In October 2021, Nassau County Police Department (New York) opened its new state-of-the-art police training center, the David S. Mack Center for Training and Intelligence. Located on the campus of Nassau Community College, the 99,000-square-foot complex provides Nassau County Police Department (NCPD), local, state and federal law enforcement agencies with a high-tech facility for training and investigations. Complete with six classrooms, lecture hall, computer training room, multipurpose room, state of the art conference rooms, fitness center, gymnasium, a 406-seat auditorium and an emergency vehicle operations course. The Nassau County Police Department’s Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Bureau is based in the Intelligence Center, which brings together intelligence detectives and intelligence analysts in a collaborative environment. At the heart of the Intelligence Center is what is known as the Lead Development Center (LDC) - a control room setting and central hub for active investigations including command operations and emergency response. The focal point of this space is video wall technology from Planar, including a nearly 32-foot-long, 18-foot-high Clarity® Matrix® G3 LCD Video Wall System in an 8x8 configuration. “Nassau County Police Department operates under what’s called an intelligenceled policing model, which uses intelligence to develop the proper way to patrol, to know the crimes that occur within certain times of the year and in certain locations, and to ensure that we’re aware of the players in the criminal community that tend to do specific types of crimes,” said Craig Croly, Detective Lieutenant with the NCPD Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence Bureau. “The operation we had before lacked the technology we needed. So, when this building was designed it was very important that it include the latest technology to give us the resources that we require in an everchanging intelligence world.”
Policing Through Technology
As a platform that can integrate numerous tools and software applications, the Planar video wall gives NCPD and its partner agencies the opportunity to benefit from emerging technology, according to NCPD Detective Lieutenant John Kilfoil. “It enables us to grow our policing model—an intelligence led policing model that integrates technology into policing, allowing us to use our resources more efficiently” he said. For instance, the Planar video wall is used to display real-time data from ShotSpotter, an acoustic surveillance technology that incorporates audio sensors to detect, locate and alert police agencies of gunfire incidents, allowing NCPD to respond and deploy resources quicker. “Our people—our manpower—is the biggest resource we have, and it all comes down to employing them to the best of their ability in conjunction with strategic policing activities” Kilfoil said.
Intelligence Center operators can merge information from multiple sources into one comprehensive view on the large Clarity Matrix video wall, enhancing the visibility of data and the situational awareness of personnel. In this way, they can make more accurate and informed decisions, faster. “We can display data in a way so that everybody understands exactly what is occurring and where we are in real-time,” Croly said. “From an intel perspective, we’re able to work more closely with a situation as it develops.”
Flexibility is Everything A key feature for supporting both intelligence work and other operations is a video wall system that is abundantly flexible, enabling teams to quickly adapt and manage fast-changing circumstances. “We can be using one part of the video wall for day-to-day operations while simultaneously running an active investigation on another,” Croly said. “Predetermined settings allow us to break up the video wall into different formats or blow up more important items into larger segments, depending on the need. If we suddenly need to respond to an emergency, we can leave subject information on the display and create a separate window for deploying resources.”
Brian Adwar of AV integration and design firm Adwar Video, which performed the video wall integration, said Planar’s Clarity Matrix is a multi-use system with the functionality to support numerous applications. “They can show multiple sources at once such as cable television feeds, computer data and live helicopter feeds,” Adwar said. "The video wall can be reconfigured with ease to show one large image, 16 smaller images, or combinations of large and small images. You can then select which video sources you want to show and the position of each source on the wall. Basically, you can tailor the video wall to your liking so that the information is always presented clearly and effectively." In an overall sense, Detective Lieutenant Kilfoil said the decision to invest in modern police technology, including the Planar video wall, gives the NCPD the necessary resources and tools for intelligence-led policing. “It also supports our mission to serve the people of Nassau County by providing safety and an improved quality of life in our communities through excellence in policing,” Kilfoil said. “The residents of Nassau County are the true beneficiaries of this technology investment.”