Over-thinking and over-complicating SJC perimeter security

As originally reported in this blog post, perimeter security at Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) needs some serious beefing up, and we suggested a simple solution – put in cameras with motion detection and alerting capabilities and make sure they cover all areas of potential intrusion. 

“…he picked a spot where cameras didn’t pick him up”.

“Once on the airfield, security cameras captured an image that appeared to be the boy, airport officials said, but apparently no one monitoring the closed-circuit video system saw it.” 

Hence the need for motion detection and alerting on all perimeter cameras at SJC and ensuring they cover 100% of the perimeter. And of course, if not blatantly obvious already, make sure the cameras have night-vision.

The alerts can be in the form of SMS text messages backed up by audible alerts to the companion mobile app for the cameras being used. The text message can contain a link to a short video clip or high-res snapshots of the moving object and the security personnel can then react accordingly, immediately, without having to constantly watch video monitors. Many  cameras have two-way audio capability (as well as audio-triggered alerts in addition to motion) so warnings could be immediately made (shouted or barked) to the intruder that they’re about to be apprehended.

Does it really require bringing in a national non-profit safety group to figure this out? We’re with San Jose councilman Sam Liccardo who called it a “straightforward challenge” akin to building a better mousetrap that should be no problem given the airport’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Come on SJC, get on your horse.

perimeter security

Motion Detection might come to Mineta San Jose International Airport

In the wake of a teenage stowaway scaling the perimeter fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport undetected and then hiding in an airplane wheel well on a flight to Hawaii, a Bay Area congressman is calling for tougher perimeter security  include motion detection technology which would immediately alert airport security personnel  to take action.

Motion detection and alerting technology is essential to ensure that security personnel are proactively alerted when someone is moving in a secured area. This augments basic video surveillance where hours and hours of video may have been recorded that contains footage of the moving person, but without motion detection and alerting in addition to the the video recording,  is of no use if no one is monitoring the video in real time or misses the activity because of having to view multiple video monitors, lapsed attention spans, or falling asleep.

A similiar incident occured at 1 World Trade Center recently for the exact same reason – video surveillance was in place but no one was alerted to the moving person.

Protect your perimeter and get your own motion detection and alerting technology with Gotya. If something moves Gotya detects, captures pictures, and alerts you immediately.

WTC - no video surveillance

WTC Video Surveillance Fail

On March 16th, a teenager managed to make it to the top of 1 WTC undetected. This is a classic example of video surveillance without monitoring = useless.

There were three enabling factors at play:

1) No video surveillance cameras inside the building

2) Sleeping security guard

3) Nobody monitoring the  perimeter video surveillance camera that had no automatic motion detection and alerts

While 1) and 2) are pretty obvious and easily fixed, it’s 3) that should be of concern to anyone using un-monitored video surveillance – video footage that goes directly into storage only to be retrieved after something happens, not when it happens. Even if somebody was monitoring the camera, they would have to have their eyes glued continuously to the monitor, otherwise looking away for even several seconds could cause an important event (like somebody breaking into the WTC property through a hole in the fence)  to be missed.

Any proactive surveillance system (video or photo) needs to have motion detection and alerts as part of it’s core feature set.  This way, when the teen was entering the WTC site through the hole in the fence, the perimeter surveillance camera would have sent an alert (along with the video footage) immediately to the security guard. The alert could have even woken him up.