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Huawei worked with Panama's Ministry of Public Security to build a fast one-stop comprehensive Safe City solution to safeguard its major port in Colón and increase tourism from around the globe.

Background

The Republic of Panama is situated in one of the most ideal geographic locations on the planet. Colombia is to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the south, Costa Rica to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the north. The Panama Canal, which bisects the country, is a vital shipping route that helps power the world’s economies. The country also exports Gesha coffee along with large variety of tropical fruits, such as bananas. Colón is the second largest city in Panama, after Panama City, which is the capital. The Colón Free Trade Zone, located in the estuary of the Panama Canal and the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, and second only to Hong Kong in the world.


Challenges

As a commercial port, Colón is hugely successful, but it faces the country’s greatest security challenges. The local government conducted a survey in Colón, and found that 70% of those polled felt unsafe in the city. The public safety infrastructure was severely outdated. ICT-based policing was underdeveloped. No unified call taking and dispatching system was in place. The video surveillance system lacked necessary electrical power, and had not been used in years. The Colón Safe City project was designed specifically to address these security challenges.

Solution

One-Stop Comprehensive Safe City, Safeguarding the International Logistics Center

The Colón Free Trade Zone includes the largest port in Panama. Its location on the Panama Canal makes it an important port in the world’s cargo transportation system. The safety and security of investors, labor, and property in the port is of utmost importance. The Colón Safe City solution was specifically designed to guarantee the stable operation of this international logistics center by shortening the average police response time, improving local public safety, increasing the regional public safety level, and enhancing the incident response and processing capabilities of police.


To meet the safety needs of Panama’s government, Huawei worked with several partners to deploy a comprehensive, integrated, and modern Safe City system for Colón. The system includes a Visual and Converged Command Center, and an Intelligent Video Cloud System. The video surveillance system covers all important areas, including the old town, subsidized housing projects, airports, harbors, highway checkpoints, prisons, and universities. A large number of advanced technologies and products were applied in Colón’s Safe City implementation, and some key technologies were deployed in Panama for the first time:

Huawei Starlight 4K Camera

Intelligent video surveillance is the foundation of a robust security protection system. The Starlight 4K Camera has a built-in proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) chip and a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) with the industry’s largest image sensor size. The camera series produces industry-leading image quality that is bright and clear even in extremely low light conditions. The Huawei Starlight 4K Camera series is easy to use and provides high quality images and video to customers in various road, light, and weather conditions.

One-Click Incident Reporting

Panic Button generates an alarm with one click, and gives officers in the command center immediate access to on-site situations with clear sound and video. The Geographic Information System (GIS) coordinates of the alarm location are automatically displayed on all screens. The quick police response afforded by one-click incident reporting is an effective deterrent against criminal activity.

Intelligent Video Analysis

The video surveillance system adopts the industry’s leading facial and license plate recognition algorithm. Cameras using this algorithm are capable of retrieving previously stored information, real-time tracing, and monitoring suspicious persons and vehicles. This capability greatly enhances investigation efficiency. The system also integrates various intelligent behavioral analysis algorithms, allowing for automatic warnings when intrusions, trespassing, loitering, abandoned objects, or removed objects are detected. Early detection like this greatly diminishes potential risks.

Visual Command Center

The command center acts as the brain of the Safe City by merging three incident reporting phone numbers to a single unified number, 104. In the past, residents had to dial 911 to report emergencies, 103 to report first-aid needs and fire hazards, and 104 to report crimes. Residents can now report incidents using various channels, such as telephone, Panic Button, and a mobile app. The mobile app integrates police-resident interaction functions. The multiple methods allow citizens to report incidents whenever they encounter an emergency. The command center integrates the video surveillance system to oversee the deployment of police, firefighters and medical resources based on their GIS map coordinates. This highly efficient command and dispatching greatly improves the efficiency of emergency response.


The Safe City project team had overcome extreme weather in the rainy season, and difficulties caused by an insufficient power grid. In October 2018, three months after construction began, equipment deployment and debugging, customer technical training, and implementation of the large-scale Safe City command center was completed.

Benefits

On November 21, 2018, the command center was approved by the president of Panama. President Juan Carlos Varela claimed at the Safe City launch ceremony that the project had advanced the city’s infrastructure, much like the many other versions around the globe. The project is one of the most important measures that Panama’s government has taken to improve the security of Colón, and it will effectively reduce the government's emergency processing time, providing a safer future for residents.


The successful deployment of Colón Safe City Solution will significantly help local police improve management capabilities for public safety, optimize the business environment in Colón, improve people’s living standards, and enhance the image of Colón and Panama. Huawei’s Safe City Solution will maintain Panama’s status as the region’s foremost transportation and financial hub.

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