Seeking Faster Footage

Milestone XProtect video management software has been installed at McCormick Place in Chicago helping them to secure the convention center and catching vandals.
By Teresa Anderson

At McCormick place in Chicago, movement is a priority. The largest convention center in North America moves more than 3 million visitors a year through its 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space in four buildings. Along with those people come equipment and vehicles to support dozens of trade shows and meetings that traverse the center’s halls each year.

Ensuring that all this movement occurs safely is security’s job. Security at the convention center is responsible for the public areas of the center, while show management contracts for security on the show floor. To protect these public areas, McCormick has access control readers at eight key points, which are monitored by cameras. The center is converting all of its 600 cameras to IP models—currently 450 are IP and 150 are analog. The cameras feed into a control center located on site and are projected onto a video wall. (Axis provided the cameras and Milestone provided the video management system.)

The software was installed in early 2013 and had only been in place for a few months when it helped solve a mystery. McCormick Place had installed siding along an underpass. Shortly after the installation, maintenance crews reported that the siding had incurred $8,000 in damage. No one knew exactly when the damage occurred, only that it had happened within a two-day time frame. However, the damage was clearly caused by a semi truck because no other vehicle was large enough to do it. Using the BriefCam software, security viewed footage from the camera that overlooked the damaged siding and isolated images of semi trucks. The system brought back one hit—the image of the truck hitting the siding. Frank Solano, security systems engineer at SMG, a management company that oversees convention centers around the country, was able to contact the company that owned the truck for compensation. “My boss was very happy with the result,” says Solano.

This article was published in Security Management Magazine. Read the full article about McCormic Place