Pittsburgh to invest $3.5m for surveillance job

Friday, February 1, 2008

PITTSBURGH--City officials here have contracted with consulting firm N.W. Getz, based in Charlotte, N.C., as the first step in implementing a citywide surveillance system that will initially focus on the city's ports. Pittsburgh expects to have a request for proposal out by late February and to notify the winning integrator by May 28.
Late in 2007, the city landed a $2.59 million DHS grant for port security, which triggered $862,000 in matching city funds. According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an internal city committee evaluated 21 different companies who responded to a request for information "on their experience in the security camera industry" in choosing a consultant; N.W. Getz has worked with the University of Pittsburgh and sports a laudatory quote on its Web site from Steelers owner Dan Rooney.
"We're excited about the opportunity to help the city," said Michael Getz, senior project manager at N.W. Getz. "Our role is to help them generate the request for proposal, get it out to interested companies and help them secure the services of an integrator." Getz said criteria for a potential integrator will be outlined in the RFP and didn't want to elaborate yet.
According to Pittsburgh director of public safety Michael Huss' comments to the Post-Gazette, the city's initial plan will be to integrate cameras already owned by governments and businesses into one video management platform; add to that new cameras on bridges, tall buildings and in Point State Park; and then in another phase of the project, currently unfunded, expand the system out to crime-ridden neighborhoods of the city.
Gwen Moorer, project manager for the surveillance system in the Department of Public Safety, said she didn't want to comment about the type of integrator the city is looking for until after the RFP comes out. She did say, however, that the city "wants to allow for as much innovative design and ideas as possible." She said the city currently has a camera system that is not often used, comprising three cameras that reside on top of the USX building downtown. The last time they were used, to her knowledge, was during a large storm that hit the city in August 2007.