Customer blog series: The following blog was written by PD Sims, Sierra Detention Systems’ director of engineering

Law enforcement and corrections organizations are under pressure to cost effectively upgrade to technologies that can help improve operational efficiency, manage data intensive workflows and maintain security during data retrieval. Gathering multiple petabytes of surveillance and sensor data from thousands of new IP cameras, while maintaining reliability, is proving to be an ongoing challenge for jail system security as data demands are growing exponentially.


In this environment, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) – in the nation’s third most populous county, manages 7,500 to 10,000 inmates in its jail system. Over-utilizing retired and soon-to-be retired systems, the MCSO was looking to replace its legacy video surveillance system to support a new digital high definition surveillance system. Maricopa County knew they had to evaluate alternative technologies to better meet their growing needs for highly reliable, real-time data capture, storage and processing. Their search led to a partnership with Sierra Detention Systems, a Colorado-based company focused on delivering innovative approaches to security, and also California-based high performance storage provider, DataDirect Networks (DDN).

Maricopa County Storage, DDN, DataDirect Networks, Video Surveillance

Sierra Detention Systems offered insight into attaining redundancy and high performance for all aspects of the system, including goals for frame rates and retention timeframes. We also recommended investing in a fully-integrated security controls system, featuring Genetec’s unified IP security system, Bosch high-definition cameras and DDN’s high-performance, scalable and reliable storage. We considered several storage players, but we recommended DDN’s SFA high performance Big Data storage not only because we felt it was the best solution in the market to address Maricopa County’s high performance needs, but also because of DDN’s transparent and hands-on, “let me show you how it works” attitude.

Maricopa Sheriff, DDN, DataDirect Networks, Storage, Video Surveillance, HD

Working in partnership with Sierra Detention Systems, DDN brought to the table a fully integrated, highly scalable solution, allowing Maricopa County to capture HD resolution surveillance footage at 15 frames per second with a 60-day retention period. The new system was faster and allowed Maricopa County to retrieve two months of footage in mere seconds. It was also more user friendly, providing officers with a single pane view of the entire security environment, complete with touch-screen controls of video and audio recordings, doors and devices. Administrators at Maricopa are now able to quickly and easily retrieve footage from the storage repository, which archives surveillance and sensor data for a minimum of 60 days. Maricopa County can now see and access 100% of the events that happen within and around its facilities with their upgraded cameras and data access powered by DDN and Sierra Detention Systems. Now the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office can put more muscle into its “tough-on-crime” stance while maximizing ROI, so that any upgrade costs to the taxpayer are minimal up-front and non-existent in the very near future. Together, DDN and Sierra Detention Systems are helping the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office set a new standard in jail system security and safety.

  • DDN Storage
  • DDN Storage
  • Date: August 5, 2014