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SF Muni Deploys Surveillance System That Spots Suspicious Activity

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - A high-tech surveillance system designed to thwart crime and terrorism by spotting suspicious activity without the use of a human monitor is set to be deployed on San Francisco's Muni Metro system.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority has contracted with security firm BRS Labs for the system which uses what the Houston-based company calls Behavioral Recognition technology.

The company's software analyzes video images from an array of cameras using its proprietary algorithms and processes. BRS Labs says its system can learn and store passenger behavior patterns from the video and send alerts for any activity out of the ordinary.

According to the product bid from the SFMTA (.pdf), the agency will seek to roll out up to 22 cameras at each of 12 different stations, all feeding into the surveillance system.

The system can observe and trigger alerts for activities such as loitering, abandoned packages, and abnormal numbers, speed or direction of passengers, according to BRS Labs.

KCBS' Holly Quan Reports:

Muni plans to roll out the $2 million system over the next 5 years, with some cameras going online by next summer.

Tech publication Fast Company reports the BRS surveillance system is also being deployed by the City of Houston, Boeing and by security contractors for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is deploying the BRS technology for a pilot project at the World Trade Center, according to Fast Company.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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