Securing the public’s assets – US Post Office facilities
Video surveillance is critical for USPS to prevent and investigate burglaries and other security incidents that occur inside and around USPS facilities. The PoE Extended IP-based cameras and systems offer features unavailable in traditional closed circuit television (CCTV) systems, such as the ability to view live video from remote locations through an Internet connection.
The PoE Extended IP-based cameras and systems provide the USPS with better abilities to centralize video surveillance and security operations. Unlike an analog CCTV system, a digital IP-based system provides an easier means to store video footage for a later search and retrieval during an incident investigation.
The need for security in government buildings is something that most citizens won’t argue with. But while police officers may guard a courthouse, some people may wonder why it is that buildings such as a post offices need to have security cameras. The answer is obvious: a post office is a potential target for criminals just as surely as any other government building is. The US Post office also has internal theft and incidents of workplace violence that need to be under surveillance to reduce occurrences.
The rollout and use of PoE Extenders has been and is coordinated by the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The USPS OIG is an independent entity dedicated to the US Post Office, while the Inspection Service is a division of the USPS responsible to secure the nation’s mail systems and investigate incidents involving the postal system, including the physical security of the facilities.
Part of the USPS’ goals for mandating this IP based video solution was the use of EnableIT PoE Extenders to be able to increase surveillance coverage both inside and outside of US Postal facilities at a low cost.
US Post Office PoE Extender Uses
Most post offices have some security cameras inside the building. Those cameras watch transactions, the lobby, and who uses the post office boxes. They are the cameras that people traditionally think of when they think of security cameras. In some locations the distance for installing PoE IP based cameras was beyond the Ethernet distance limit of 100m or 328ft.
Simple single power source PoE Extenders drove the power and Ethernet data signal up to 900ft away.
Some post offices also have exterior security cameras to monitor the outside of the building, including the side and main entrances and perhaps even parking lots. Many of those cameras swivel to watch larger paths of entry, and they may view other nearby buildings as well. Most all these locations required weatherproof PoE Extender solutions in order to provide maximum visibility and coverage.
The primary purpose of having security cameras in and around a post office building is deterrence. Post offices have been the victims of robberies and violent crimes in the past. If criminals or would-be criminals know there are cameras in the building, then they may avoid targeting a post office. The cost savings per facility using PoE Extenders vs fiber solutions and additional power outlet locations allows for more visible IP Cameras to be deployed.
Many of the security measures that are taken with cameras are directed at postal employees as well as outside threats. Having security cameras focus on the employees, especially those who handle money and packages, will help ensure honesty and accountability from the post office in case there are unexplained losses. Again, the cost savings per facility using PoE Extenders vs fiber solutions and additional power outlet locations allows for more visible IP Cameras to be deployed.
Because security cameras can function at all times, the post office is observed 24 hours at a time. That provides round the clock protection, and if something does happen the cameras will be instrumental in discovering who committed the crime. By leveraging PoE Extenders, each facility was able to centrally locate backup power to critical IP Cameras vs having to buy and maintain several individual UPS backup systems throughout each facility.
For more information on the products used by the USPS see the following: Enable-IT 824WP PRO PoE IP Camera Extender