“PopeCams” follow the Popemobile in Regensburg
When Pope Benedict XVI. paid a visit to his native Bavaria, he didn’t have to rely entirely on `protection from above´ for his security. Extensive personal security measures ensured that the mega event went smoothly and that the life of the pontiff was safe at all times. IP cameras by Regensburg based Dallmeier, a company specializing in CCTV/IP provided images at major traffic intersections, which were broadcast live on TV.
The term `personal security´ generally means ensuring the personal safety of an important person against physical attack or abduction. Certainly, many people first and foremost think of personally escorting individuals who are at risk, using so-called bodyguards who are positioned in close vicinity of the protected person and are supposed to detect and avert potential dangers in time. In most cases, however, this is not sufficient. Providing comprehensive personal security requires accurately planned procedures and thorough organization beforehand. None more so when the person to be protected is the Pope.
The Pope in Regensburg
On his pastoral journey across Bavaria in September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI. Stayed in Regensburg for four days. Combining a drive with the popemobile through the picturesque alleys of Regensburg’s Old Town, a holiday service with more than a hundred thousand believers on the Islinger Feld, a lecture at the university, an ecumenical vesper in the cathedral, and the consecration of an organ - the pontiff had a densely packed programme for his visit.
While the citizens were all excitedly looking forward to the event, happy to welcome `their´ pope, the organizers were confronted with a major organizational and logistical challenge. In the end, they had to enable as many believers as possible to see the Holy Father at close proximity, without compromising the safety of the Pope as well as the numerous attendees.
The city, the diocese as well as the police and the emergency services all closely cooperated. Weeks before the Pope’s arrival, manhole covers were sealed off and barriers were erected. The media published behavioural guidelines for the citizens and pilgrims in order to control the crowds of people as well as possible. The highway number 3, which runs near the Islinger Feld, was closed off for the day of the mass and served as a parking space for the numerous pilgrims' buses. Still, there had never been an event like that before in Regensburg, which is a World Cultural Heritage Site with a population of 151,000, and the organizers wanted to be prepared for all contingencies. So as to detect and prevent potential traffic chaos in time, a number of cameras were to monitor important intersections to ensure free passage for the popemobile and everybody else.
Dallmeier IP cameras provide live images
In searching for the appropriate cameras, the organizers decided to choose IP cameras by Dallmeier electronic GmbH & Co.KG, as the company has been producing and developing high-quality products and solutions for video surveillance for 20 years. As a supplier of complete systems, Dallmeier offers perfectly dovetailed components, continually banking on innovative, first-class proprietary developments as well as their production at the company’s own manufacturing site in Regensburg.
On September 1 Dallmeier, in collaboration with the fire department of Regensburg and the local network provider R-Kom, installed the first of a total of nine Dallmeier IP “PopeCams” (DF3000IP(-DN). The joint effort was closely observed by the cameras of local TV station TVA. During the event, the images were streamed to the TVA studios via a 2MBit connection and broadcasted live in order to show the traffic flow on the Eastern ring road. The cameras at the other locations provided pictures of further sites during the papal visit, such as the Islinger Feld, where the main event – a mass celebrated by the pope – took place. Many dignitaries attended the mass. Apart from Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber and his wife Karin, Her Serene Highness, Princess Gloria of Thurn and Taxis and her family were among those in the first row and received the personal blessing of the Holy Father.
Viewers at home saw live pictures of the many pilgrims arriving at the Islinger Feld from as early as midnight and how they patiently, and with a thrill of anticipation, waited for the mass to begin. The Dallmeier IP cameras, which had been installed at short notice excelled themselves by their excellent image quality.
The Dallmeier DF3000IP(-DN) is the world's first high-resolution IP colour camera with the innovative sensor concept of the Cam_inPIX® technology, which is based on the most advanced Pixim DPS* technology. Under any lighting conditions, it offers a previously unrealisable image quality. The ultra high dynamic range of the camera (102 dB typical), its high-resolution sensor technology (540 TVL) and the software developed especially for the security field provide clear, colour-true and detailed pictures at all times, without any blooming or smearing. The TV professionals, who are used to work with images in broadcast quality, were enthused by the exceptional footage they received at the studio via network streaming.
During the four-day visit, numerous people gathered alongside the streets of Regensburg, hailing the pontiff in his Pope mobile. At the Islinger Feld alone, more than 230,000 believers followed the Holy Father’s mass. Still, despite the huge crowds of people, the atmosphere remained peaceful and composed at all times. Owing to the good organization beforehand, the feared traffic chaos did not occur and the papal visit went smoothly.