Open Platform Video Covers the 13 Counties of Oklahoma’s Chickasaw Nation

Following is an excerpt from SecurityToday.com: The Chickasaw Nation standardizes video technologies to secure its jurisdictional territory.

The Chickasaw Nation is a federally recognized, independent Native American nation in south-central Oklahoma. The nation’s territory covers more than 7,600 square miles over 13 counties and is home to a population of nearly 70,000.

Since the 1980s, tribal government has focused on building an economically diverse base to support programs and services for its people. They encourage and support infrastructure for strong business ventures and a thriving tribal economy.

To meet their goals, the Chickasaw Nation is a champion of technology and dynamic business strategies, also evident in their proactive deployment that helps assure the safety and security of its citizens and visitors.

Kenny Mayfield, director of surveillance for the Chickasaw Nation, has been with them over 13 years. With him is Nicholas Burger, the senior IT administrator for the nation, working on designing, deploying and supporting the nation’s video security and surveillance systems.

Mayfield, Burger and their teams manage video for 153 sites, covering everything from hospitals and pharmacies to schools, daycare centers, retail sites, cultural and historical centers, as well as more than 20 casinos and gaming facilities.

The Chickasaw Nation’s police force also works closely with the surveillance team. Currently, the nation has more than 14,000 cameras deployed, and that number continues to grow.

Standardizing for Efficiency

When Mayfield joined the team, the nation had a multitude of disparate surveillance systems in use. The various facilities couldn’t integrate operations with each other; system use was difficult and fragmented. Some large facilities even had dissimilar video systems within themselves.

“When I started here in 2013, I was on the integration side as an installer,” Mayfield said. “After a few years, we decided to migrate all our systems to a single video management platform. When our surveillance team merged with IT, we started the formal process of solidifying a single, network-based video management solution.”

The team faced a large surveillance hurdle because they were running many different digital and analog systems.

“We had four primary systems that were scattered throughout our gaming facilities alone,” Burger said. “We needed to standardize on a single video platform and a single camera supplier for all properties to have it all work as a unified system.”

The team spent a great deal of time testing and comparing video management systems (VMS) to decide on the one that would give them the performance, flexibility and scalability to handle their many properties and facilities.

“We had some Milestone VMS within our older system mix, and I always liked how it worked,” Burger said. “As we went deeper into the process of standardizing, the deployment of this platform became an obvious choice.”

Flexible for Multi-site, Varied Needs

Mayfield and Burger standardized on Milestone XProtect Corporate open platform software to meet their diverse needs such as casinos. With an open platform, systems integration is easy via Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to share data between systems, devices and components for an efficient, unified solution.

“We run this solution for large facilities like our casinos and use Milestone’s XProtect Pro Plus for non-gaming sites — and that flexibility is a big factor for us,” Mayfield said. “We have a multitude of customers that we support, so it is important we use technologies that offer multi-solution options. There are always budgets and costs involved, and sometimes we simply don’t need all the bells and whistles at a smaller location.”

In evaluating camera suppliers, the team looked at different components including image quality, reliability, fail rates, model and option availability, and advanced in-camera processing and apps. Network video cameras from Axis Communications were chosen.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Milestone and Axis, and they have both been very helpful in supporting us with such a huge project,” Burger said. “And with Axis being so tightly integrated with Milestone, selecting Axis became an easy choice.”

Ralph C. Jensen is the editor in chief at Security Today magazine. See his article on the Chickasaw Nation’s use of VMS in their WinStar World Casino.