Military and police clients in Latin America are using the latest innovations in video surveillance to investigate crimes – and even prevent them. They are re-inventing policing with video technology and real-time analysis. “Think ‘Minority Report,’” said Samantha Wolf, a spokeswoman for Puerto Rico-based IT security firm Hoyos Corp. The police catch criminals before crimes have even been completed in Minority Report, a 2002 Stephen Spielberg film. “It’s revolutionary,” she said. Brazil is the largest and fastest growing market in South America for video surveillance equipment, and one of the fastest growing markets globally, according to Latin America Closed Circuit Cable TV (CCTV) and Video Surveillance: 2010 Edition, a new report by IMS Research. Argentina and Mexico are not far behind. Large scale, government-funded security projects ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games fuel much of the demand. Brazil is expected to account for nearly 35 percent of all sales of video surveillance equipment in Latin America in 2009, according to IMS Research. By 2014 that could rise to nearly 45 percent. Video surveillance is growing in Latin America “despite the worldwide economic slowdown,” according to the IMS report. It will continue to expand through 2015 as Latin American police and military customers demand new applications, like face capture and recognition, traffic monitoring, transit and cargo container recognition, license plate recognition and object tracking, which can be integrated into current systems, the report said. “With security and infrastructure challenges, including easy access to dedicated high capacity networks that can be devoted to just video surveillance, customers have quickly recognized the value of video analytics, allowing them to easily deploy active surveillance that helps prevent incidents from occurring, not just investigating a crime after it takes place,” said Mark Gally, vice president of marketing at VideoIQ, Inc., based in Bedford, Mass. Sophisticated networks By Dialogo February 25, 2011 Authorities in Recife, Brazil had a problem. Crime was rampant during the annual Carnival celebrations. The events draw about 1.5 million people into the center of the city. Adding enough police to patrol every street and alley was impossible, so they turned to an increasingly popular tool for law enforcement and military forces in Latin America: video surveillance cameras. The government installed 50 Pelco Spectra PTZ cameras and ISS video servers, which capture all activity within the city’s party areas. The results were dramatic: Violent crime during Carnival dropped more than 30 percent after the cameras were installed in 2008. Recife officials have announced plans to add 950 more cameras, and video servers to store the images. The network is part of an ever-expanding surveillance apparatus in Brazil and Latin America. Video cameras cover Alvorada Palace, the national presidential compound in Brasilia, and Terminal Portuário de Itajaí in Santa Catarina, the second-largest port in the country. Officials are also installing cameras at an important new hydroelectric dam project. “The demand for more sophisticated higher-bandwidth networks is increasing,” said Carlos Pingarilho, director of technology for PromonLogicalis, a Brazilian video surveillance and IT developer. Reinventing policing Video surveillance can identify new criminal targets, corroborate confidential source information and provide security to undercover operatives. Information obtained from surveillance also can provide the probable cause for obtaining authorization for other investigative techniques, such as search warrants and wiretaps, security experts said. Sometimes the technology is covertly deployed for drug surveillance in remote areas. “Solar-powered, hidden wireless video over cellular networks is the most common video for covert surveillance where an Internet connection and power aren’t available,” security consultant Robert Siciliano said. And when one police department has had success with a video surveillance project, the officers often tell colleagues in other departments. “Throughout Latin America, our market has largely grown through word of mouth,” said Aluisio Figueiredo, Chief Operating Officer of Intelligent Security Systems (ISS), a video surveillance provider with Latin American headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and sales and support offices in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador.
How desperate are the Los Angles Dodgers to sell season tickets for the 2009 season?So desperate, they are willing to give “insider information” to those not renewing their season tickets this year that free agent Manny Ramirez is expected to resign with the Dodgers soon and they should reorder their season tickets.With opening day just around the corner, one of the biggest impact players from the 2009 season is still without a clubhouse this summer. Sure, there have been talks that Ramirez and his super agent, Scott Boras, are nearing a deal for the 36-year old left fielder, but there has been much negotiation over the two-year, $45 million deal he was offered by the Dodgers in November.For the Dodgers, resigning Manny is almost imperative if they are going to make a run at the playoffs or get as far as the National League Championship Series, as they did last fall before losing to the eventual World Series Champions, the Philadelphia Phillies. Last year, after being traded from the Red Sox, Ramirez hit .396, had 17 home runs, 53 RBIs and 35 walks in just 53 games.If the Dodgers do not sign Ramirez, they are out of viable choices to replace him in left field, especially if they are looking for a big bat. Former Cincinnati Red Adam Dunn has been signed by the Washington Nationals and Bobby Abreu signed with the Dodgers’ cross-town rival, the Angels. With many big bats off the market, the Dodgers are going to be forced to sign Ramirez.But what will it cost them, or any other team who makes the push to sign the free-spirited left fielder?Obviously, Boras has totally overestimated what his client’s worth is to not only the Dodgers, but every other team in Major League Baseball. He must have seen the enormous contracts given to CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira by the New York Yankees and thought Ramirez was worth the same. However, with the economic situation affecting most ball clubs across the country, paired with the obvious risk of locker room problems “Manny being Manny” may bring, many teams thought the risk was greater than the reward.However, although there might be some negatives to bringing in a player like Ramirez to another team, the rewards probably outweigh the risk. One just has to look at the spark he gave to the Dodgers before arriving on the scene two-thirds of the way through the season. On his shoulders, he was able to drag the Dodgers from the middle of the National League West to the playoffs, and eventually to a series win over the Chicago Cubs for a chance to play in the NLCS.So far, the only team to even enter the conversation to sign Ramirez next year is the San Francisco Giants. Last year, the Giants finished fourth in the NL West with a record of 72-90, 12 games out of first place. They finished with a .262 team batting average, which ranked second to last in the National League, just beating out San Diego.But, especially following the media circus that followed Barry Bonds around during his chase of the home run record and the steroid scandal, there is no way the Giants would want to go through with that again. The Giants, who are looking to build a solid leadership base off of Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum, don’t need Ramirez’s antics to mess things up in the clubhouse.With Ramirez still on the market, there has not been very much talk of who is going to sign him, but when he is going to sign. Surely, he will eventually accept the one or two year deal the Dodgers have offered him and see if he can keep up the strong numbers. If not, when he becomes a free agent in a couple seasons, I am sure the Yankees will have enough money to pay Ramirez every cent he thinks he is worth.Ben Solochek is a senior majoring in journalism and history. Think you know where Manny is going to sign? E-mail him at [email protected]