State Agency Tackles Illegal Industrial Waste Dumping with Custom Watchbox
George Mitchell should have his own TV crime drama. He has affixed covert GPS tracking devices underneath vehicles, concealed cameras in fake trees, and led over-night stakeouts to catch thieves stealing boats. But Mitchell isn't a TV cop. He's chief of special operations at a state agency tasked with managing parks, regulating hunting and fishing, and conserving natural resources. Over the years, he has relied on many covert surveillance systems designed by Supercircuits.
Mitchell uses video surveillance for two main reasons. "We usually don't have the manpower to do a stakeout to catch people poaching, dumping or stealing," he explains. "Plus, if we can catch them in the act, video gives us the hard evidence we need to take them to court. With video, cases usually don't end up going to trial. Video surveillance is the fastest form of justice there is."
Mitchell's latest case involves illegal dumping of industrial waste next to an unpaved road. "Sometimes, contractors pick up industrial waste in their tankers and — instead of dealing with the expense and effort involved with proper, legal disposal — they just dump the stuff where nobody can see," he explains. Mitchell calls this "ethyl-methyl death," where toxic chemicals can devastate the environment.
Mitchell turned to the leading direct video-security company Supercircuits to design a custom solution. "I met with Supercircuits, presented them with the problem, and asked them to design a system that would get results. I always leave the technical details to them."
To identify the perpetrators and capture the license plate of the tankers, the Supercircuits system had to address several challenges. The dumping was taking place at night, so the crime scene needed to lit without alerting the suspects. The batteries powering the system would need to last for weeks. Mitchell needed a sensor that would activate the system only when a vehicle approached the site — but not turn on when a deer or bird went by. The camera required a focal length of between 100 to 300 feet to record the faces of the perpetrator and the tanker's license plate. Finally, the entire system would need to be hidden.
The Supercircuits team designed an ingenious system using products in the Supercircuits catalog (Custom Remote Watchbox, Digital Seismic DVR Video System) and a few specially built items. Buried beneath the dirt road, a magnetic sensor triggers the system to activate whenever a vehicle drives over it. Also tied to the magnetic sensor is an infrared lighting system invisible to the naked eye. A timer shuts down the system after 30 minutes to preserve battery power.
The system is absolutely covert. Mitchell hid the camera in the trunk of a nearby tree, buried the DVR and painted the cables for camouflage. Now, the wait is on to see catch the illegal dumpers.
Mitchell credits Supercircuits for enhancing his efforts. "I approach them with a problem, and they always come back with a customized system that does the job. They're very patient with me and my level of technical video understanding. I'm very pleased with their products and their customer service. Prices are great, too."
"I'm interested in results," concludes Mitchell. "And Supercircuits surveillance systems get results."