Saturday, September 29, 2007

Subway Opens After Bomb Hoax - Reviewing Surveillance Footage

Police reopened Finch subway station Saturday afternoon 11 hours after they closed it down to investigate what turned out to be a bomb hoax.

Commuters were forced onto shuttle buses to Sheppard station after police received information that a bomb could have been placed in a bathroom inside Finch station, the last stop on the northbound Yonge subway line. But after a close investigation authorities were able to determine that the suspicious package was a fake.

"The bomb disposal unit came to the scene, examined the device and determined it was nothing more than a well-designed hoax," Insp. Greg McLane told reporters at the scene.

The subway remained closed all morning and well into the afternoon as police combed the station for clues. It reopened just after 2 p.m.

Authorities are now looking at security video tapes to see if they can catch the person who dropped off the package. They are also asking the public to call police if they saw anybody acting suspicious around Finch station late Friday night.

The Toronto Transit Commission is planning to reopen the station by Saturday afternoon.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 32 Division, 416-808-3200 or Crime Stoppers, 416-222-TIPS where information can be left anonymously.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wireless Mobile Video Surveillance for MBTA

Firetide, Inc.and Safety Vision, L.P. have entered into a strategic alliance to provide wireless surveillance and security applications for mass transit, law enforcement, and student transportation sectors. The partnership combines Safety Vision's 15-years of experience in onboard surveillance with Firetide's high-speed wireless mesh networks and delivers what the companies describe as the industry's first mobile-to-mobile video solution to be used for public transportation safety.

"The alliance between Firetide and Safety Vision provides an unprecedented mobile wireless surveillance solution that has widespread applications in the transportation sector, both public and commercial," said Bo Larsson, CEO, Firetide. "Safety Vision has a proven and impressive track record deploying mobile video, and the addition of reliable wireless connectivity in a mobile environment provides Safety Vision's customers with yet more life-saving capabilities."

The integrated wireless surveillance system is being implemented by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the fifth busiest transit system in the U.S., transporting nearly 1.2 million passengers daily. The $1.4 million project, partially funded by a Department of Homeland Security grant, calls for installation of onboard surveillance systems on 155 new buses. The combined Safety Vision and Firetide solution enables transmission of live video feeds to laptops in MBTA police officers' networked vehicles, allowing first responders to view an onboard incident as it unfolds, in real time. Consequently, responders can plan and execute tactics faster and smarter --enhancing the safety and security of passengers, officers, and transit personnel alike.

"Not only is Firetide a leader in wireless mesh technology, the company became a trusted business partner as Safety Vision's strategy evolved to meet the changing demands of the mobile video surveillance market," said Bruce Smith, president, Safety Vision. "The Firetide-Safety Vision partnership enables revolutionary solutions for mobile-to-mobile as well as mobile-to-fixed video streaming, where it was previously impossible, unreliable, or cost prohibitive."

Firetide provides the wireless video network portion of the project, operating in the 4.9 GHz spectrum, which is designated by the FCC for public safety and provides interference-free, secure connectivity for first responders. In addition to supplying onboard, mobile-rated cameras and video recorders, Safety Vision provides an intuitive video management application, which is easy to navigate, delivers smooth high-resolution live video, and works seamlessly with the Firetide mesh network. The system increases operator safety, enhances public security, mitigates transit authorities' risk, and strengthens criminal prosecutors' cases.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Immersive Media Demonstrates Live Streaming 360-Degree Video and Launches a Derivative 4 Channel Mobile Digital Video Recorder at ASIS 2007

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2007) - Immersive Media Corp. (TSX VENTURE:IMC)("IMC") is demonstrating live streaming of 360-degree video and is launching a 4 Channel Mobile Digital Video Recorder (MDVR), at ASIS International 2007 in Las Vegas. The live, 360-degree viewing enables authorities to improve safety and operational efficiency in essential public services, and the MDVR allows them to make these solutions mobile for law enforcement, school and mass transit. IMC is demonstrating its end-to-end immersive solutions in booth #1080 at the Las Vegas Convention Center September 24 - 26, during the world's largest show dedicated solely to security.

