Could this escape have been thwarted with MOBOTIX cameras in each cell?


(CNN – June 8, 2015) There’s almost no doubt someone helped the killers get out. The question is who.


Richard Matt and David Sweat have been on the run for more than three days now. The convicted murderers apparently used power tools to cut out of their cells at the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, navigated a complex maze of pipes and popped out of a manhole, one block away.

The question that is nagging at me is, “could MOBOTIX cameras in each cell have prevented such a brazen escape?” MOBOTIX cameras have a specific mount designed just for high security areas such as prison cells. The prisoner is monitored by a bullet proof, camera that can not be gripped, moved or damaged. Color images are recorded with any movement by the prisoner. Additionally, all sounds are captured with the video. This evidence is watermarked and easily played back by.  Real time monitoring of certain cells would have certainly yielded a good picture of two men working on cutting through a steel cell wall.

In Bergen County NJ the County Jail uses MOBOTIX D-12 cameras throughout the lockup.

Bergen County purchased 80 cameras, with most of those being used at the jail and the others at the courthouse. With both indoor and outdoor locations, the complete variety of MOBOTIX cameras are on the job.

The original estimated amount of cameras was significant reduced by the use of dual lens D-12 cameras and Hemispheric Q-22 cameras with 180 degree views.

Technology overall is state-of-the-art in the facility, featuring computer control of all inmate housing areas, an integrated perimeter security system, a site-wide duress/panic alarm system and a computerized Control Center. However, the Bergen County Courthouse and Jail had some particular challenges that their analog CCTV cameras simply could not meet. One of those challenges was that these cameras did not offer the level of image quality to identify persons in the holding cells or in the courthouse. In addition, they wanted a more detailed view of the complete area. The jail also needed higher resolution images and cameras that could not only integrate with their network but also open and close doors and gates, survey wider areas than their current cameras, and not be adversely affected by extreme temperature and weather conditions. “We spend the taxpayers’ money wisely, so we needed a system that meets all our needs with maximum cost efficiency” says Leo P McGuire, Sheriff of Bergen County. “My teams critically analyzed the market before any decision was made.”


Image Quality

One of the things that impressed Bergen County most about MOBOTIX was the exceptional quality of their video surveillance camera high-resolution images. “We had never seen such clear images from video surveillance cameras,” said Phil Lisk, Director of Information Technologies for the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. “Even under very critical light situations, with extreme back light, we are able to see crisp clear images from the cameras in the courthouse and the jail.”

The reason for that clarity is that MOBOTIX provides fully digital, intelligent IP (digital) video camera systems, not (converted) analog CCTV cameras. Instead of the typical 288 vertical lines of resolution recorded by DVR’s, MOBOTIX cameras record up to 1536 lines/3 megapixels of resolution, which is 30 times more than the analog standard currently offered in the industry, and even more than HDTV.

Durable Design

Bergen County had particular concerns related to the extreme cold in the winter and how that could affect outside cameras. MOBOTIX cameras are built to withstand all sorts of weather conditions and hostile environments: from -30 to +60 °C (-22 to +140 °F) without additional cooling or heating, allowing Power over Ethernet (PoE) all year round. The fiberglass reinforced and shock-resistant MOBOTIX cameras protect the network cable and connections against vandalism as well as severe weather conditions. There is no worry in this case about deterioation due to camera lenses fogging over, or the system getting damaged from the rain, heat or cold weather.

bergen_5.png_formatVGA“It was a great relief to know these cameras would not require any additional maintenance in outdoor winter conditions, such as blowers or heaters,” said Phil Lisk. “In a high security environment, knowing that the cameras will be operative regardless of the elements is a crucial part of safe operations.”

Audio Features

The fact that MOBOTIX cameras have both audio and video features introduces an interactive aspect that is a big advantage for Bergen County. “In a corrections setting, you need to see and hear what’s going on, so this works very well for us,” said Phil Lisk. MOBOTIX cameras can also be programmed to give an audio alert that warns inmates, guards or other employees away from particular areas.

Ability To Survey Large Areas

The dual lens feature of MOBOTIX cameras serves the Bergen County Jail’s need to cover very large areas. It is essentially like having two cameras for the price of one with the added advantage of being able to view much wider or two separate areas. In addition, MOBOTIX is able to do this with no moving parts.

Other Advantages

Because MOBOTIX systems provide 30 times more detail than the average analog camera, one MOBOTIX camera can watch multiple targets and thereby reduce the total number of cameras required. Intelligent, direct storage management on an NAS or fileserver elliminates the need of digital video recorders and reduces the overall cost of storage by a ratio of 10 to 1.

For Bergen County, this has translated into a much higher level of safety and security at a much lower cost. In addition, due to the the internal camera ringbuffer overcoming wireless fluctuations, MOBOTIX cameras are an excellent fit with the wireless mesh system Bergen County uses for some of its outdoor cameras. In this case, cameras set on telephone poles bring the signal back on a mesh network, and can handle up to 25 Mbps of data. “By the way” says Phil Lisk “No other system that I have seen provides this kind of quality with such a low network load.”

Bergen County purchased 80 cameras, with most of those being used at the jail and the others at the courthouse. With both indoor and outdoor locations, the complete variety of MOBOTIX cameras are on the job.

The original estimated amount of cameras was significant reduced by the use of dual lens D-12-Di cameras and Hemispheric Q-22 cameras with 180 degree views.

Clarity Technologies Group, LLC is proud to be a MOBOTIX Advanced Partner and is available to consult on either retrofit or new installations of MOBOTIX cameras. Call Clarity Technologies Group, LLC at 800-354-4160 for more information.

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