Total Recall secures Lady Liberty
NEW YORK—It took systems integrator Total Recall more than one year to get government approval to donate a leading edge security system to protect the Statue of Liberty. Plans were well underway on October 29, 2012, when Superstorm Sandy hit.
“Plans changed dramatically the night Sandy hit,” Jordan Heilweil, president of Total Recall, told Security Systems News, during an early morning media tour Nov. 20 of the Statue of Liberty.
After Sandy, the water level was nearly 20 feet higher than normal, swelling to the base of the statue. The damage to the site and to Ellis Island were extensive and would require a massive reconstruction effort. Yet, the U.S. Park Police was determined to have the statue re-opened to the public on July 4 of this year.
To meet that deadline, Total Recall had to redesign certain aspects of the project plan and work around the schedules of various construction crews. And it didn't have the benefit of power on site; it had to rely on generators.
“Total Recall worked within a compressed time frame, night after night, after the construction workers went home,” said Park Police Capt. Greg Norman.
The park reopened on time, with a brand new security system in place and online, thanks to Total Recall and nine technology partners.
The IP-based wireless system encompasses both Liberty Island, where the statue is, and Ellis Island, where the new command center is located. The perimeter of the system extends to Battery Park in New York City and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., where passengers board ferries.
The technology partners who helped to make the project possible with special partner pricing considerations include: Axis Communications, which provided more than 150 HDTV IP cameras; BriefCam, which provided video synopsis software, which can very quickly review hours of surveillance video; DragonWave, which provided multigigabyte microwave radios; Milestone Systems, which proved the VMS; Pivot3, which provided storage; Proxim, which provided wide area wireless broadband; RGB Spectrum, which enables multiple video feeds [64 screens] to be displayed on a video display wall using its MediaWall 2900 Display Processor; Scallop Imaging, which provided solid state M6-200 IP cameras with a 200-degree panoramic view for perimeter security; and Winsted Corporation, which provided command center consoles.
The products and labor for the project are estimated to be worth more than $4 million. As part of Total Recall’s donation, the integrator “will maintain the systems for a period of nine years," Heilweil said.
“What’s nice about this solution is that it’s not restricted by budget,” Heilweil said. “It has the features and benefits the Park Service and police need. … We were able to put in the wireless connectivity necessary, put in the BriefCam synopsis, the right cameras to provide coverage, [other technology and the appropriate consoles for the site],” he said.
"That's why we called Team STS (Secure The Statue) ... the Dream Team," Heilweil said.
Saying the system is night-and-day different is not even accurate, Heilweil said. "It's like going from Mr. Magoo who couldn't see his hand in front of his face, to Superman with X-ray vision," he said.
Previously, the analog system at the Statue of Liberty included “five different systems that were not integrated. Operators had to know how each [of the five] systems operated,” Capt. Norman said.
The new system, on the other hand is completely integrated and intuitive. “It allows us to identify any problems and quickly take action,” Norman said. In addition to monitoring the entire site, the new system “allows us to make real-time decisions to better manage the park [such a visitor flow and vessel arrival and departure],” Norman said.
Fredrik Nilsson of Axis Communications called the project a sign of how “IP has changed the market … where you can get true best-of-breed technology.” However, it takes a talented integrator to make all of the systems work together, he said. Total Recall differentiates itself by knowing what systems to use and how best to integrate them, Nilsson said.
Based in Suffern, N.Y. and founded by Heilweil in 1985, Total Recall is a 25-employee firm that specializes in high-end integration projects. It does a lot of work in the New York tri-state area, although it is involved in projects around the country.
Total Recall had worked on the security system at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the 1990s. “I’d seen them [the National Park Service, which oversees the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island] struggle to get funding for a security system,” Heilweil said.
He decided a few years ago that the site should have a world-class security system and that Total Recall would design and donate the system.
The Statue of Liberty “is the icon of freedom for the world,” he said. “When people come here from other countries—kings, queens, presidents—they want to see the Statue of Liberty,” he said.
It's important to have the statue truly secure, and donating the systems “is an important legacy for our company,” Heilweil said.
Top photo: At the Statue of Liberty command center. Total Recall's Jordan Heilweil show a BriefCam synopsis of media arriving at Liberty Island an hour previously.
Bottom photo: Total Recall's Jordan Heilweil and Axis Communications' Fredrik Nilsson in front of the Statue of Liberty. PTZ cameras posted on the base of the statue are painted to blend in with the color of the stone.