JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) selected ObjectVideo's VEW video surveillance software to protect the waterfront and landside of Blount Island, Talleyrand and Dames Point marine terminals. These terminals handled 7.3 million tons of cargo, including more than 540,000 vehicles in 2003, making JAXPORT one of the largest vehicle handling ports in the country.

JAXPORT, an independent government agency created by the Florida legislature, operates primarily as a landlord, managing the upkeep, improvement and expansion of Port Authority facilities and coordinating their use by private companies. The physical facilities owned by JAXPORT include docks and wharfs, cranes, a passenger cruise terminal, warehouses, paved open storage areas and road connections to the public highway system.

The company recently received a U.S. patent for its video tripwire feature available in VEW. Port security personnel can create virtual perimeters on land and water by simply drawing a video tripwire directly on a computer snapshot of the camera's view. Rules can be configured according to a number of criteria that allow detection based on the direction an object is moving and object type (boat, vehicle, person, etc.). Since the lines are virtual and do not have to be physically moved, personnel can make instant adjustments in the perimeters to respond to changes in a port's security level or to address specific maritime threats.

Because JAXPORT is a designated port for U.S. military cargo transportation, making its protection critical to national security, agencies including U.S. Customs, federal protection and local law enforcement are involved in protecting it.

In addition to identifying potential threats, ObjectVideo VEW aids the JAXPORT command center's communications and response time by sending e-mail alerts directly to mobile laptops in port authority police officer vehicles. These alerts provide law enforcement with a visual verification of exactly what caused the alerts, so port authority police can immediately assess the situation and determine the most appropriate response.

In real time, VEW runs all objects in a camera's view against threat-specific pre-programmed rules. When an object violates a rule, for example, a small boat loiters next to a ship or a bag is left unattended at a cruise ship terminal, the software alerts port security personnel by phone, pager, e-mail or an alert console.

Miriam Jones  |  Chief Copy Editor