Saratoga Springs’ Community is Safer with Milestone Video

The City of Saratoga Springs, New York, has a year-round population of 37,000 that can triple during public events including the Saratoga Race Course season. Steeped in history, Saratoga’s Travers’ Race in August is considered the fourth race of the Triple Crown. The city assists in sponsoring many festivals and special events that bring acclaim and attention to its historic properties and cultural diversity. In addition to the historic Saratoga Race Track, the city’s major attractions include the famous Spirit of Life Statue forged by Daniel Chester French (the sculptor of Abraham Lincoln), the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), Saratoga Springs Casino and Raceway, First Night on New Year’s Eve, February’s Chowderfest, multiple road races and Arts in Congress Park.

The Power of Choice with Open Platform Technology

DSS has a decade of experience working with Milestone software and they were honored as Milestone Partner of Year in 2009. Mike Blumenson, CEO of DSS, says they recommend it almost exclusively to customers, in part because of the freedom of choice that comes with the open architecture support of nearly 5,000 hardware devices from more than 150 manufacturer brands.

The open platform is a key selling point to a customer who hasn’t worked with us or with Milestone. If for some reason our relationship is ever discontinued, the customer still has a product that works with everyone else’s products. It’s future proof. – Mike Blumenson, CEO, DSS

Mike Ruthman works on strategic sales for DSS and was involved with drafting their proposal to Saratoga Springs. He adds that bringing in Milestone did not require that DSS get rid of the existing system.

“One of the best features of the open platform is that we could keep the existing cameras that were in place in the city without disruption,” Ruthman says. “We had Axis cameras in City Hall already. Instead of having to remove these cameras, it was just a matter of putting in Milestone as the recording platform without additional investment. Unifying all cameras to the Milestone platform eliminated the need to maintain and monitor multiple, independent systems from several manufacturers. New Axis network cameras and the Milestone management software layer were added seamlessly. Additionally, as legacy cameras run their lifespan, new cameras are added and Milestone is the perfect platform for replacement and expansion of these systems.”

In addition to City Hall, the Saratoga Recreation Center has Saratoga Springs16 cameras running Milestone. John Hirliman is the Administrative Director of Recreation for Saratoga Springs. Eight of the cameras are part of Saratoga’s previous security system, but they all now run through Milestone via the Axis video encoder.

“We had an incident where we had the theft of a camera in the gymnasium,” Hirliman says. “With Milestone, we were able to track the individual from the moment he took it and quickly apprehend him, resolving the incident quickly and efficiently.”

Axis and Milestone Easy to Use, Hassle-free

Hirliman emphasizes how easy Milestone was for him and his staff to learn.

“The desktop version is really simple,” Hirliman says. “The freeze frame and zoom tabs are great for incident management. We also have a PTZ camera out on the rec field that we can rotate and zoom in close to see everything that’s going on.”

Blumenson reports that the training process with Milestone is always hassle-free. “Milestone has become our default system for a reason. We’re so comfortable because we know that the end user always has a great experience with it. In this case, we knew once police dispatch began operating with Milestone, they were going to love the ease of use and the features, which is exactly what has happened.”

Milestone Interconnect Unifies Operations, Crowd Monitoring

Blumenson and Ruthman say that using Milestone Interconnect has been a key component to the successful deployment in Saratoga Springs.

“The city is using Milestone in a variety of locations,” Blumenson says. “It’s essential that every location’s cameras stream back in to central command at the Police Department through Milestone Interconnect.”

Rivers says that Milestone helps Saratoga Springs control the big population surge it receives in the summer months and during special events.

Saratoga is a destination. We have a racetrack that brings tens of thousands of visitors, and many great restaurants and historical attractions. Milestone allows us to monitor crowds and their activities, to proactively manage the city’s risks and take action as may be needed. – Marilyn Rivers, Director of Risk and Safety for the City of Saratoga Springs

Rivers says the benefits of the Axis cameras and Milestone open platform go beyond monetary savings.

“You can’t really put a dollar amount on it but I think of it as a peace-of-mind factor,” Rivers says. “The City of Saratoga Springs is rooted in friendliness and hospitality. We love to open our arms and show visitors the best of what our city has to offer. With Axis, Milestone and DSS, we can do that safely and securely while also assisting our local business owners and constituents.”

For the full version of this customer story, visit Milestone Systems.

Courtney Pedersenby Courtney Pedersen, PR & Communications Manager, Milestone Systems

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