"By engineering end-to-end solutions that leverage IMC's core immersive technology we can stream full motion, immersive video over the web, allowing multiple users to log in simultaneously and view a live environment from a different perspective," stated Myles M. McGovern, president & CEO of Immersive Media Corp. "As well, our new mobile digital video recorders enable users to record from multiple sensors or conventional camera systems. IMC's solutions can be fixed or portable allowing us to expand applications in the security market."

The live, streaming immersive video is a major breakthrough in viewing 360-degree video, as nothing is hidden from the camera. ASIS participants have the opportunity to watch and look around a live scene in Portland, Oregon. For this audience, the immersive video enables authorities to investigate a scene and look in every direction.

The compact, affordable, and feature-rich MDVR304 is a superior solution for mobile applications. It provides a full, simultaneous digital recording of four video channels and four audio channels for unsurpassed video quality at class-leading file size and record times.

The Immersive Media suite of products and services offer solutions to a wide array of security challenges. By creating omnidirectional cameras, mobile digital video recorders, and software, Immersive Media offers end-to-end solutions to meet the most challenging security needs.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chicago Transit Vulnerabilities Leaked

Thursday, September 06, 2007

City of Ottawa settles lawsuit filed by family of man stabbed to death on bus

The family of a 23-year-old man who was stabbed to death on an OC Transpo bus recently settled a lawsuit against the City of Ottawa and its bus driver.

Michael Oatway was attacked on a city bus on Sept. 21, 2006, after being confronted by a group of youths who demanded he hand over his iPod. A 17-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder, and a preliminary hearing began this week.

The plaintiffs in the suit included Mr. Oatway's mother, Catherine Oatway, his brother, Jesse Jeremy Routh, and his sister, Grace Ann Moses.

The statement of claim filed last year included allegations that the city failed to have proper police or security officers riding buses and monitoring transit stations, failed to install security cameras on buses and failed to adequately train drivers on how to deal with violent passengers.

The allegations against the driver included that he failed to properly monitor events on the bus, failed to ask the youths to leave the bus when they began harassing the victim, and failed to prevent or end the assault.

A spokesman for the city confirmed the settlement, but would not elaborate on any aspect of the outcome.

"We did settle with the family last week, but one of the conditions of the settlement was complete confidentiality," said city spokesman Michael Fitzpatrick.

On the safety and security issues, Mr. Fitzpatrick said "there's always ongoing security issues" being addressed.

And since the incident, he said special constables have been assigned to the bus routes and security cameras have been put into place along certain routes.

Alain Mercier, director of transit services, said the bus company's security training program has been revised to help ensure drivers are prepared "when things happen" aboard the buses.

He said 40 to 45 transit security guards are now special constables, meaning they have the authority to make arrests.

Mr. Mercier confirmed that 10 video cameras are in place as a part of a pilot project. He said before the end of the year, recommendations will be made to city council to equip all buses with cameras.

According to the claim filed last year, Mr. Oatway boarded an OC Transpo bus in Kanata around 11 p.m., heading west along Route 118. He sat at the back of the bus, listening to his iPod. Four male youths stepped on at an intersection and, despite the many available empty seats, walked straight toward Mr. Oatway and "formed a wall" around him and demanded he hand over his iPod, the claim states.

One youth pulled a knife and Mr. Oatway was attacked.

"Michael, who lacked the size and strength of the youths, raised his arms in an effort to shield himself from attack," the claim says. "Ultimately, Michael was stabbed in the heart. The four youths exited from the back of the bus and fled the scene."

Mr. Oatway, gasping for breath, stood up and "staggered to the front of the bus where he collapsed," the claim says, alleging "it was only at this point" that the driver called for assistance. Mr. Oatway was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Canada's New Government funds another round of Transit-Secure projects

