Security Hardware and Technology

City of Wichita Enhances Security in Old Town

A popular entertainment district needs to be safe for it to continue to thrive as the city’s top visitor destination and fastest-growing residential area.

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With more than 100 businesses, Old Town has become a destination for entertainment in the heart of Wichita, Kansas. Among the brick-lined streets and historic buildings dating back to the mid-1800s are restaurants, clubs, theaters, galleries, museums, and retail stores. Keeping visitors and patrons safe while preserving the character of Old Town involves a collaboration of associations, businesses, law enforcement, and the city.

After a report stated that large milling crowds between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, reaching 2,000 people at times and cruising traffic at closing was causing a concern for safety, new secure measures were needed to help police respond faster.

“One of the heavy burdens we uncovered during our initial data collection is that we spend a lot of police resources in Old Town,” said Denise Peters, program manager, city manager’s office, for the city of Wichita.

Earlier this year, through community improvement project funds, the city council approved a $618,000 contract with Sandifer Engineering and Controls to install additional security in Old Town. The integrator selected Siklu Inc to provide the wireless connectivity for 72 fixed bullet, dome, and PTZ cameras from Axis Communication that make up the surveillance network deployed in the city’s Old Town district.

The new system enables the police department to take a proactive approach to city surveillance. Monitored through Wichita PD’s recently opened state of the art crime monitoring center, the system is built using the Genetec Security Center unified security platform. The control room at city hall allows police to share information quickly between municipal and safety departments. Previously, the city relied on video footage collected from private businesses.

“Our new wireless security network now enables us to utilize our officers more strategically and to provide better response in the event of an incident,” said Peters.

The city of Wichita deployed Siklu MultiHaul radios instead of running fiber throughout the city, which would have been cost-prohibitive. In addition to the MultiHaul, the wireless network uses Siklu’s EtherHaul mmWave radios for longer-range backhaul connecting cameras to the new command and control center.

Sandifer Engineering & Controls, Inc., is able to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to install and configure the wireless system. Thanks to the multi-gigabit capacity of the network, multiple applications can run on the same wireless network simultaneously. The MultiHaul uses beamforming technology within a point-to-multipoint network topology.

“With the MultiHaul, one of the biggest positives was obtaining complete network reliability while achieving the high throughput and speeding up installation times,” said Jeremy Long, security project manager, Sandifer Engineering & Controls, Inc.

The solution’s 90-degree scanning antenna auto-aligns multiple terminal units from a single base unit, serving multiple locations while reducing installation times. Siklu radios leverage narrow beams in the 60, 70-80 GHz millimeter wave spectrum to transmit information across security networks, making it ideal for mission critical and smart cities deployments that demand secured always-on connectivity.