Port St. Lucie Turns to FLIR to Protect Parks

Initial investment turns into ongoing expansion of FLIR video surveillance products.

Port St. Lucie’s 36 acre Whispering Pines Park was the perfect location for the initial deployment of 98 FLIR Quasar 5MP cameras to better monitor public safety and identify problematic activity within the park.

Just north of Miami, Port St. Lucie, Florida, is a booming city, even by the growth-driven standards of the Sunshine State. Largely undeveloped in the early 1950s, the city has grown to over 170,000 residents within the city limits, and supports over 430,000 people across its metropolitan area.

With that growth, Port St. Lucie faces new safety and security challenges. A fatal shooting in a public park in 2013 brought the urgent need for improved security to the forefront. Working with Floridabased security company SecurPoint, the city installed a wireless, IP-based video surveillance system from FLIR in its third largest park to determine the technology’s viability for wider deployment.

“When we did the initial walk through with city staff, we were amazed by the size and scope of the system that they were looking for,” said SecurPoint CEO Brian Morell. “It was only after our initial meeting with FLIR staff that we determined we could meet and exceed the city’s requirements.”

Future Expansion in Mind

The city wanted to take advantage of the latest developments in imaging and safety technology. While limited in initial scope, the system needed to be designed with future expansion in mind, allowing it to scale quickly and easily across the city as future budgets permitted.

City officials selected Whispering Pines Park for the initial deployment, due to its 36-acre size, as well as its numerous facilities. These included a baseball field, tennis courts, playgrounds, and a football field, as well as open spaces, parking, common entrances, and exits. SecurPoint worked with FLIR to create a system that included 98 Quasar 5MP cameras with built-in IR imaging that enabled safety and security staff to identify potentially problematic activity within the park at night, and during the heavy rains common along the Florida coast. The football field alone gained 25 cameras to monitor both the playing surface and stands.

The cameras were mounted on poles using high-speed wireless networking, which gave the city tremendous flexibility in choosing camera placement. Plus, all of the cameras could be monitored using a centralized FLIR Horizon network video recording system.

“The wireless high speed network allowed us to place the cameras virtually anywhere, without being limited by wiring or nearby structures,” said Morell. “I am amazed at how many cameras and the quality of the images we can produce from a single centralized server.”


Versatile Wireless Solution

The FLIR solution so successfully met Port St. Lucie’s performance and budgetary needs that the city installed additional FLIR security systems in other parks. In total, Port St. Lucie now monitors more than 400 HD cameras, linked via Horizon NVRs and reporting to a central Latitude video management system.

“Many integrators and manufacturers said that a system–never mind a wireless system–as robust as the city required could not be cost-effective, but by teaming up with FLIR, we were able to execute it with ease and really impress the city’s staff,” said Morell.

Quick Facts

  • Florida city St. Port Lucie adopted video surveillance as the centerpiece of a major upgrade in safety and security operations across their public facilities
  • Program was created in response to public concern following a shooting at a park
  • Initial deployment involved 98 cameras providing coverage across a 36-acre park using high-speed wireless networking
  • Program was so successful that the program has expanded more than four times
  • FLIR solution now includes over 400 HD cameras, linked via Horizon NVRs and reporting to a central Lat
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