Privacy Advisor

Operation Virtual Shield

Privacy News

January 1, 2008

IBM Launches Operation Virtual Shield' in Chicago

IBM has announced a new project with the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) to implement one of the most advanced city-wide intelligent video security systems. The project is a part of Chicago's Operation Virtual Shield.

In collaboration with its business partners, Firetide and Genetec, IBM has successfully deployed the infrastructure build-out for Operation Virtual Shield with plans to expand the network throughout the city. In the first phase, IBM helped city experts and network engineers to design and implement a surveillance strategy infrastructure to capture, monitor and fully index video for real-time and forensic-related safety applications. This entailed building a unified fiber network throughout the downtown Chicago area, deploying a critical wireless infrastructure to offer flexibility as required, installing hundreds of new surveillance cameras, linking thousands of preexisting cameras to the network, and creating a fully redundant backend system to monitor the video, store the images and allow for business continuity and disaster recovery applications.

The Chicago OEMC and IBM also are working to expand the surveillance system and to add analytics that provide license plate recognition, trending projections and intelligent search capabilities to the existing infrastructure. Chicago's security solution is designed to provide several benefits to both city officials and citizens including: real-time video surveillance intelligence for proactive homeland security monitoring; faster response time to emergencies; more effective deployment of emergency responders; and increased travel efficiency through traffic congestion tracking.