GOP convention security technology to be used in SF

August 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
For the people in charge of protecting delegates and politicians in Tampa, it's not the weather that is their primary concern. Security is extremely tight at the GOP convention. ABC7 took a look at the security measures in place that have particular significance to the Bay Area.

Inside, the Tampa Bay Times Forum the convention opened and closed within a couple of minutes on Monday, the first day of business postponed because of Tropical Storm Isaac. But outside, the security is at full strength with roads closed around the arena, multiple checkpoints to get in and armed National Guard troops patrolling the perimeters.

And inside one particular room, agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, and Tampa police are watching video screens beaming back real time pictures from around the city, cameras that are in place to watch over Tampa. It's that technology will be enhanced by artificial intelligence software designed to pick up abnormal movements.

"They're using it to watch over different facilities around the city looking for strange things that might be going on," said David Gerulski from BRS Labs.

Gerulski is vice president of marketing for BRS Labs -- the Houston company that developed the software.

"It actually looks at objects and it looks at people as objects and it learns what's normal behavior in a view and then what it alerts on is when something odd happens," said Gerulski.

If a car drives onto train tracks, the software will alert.

"If somebody falls at the bottom of an escalator, we'll get an alert on that. If there is a crowd and all of a sudden everybody is moving in a direction that's kind of uncommon or fast or from a central spot in a way, we'll get an alert on those kind of things," said Gerulski.

The computer software used in Tampa is the same type that will be installed in San Francisco later this year. Muni cameras will be linked to the software. The cameras will bring in the pictures, the computers will tell monitors which screen to watch.

ABC7 will be reporting from Tampa all this week and you can follow me on Twitter at @MatthewsABC7 or on Facebook for instant updates.

ABC News is providing live coverage of the convention and we'll be streaming it here live from 4 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.


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