GATINEAU, QC, Sept. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced new
projects to enhance rail and transit security under Transit-Secure, the
Government of Canada's $80-million passenger rail and urban transit security
contribution program. The Minister also announced the call for applications
for the fourth round of funding under the program.
Under round three of Transit-Secure, up to $19,067,586 will be provided
to rail and urban transit operators in some of Canada's largest urban centres.
Up to $712,500 will be provided to smaller operators to help them develop risk
assessments and comprehensive security plans.
"Canada began to increase its focus on passenger rail and urban transit
security after the bombings in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005. This
transportation sector continues to present unique security challenges because
of high traffic volumes and extensive, open networks," said Minister Cannon.
"We depend on partners to help us face these challenges by playing key roles
in emergency management, preparedness and response to create an effective,
efficient and secure transportation system."
The following funding is being provided through this round: eight
operators in Quebec will receive up to $5,717,603; four operators in Ontario
will receive up to $11,850,677; one operator in Saskatchewan will receive up
to $37,500; and one operator in Alberta will receive up to $2,174,306.

This funding will make various projects possible, such as:

- the development of training programs;
- the development of risk assessments and security plans; and
- the installation and upgrade of surveillance systems.

The application-based contribution program, launched in July 2006, is one
of the programs included in the $115 million in funding announced by
Prime Minister Harper for initial measures to enhance the security of Canada's
passenger rail and urban transit operations. The program provides direct
assistance to passenger rail and urban transit operators to implement
immediate enhancements to the security of their operations and to be better
equipped to address potential threats of terrorism. In May 2007,
Minister Cannon announced the extension of the Transit-Secure program until
March 31, 2009.
Under the program, funding is provided on a cost-shared basis, with up to
75 per cent from the federal government and 25 per cent from the recipient.

Details of the contribution program are available at

Backgrounders listing round three funding recipients and describing the
initial measures to enhance the security of Canada's passenger rail and urban
transit operations are attached.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Public Safety DVR Solution Launches in Australia

Research Triangle Park, NC - Integrian, Inc. a leading provider of advanced mobile surveillance solutions is pleased to announce the launch of its DigitalPatroller® DP-2 system in Australia. Some 100 Traffic Management Units in Bendigo, Victoria are being equipped with DigitalPatroller systems with plans for additional installations in the future. Victoria Police Minister Bob Cameron said the systems will provide an unbiased and accurate representation of events for court evidence or criminal offences. "Regional communities will be the first to benefit from this new technology, which will help police combat road trauma and fight crime,"

Victoria Police purchased the DigitalPatrollers through a State contract, following an extensive two-year evaluation process. The systems were required to comply with Australia Design Rules legislation governing safe in-vehicle installations, as well as with ISO9001 specifications. Victoria Police also wanted a system capable of "indexing", which allows the driver to align the camera in a certain direction without taking his eyes off the road.

"Integrian's mobile CCTV systems have been installed in thousands of police cars in the US. We are pleased that the Victoria Police has selected the DigitalPatroller for their next-generation police cars" said Matt Mikula, Integrian's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. "This project introduces the DigitalPatroller system to Australia and other markets outside the US and demonstrates the worldwide appeal of our solution."
Assistant Commissioner for Traffic at Victoia Police Noel Ashby added "It's great technology that supports the collection of evidence and the presentation of evidence to the court. The collection of evidence is completely contemporaneous. It shows a court, a presiding magistrate, or a jury in certain circumstances, exactly what happened. There's no ambiguity about it. There's no room for differing interpretations, so the collection of evidence is very clear. It's the best evidence we can put before the court."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Oahu Transit Using Video CCTV Cameras on City Buses

By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Staff Writer

The city is testing the use of security cameras on buses as a way to deter crime and vandalism, officials said yesterday.

The cameras, which have been operating on three city buses for the past few months, are positioned to see what's happening in front of the bus, by the doors and in the passenger cabin, transportation officials said.

A few passengers have complained about feeling watched by the cameras, but if the reaction of riders at a Kailua bus stop yesterday was any indication, most passengers think the cameras are a great idea.

"It's about time. We need a lot more of them," said Patrick Kennedy, who just stepped off a No. 56 bus. "If they put more cameras on board, problems would drop in half."

For now, the city has no active plan to expand the cameras to its fleet of 525 buses and 125 handivans. Instead, officials at O'ahu Transit Services, which runs the bus operation for the city, said the cameras were being tested mostly for their technical capabilities.

The cameras were installed at no cost to the city by manufacturers who would like officials to buy their security systems, said Roger Morton, OTS president.

