up of 28 NEC ultra-narrow liquid
crystal display monitors in a 4x7 configuration that
displays 29 million pixels. NEC Display Solutions’
monitors are built with video wall applications in
mind, said Keith Yanke, NEC’s director of product
marketing for large-screen displays and projectors.
The X551UN monitor delivers improved uniformity,
reduced power consumption and mercuryfree
components. They boast a 5.5 mm distance
between active screen areas of two neighboring
displays, Yanke said.
“These video wall displays for command
and control applications benefit
from new [monitor] capabilities
over previous generations,” Yanke said.
“Among them are LED backlighting and
full HD resolution, while maintaining
color calibration and ease of use.” The
monitors also incorporate Intel’s Open
Pluggable Specification, an industrywide
standardization in option slots to
simplify digital signage.
| Activu Corp.’s visualization and collaboration solution is part of the Bergen
County (N.J.) Police Department’s Emergency Management Center.
Cross-jurisdictional communications is
a trend sweeping through EOCs these
days, as departments want to link their
EOC centers for better response and
Activu Corp.’s network-based visualization and
collaboration solution enables that, said Hesha
Patel, its director of marketing.
Activu recently supplied four New Jersey law
enforcement and emergency management agencies.
The Bergen County Police Department, the
Morris County Office of Emergency Management,
the Newark Police Department and the Jersey City
Emergency Operations Center were equipped with a
platform that enables them to collaborate like never
before, Patel said.
Micah Hassinger, director of information technology
for the Bergen County Department of
Public Safety, said the new technology allows for
remote or distributed decision-making. With the
system, disaster or crime information is sent from
the county’s EOC to relevant police and county
officials. “They are able to see what’s going on
and make the right decision at the right time,”
Hassinger said. “It provides that true real-time
The system also has a mobility option that works
with mobile phone video feeds thereby transmitting
images from officers’ cell phones to the EOC. That
enables commanders to view incidents in real time,
| RGB Spectrum’s MultiPoint Control Room Management System
RGB Spectrum recently debuted a new videographic
processing technology that helps manage
the immense amount of data that can flood into an
EOC during critical incidents.
The MultiPoint Control Room Management
System significantly improves the ability of control
room personnel to display, manipulate and act on
data in information-rich environments, said Arndt
Schrader, RGB Spectrum product marketing manager.
The MCMS offers HD resolution at full frame
rates, making it ideal for mission-critical, real-time
display processing, intuitive system navigation and
compelling security features, said Schrader. It provides
a single control interface for each operator,
allowing applications running on different computers
to be easily accessed and displayed, Schrader
said. For example, a security operations center’s
video management system, entry control, elevator
control and office applications—which are usually
distributed across various computers—can be displayed
on a single monitor, he said.
“You can think of this as a multi-computer
expanded desktop on steroids,” Schrader said. “This
beats the alternative of integrating various software
applications at the software level, which can be very
expensive, if possible at all, and difficult to keep up
| HDT Global’s Interactive Command Table
Based in Virginia, HDT Global takes the concept of
EOC displays from the wall to the table—specifically,
a new command table designed for on-site first
responder applications, said Jeff Pufahl, the company’s
C2 product manager.
The company created the Interactive Command
Table (iCT) after a customer asked for an application
that would allow first responders to gather and collaborate,
Pufahl said. Video walls are great applications,
but the iCT drives a more equal and robust
exchange of information," he said, adding, “It's a
The table is built around a rugged NEC projector,
which displays images onto a 60-inch diagonal
shatterproof acrylic top. The top is touch-screen
enabled, and pens that transmit an ultrasound signal
are used to write on it, Pufahl said. The sound
wave transmissions dissipate after just a few feet
thereby improving the table’s security. In addition,
integrated collaboration tools enable the user to
capture the content digitally from the tabletop to
the computer, while built-in tools capture and save
data and images, he said.
The response has been immense, Pufahl said. "In
addition, the company received a favorable review
from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The table was on display at a recent trade show and
when Giuliani saw it he was so impressed “he just
couldn’t walk away from it,” Pufahl said.