How the City of Las Vegas Strengthens Public Safety with Verkada
with Michael Sherwood, Chief Innovation Officer
Many know the City of Las Vegas to be the entertainment capital of the United States, with a bustling economy that is open for business 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year.
As the Chief Innovation Officer, Michael Sherwood leads technology implementation and strategy across the booming metropolis. Under his leadership, Las Vegas has quickly become one of the most tech-friendly and fastest-growing cities in the world.
“A lot of people know Las Vegas as a place of entertainment and hospitality, some of the largest trade shows are here annually. But it’s really more than that, we bring people from all around the world together.”
Outside the glamour of the Strip, there is a softer side to Las Vegas reflected in its initiatives towards public safety and its grassroots community. From parks to public pools, the well-being of residents is a key priority for Sherwood and his team. According to Chris Craig, Deputy IT Director:
“From a personal level, keeping the city safe is one of the biggest pressures that I face. As IT professionals, we’re responsible for anything that plugs into the wall. If the system goes down and somebody gets hurt or something happens, we’re responsible and that does keep me awake.”
To effectively support an expanding population, the City of Las Vegas looks to intelligent digital technology to help it operate in smarter, more efficient ways. As luck (and opportunity) may have it, Nevada’s business climate ranks seventh among the 50 states – setting a stage that’s ripe for innovation.
Why Verkada: 24/7 Security for the City that Never Sleeps
With Verkada, Sherwood has increased situational awareness across public spaces and responsiveness to emergency scenarios. At the same time, he leverages actionable insights from the Verkada platform to enhance efficiency across sites and departments.
“We use Verkada in two ways: typical and atypical. In the typical security use case, Verkada helps protect our people and public places. In the atypical use case, we leverage Verkada’s computer vision technology to optimize spatial planning and operations.”
Protect Public Safety
With over 2.5 million cars recorded in Nevada, Sherwood has significant ground to cover. Verkada’s LPR solution and notification system help secure parking lots around-the-clock, while Person of Interest alerts against known or repeat offenders provide a discretionary layer of caution and security.
“For a city of our scale, agility is critical. With Verkada, we are able to automate emergency response, provide access to first responders immediately, and do so from one simple platform.”
With Verkada, the City is also positioned to protect its citizens and property in a way that also respects privacy. Sherwood is able to use Face Blur and Privacy Regions to protect identities, while People Analytics are turned ‘off’ by default unless actively enabled. Sherwood also limits and ensures proper access to the system with role-based permissions and comprehensive audit logs.
“Beyond just security, Verkada provides us with actionable insights through computer vision technology. With data-driven analytics, we are always finding ways to drive efficiency and optimize our operations.”
Through its pilot program, Las Vegas became one of the first municipalities to deploy smart city technology in public parks. With Verkada, Sherwood has quantifiable metrics around foot traffic to inform decisions about investment, expansion, and services. With smart features such as Occupancy Trends, city planners can easily understand the busiest times of day and optimize maintenance windows for any given space.
Access from Anywhere
“Having a single pane of glass, you’re not fumbling through multiple applications with multiple learning curves. One simple, easy-to-use application made all the difference.”
From the cloud-based Command platform, Sherwood and designated team members can quickly identify, respond to, and resolve public safety issues. Video security is natively integrated with access control and alarms, providing immediate visibility and context into any door or alarm event. Sherwood can remotely lock or unlock doors, view or send footage, and verify alarm events from a mobile app or web browser.
Scale with Ease
“[With Verkada, we can] set-it-and-forget-it, which has really given us the flexibility to expand our system. [We are able to] lower our overall costs while improving safety and security - not just to our citizens, but to our first responders.”
With zero-touch maintenance and a straightforward total cost of ownership, Sherwood knows exactly how much he will be paying over the next decade for his Verkada system. His investment includes an industry-leading 10-year warranty, along with automatic software and firmware updates that contain the latest features and security enhancements.
“A lot of our strategy for the city of Las Vegas, especially in the technology realm, is ‘how do we control our CapEx costs?’ The speed and ease of deploying the Verkada system is really night-and-day to anything on the marketplace today, we saw 70% faster installation and immediate ROI.”
The Results: 70% Faster Deployment and Single Pane Control
Sherwood intends to expand his Verkada deployment, with plans to provide over 500 city employees with Verkada Pass access at full buildout. Access control with Bluetooth touchless entry is already enabled across key sites, including the Innovation Center, to increase security and convenience.
To centralize more security infrastructure across the city, he is testing additional product lines – including Guest for digitizing visitor management and sensors for enhancing environmental health, safety, and comfort.
“Our implementation plans for the future are wide-ranging. We’re continuing to deploy cameras to our open spaces – including our parks. The more efficient we are, the more time we have for initiatives that help change and impact our community.”