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How Sofia brought civic security together with smart video platform

juillet 06, 2020

Sofia’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) is one of the largest, most complex public sector institutions in Bulgaria, responsible for preserving the safety and security of its borders and citizens. When the time came to step up security across the city, they turned to the Milestone XProtect® video software platform to bring their surveillance system together.

Bulgaria Ministry of Interior (MoI), National Palace of Culture (NDK)
city of Sofia, Bulgaria
Camera count
2,500+ indoor/outdoor models from 9 manufacturers
Microsoft Domain Awareness System, Cisco UCS Blade, Dell EMC Unity video analytics software
Ministry of Interior (MoI), CIS Directorate
Challenge: Helps stay ahead of security concerns
Being an external border of the European Union, the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior (MoI) in Sofia faces a daily challenge to keep Europe and its citizens safe. Additionally, the regular presence of high-level officials in key civic locations in Sofia like the National Palace of Culture (NDK) where events often host over 40,000 delegates, presented an especially high focus.

In 2018, the MoI recognized the need to upgrade and harden public security. Implementing proactive detection and prevention measures was designed to help the ministry stay ahead of threats and reduce incident response times.

Since the city already had an extensive video network, a major goal in upgrading civic security involved consolidating varied sources of city-wide information into a unified system. Previously, each system had to be monitored separately.

Fortunately, the Ministry already had the infrastructure needed for the upgrade. The only thing missing was a powerful platform of video management software (VMS) with open architecture for the integration of sensors from different manufacturers.
Solution: Smart automated analysis
  • Implemented an integrated automated security system (IASS) to link video surveillance and information exchange systems
  • Video streams consolidated with Milestone XProtect® Corporate VMS
  • Agent Vi’s savVi™ video analytics software to monitor video feeds and accomplish post-event analysis quickly
  • Flexibility to expand the system and integrate new features
Digital technologies were leveraged via a Microsoft Domain Awareness System, and many newly installed IP cameras at key civic locations were enabled with savVi video analytics.

The Milestone VMS was further integrated with various internal systems such as people and vehicle registration and access control, and it is used to manage thousands of indoor and outdoor cameras from nine different vendors (analogue and IP).
Result: Saving time when it matters most
The upgrade project reduced incident response times and provided faster post-event investigations. Increased situational awareness lets security staff control matters in real-time and enables them to stop suspicious behavior before it turns into a more serious incident. The Milestone platform with Agent Vi’s savVi has also enhanced law enforcement’s ability to effectively handle concerns such as stolen vehicles, people running, unattended luggage, people loitering in restricted areas and crossing lines, etc.
Valuable integrations
Agent Vi’s savVi helps users to define potential events of interest in advance, then delivers highly accurate real-time incident detections of unauthorized activity or security breaches. If an episode is reported, savVi’s Video Search tool can rapidly review the recorded video.

The video surveillance tools introduced into the consolidated system work around-the-clock and can be used in emergency situations such as an “attack” scenario.

With Milestone’s XProtect Mobile Video Push, security officers can transmit live video from problem areas to a central security office. Interactive maps and the Camera Navigator can be used to easily follow views across a wide geographical location with thousands of cameras.

The IASS, with Milestone XProtect at its core, quickly analyzes a large mass of information. And Milestone’s open architecture allows a continuing incorporation of products and tools to upgrade the Ministry’s system. The unified IASS system has proven to be so successful in Sofia that it is likely to be replicated in other major cities of Bulgaria.
The IASS, with XProtect at its core, is intended to become the first AI tool for police investigation, safety preservation and crime prevention on a national level.
Maksim Vladimirov Sr. Expert, Communications & Information Systems, Ministry of Interior
About Ministry of Interior, Bulgaria

The Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria is charged with the national security and the upholding of law and order in the country. The ministry was established in 1879 and is a state organization financed by the national budget. Its areas of activity include countering criminality, maintaining public order, protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens, responding to fires, accidents or catastrophes, guarding the national borders and protecting the state’s economic and financial credit system and cultural wealth.

The National Palace of Culture (NDK) is the largest, multifunctional conference and exhibition center in southeastern Europe. It was opened in 1981 in celebration of Bulgaria's 1300th anniversary. The conference center is equipped to such events as concerts, multilingual conferences, exhibitions and shows. The NDK has 13 halls and 17,000 square meters of exhibition area, a trade center and a car park. The main hall can seat over 3,000 people. The building's total functional area is 123,000 square meters over eight floors, four panoramic terraces, and three underground levels. There are 12 multi-functional halls seating 50 to 4,000 attendees. There are also 54 offices and seminar rooms plus five restaurants and catering companies.

About Milestone Systems
Milestone Systems is a leading provider of open platform video management software; technology that helps the world see how to ensure safety, protect assets and increase business efficiency. Milestone enables an open-platform community that drives collaboration and innovation in the development and use of network video technology, with reliable and scalable solutions that are proven in more than 150,000 sites worldwide. Founded in 1998, Milestone is a stand-alone company in the Canon Group.
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