The city flirted with security cameras on buses about 10 years ago, but since then there has been a quantum leap in the technology, Morton said.

What's more, transportation security has become a much higher priority nationally in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks and other worldwide acts of terrorism, including the bombing of London trains and buses in 2005.

Because of that, the use of security camera systems on public transit systems has been growing nationally. Municipal bus systems in San Francisco, Cleveland and elsewhere rely on video cameras mounted on bus ceilings to record passenger activity. Public transit systems in Philadelphia, Chicago and Sacramento, Calif., use video surveillance cameras inside buses to help prevent fraudulent claims and reduce incidents of passenger harassment and vandalism.

A recent survey of bus system operators around the country found that security cameras were second only to better radio communication devices on a list of needed capital improvements, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

OTS officials do not actively monitor the digitally recorded images from the cameras, but could inspect them if an incident was reported, Morton said.

"We could capture certain things on camera, but their use raises a lot of questions and policy issues," Morton said. While some riders have complained about feeling watched by the cameras, others say they feel more secure on the bus, he said.

"I'm all in favor of them. What's not to like?" said Honolulu bus rider Ann Ruby. "I've seen a lot of crummy things on the bus over the years, and I think the cameras would really help."

Morton said crime on Honolulu buses is relatively rare, with about 25 to 30 assault cases reported a year, many of them involving fights between two passengers.

Kennedy and Ruby said the problems go beyond violence.

"There's just so much rudeness. You've got people shouting and bumping into one another without a care. The drivers can't do anything about it, but maybe people would act differently if they knew they were being watched," Ruby said.

Reach Mike Leidemann at

School District Upgrades to Digital Mobile Video Surveillance Equipment

Updated: Aug 23, 2007 10:33pm
The Waco School District board members Thursday night approved a contractor to replace the VHS recorders in the school buses with digital video recorders.

The district believes the upgrade is in the best interest of the students and the drivers. There are concerning reasons why school districts across the country installed video cameras on school buses years ago to record exactly what happens on the way to and from school.

But the Waco School District says it wants something better so that's why they're getting an upgrade. "Technology is improving so much that we're gonna have DVR's put on the buses." Waco ISD Operation Supervisor Debra Baker said.

The new digital recorder will have more capabilities than the VHS recorder. The camera that's installed right now shows one wide shot of the entire bus.

But the new system will show 4 separate shots and different angles on the bus. One would be of the bus driver, the others of the front and the back of the bus and then the stairs.

"That's where most dangers are around the bus. Kids getting off and on the bus that would help us a lot right there." Waco ISD bus driver Freddie Buhl said.

And as recorded bus video has showed us in the past, it's not always the students in the wrong. "That way we could see the behavior of the kids and the driver too. So it benefits the students as well as the driver.” Buhl added.

The nearly $70,000 system should record clearer video and give transportation officials more options down the road.

"There's a lot of capabilities to the system, GPS tracking is even a possibility in the future." Baker added.

All in hopes that the threat of getting caught on camera will deter students and drivers from certain situations.

Waco hopes to have the new cameras installed by the end of September. The Killeen school district has a few digital cameras, but most are analog. All of Temple’s cameras use VHS recorders.

CapMetro Goes with DriveCam

Austin Business Journal - 9:41 AM CDT Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority's board has approved a $785,000 contract with DriveCam Inc. for a video and audio system meant to improve driving safety.

DriveCam's Driver Risk Management system is a windshield-mounted program that takes video and audio clips of the vehicle it's mounted on and any other vehicles involved in an accident or situation. The recorder can be triggered manually by the driver or automatically by unusual motion.

Capital Metro officials say the system, which will be placed on all Star Tran operated buses, the paratransit fleet and some field work vehicles, will save the organization at least $940,000 in five years.

"The safety and security of our passengers is a top priority at Capital Metro," says Mark Ostertag, Capital Metro safety and security director. "The DriveCam system will not only improve our level of safety but will also help the authority reduce costs associated with collisions."

Capital Metro's other contractors, First Transit and Veolia, already have DriveCam installed in their fleets, and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit and Houston Metro also already use the technology.