CCTV Control Center for Citizen, Smart & Safe City Seodaemun
Seodaemun-gu Office

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
In Korea, violent crimes and accidents including traffic accidents have respectively increased 8.5% and 7% annually in recent years. People are deeply concerned about their safety. Cities across the country in particular are strongly challenged to establish scientific, efficient systems that can make significant improvements in their safety. Seodaemun-gu is one the city’s oldest districts. Compared to the city’s new districts across Han River, the district has a large number of backstreets and alleys that are narrow and not as bright at night as they should be. These locations are vulnerable to crimes against all social groups in the district including children. Thus, prior to the implementation of the initiative, the district had installed a total of 454 CCTV cameras in 303 locations for various purposes such as crime deterrence, monitoring of natural disasters, prevention of bike thefts, and the surveillance of parking violations and illegal waste disposal. The CCTVs were operated by a total of seven different agencies and departments in the district, resulting in considerable redundancy in public service, inefficiency and delays in response to crimes, and other emergency situations. Seodaemun-gu realized the necessity of building a systematic, efficient integrated safety management system based on the nation’s top-tier information and communication technology. The new system would respond immediately to any emergency situation in the district and protect its citizens’ lives and minimize damage to citizens’ property at very low cost.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Mun Seok-jin, Mayor of Seodaemun-gu, proposed setting up an integrated CCTV control center. A task force team was organized. Opinions were collected from various organizations in charge of CCTV operations in the district. The team concluded that an integrated CCTV control center was necessary. It suggested that the Integrated CCTV Control Center be staffed with not just CCTV monitoring personnel but also police officers to enhance residents’ safety in the district, and that the center be fully operational 24/7 so that the district could respond to any and all crimes or accidents instantly at any time. Key to the establishment of the Integrated CCTV Control Center was money. The district office made a master plan for the center and asked the Seoul Metropolitan Government for financial assistance. Through consistent efforts, the district office was able to obtain a grant of 1.2 billion won from the city government. It is more than 80% of the total budget. (1USD=1,050won) The municipal government evaluated the district office’s idea highly and agreed on the necessity and estimated positive effects of the initiative. With the budget secured, the district office selected the project contractor through an open competitive bid. The Integrated CCTV Control Center was set up on the 6th floor of the district office building, having an office area of 198 square meters. As the detailed description below shows, the center was composed of an integrated CCTV control space, meeting rooms, an equipment room, a control room, and a lounge. Fully operational 24/7 with a total of 20 personnel (4 police officers and 16 monitoring agents) working in shifts and a whole set of surveillance and monitoring equipment and devices, the center was dedicated and opened on November 25, 2010. - Operation system: includes an integrated control system, a GIS (geographic information system), an access control system, an audio system, an integrated controller system, and 14 (console) personal computers - Video information system: includes 18 46-inch LCD multi-vision devices, 6 40-inch DID LCD video walls, wall controllers, RGB router, video router, beam projectors, and LED displays - Network and security system: includes an L3-class switch hub, IP telephones, firewalls, and an IPS (intrusion prevention system) - Accessories: includes a 10RT thermo-hygrostat, 5 air conditioners, an automatic extinguishing system (NAFⅢ), and 2 units of 30-KVA UPS - Office furniture: includes console desks, conference tables, personal lockers, storage closets, and multi-function printers.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Seodaemun-gu has integrated control of all of its CCTVs by establishing the integrated control center, saving a significant amount of direct and indirect expenses. Emergency response times have been shortened considerably. And people’s trust in the administration has improved due to the implementation of consistent policies regarding privacy and people’s requests for CCTV images. By utilizing the district’s own live music/news radio channel, the Integrated CCTV Control Center has also set up an “early disaster warning and alert system,” a first in the country. The district has hired low-income residents as well as the disabled as monitoring personnel at the integrated control center. The establishment of the Integrated CCTV Control Center is an important part of efforts by the district to develop itself into a leading IT City.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The integration of CCTV tasks into the center was aimed at eliminating unnecessary redundancy in administration, reducing expenditures, and improving the efficiency of the district’s public service. The CCTV job integration went beyond the premises of the district office and included the district police agency, which depends on CCTVs a lot. In the Information Age, the roles of local governments keep increasing in Korea but their resources do not. The district’s cross-agency collaboration is something that many other government agencies in Korea must emulate. For the district office, the integration of all CCTV tasks into the center helped streamline the functions of its entire organization. For the residents, the integration sharply improved the speed of responding to various emergency situations and the quality of public services involved in those situations. ○ October 2009 Seodaemun-gu applied for a special grant from the Seoul Metropolitan Government for the establishment of the Integrated CCTV Control Center. Through a number of meetings and the submission of additional documents, the district office convinced the city government of the necessity and impact of the initiative. Fully convinced, the municipal government agreed to provide a 1.2 billion won grant for the project. ○ November 2009 The district office selected the project contractor through an open bid. Together, they made the basic design for the center. The contractor then worked out a detailed plan for the center based on the basic design. ○ January 2010 The district office secured office space of 198 square meters on the 6thfloorofitsofficebuilding.Thecontractorbeganwork. The work was delayed somewhat because of plenty of feedback from all the relevant parties after the contractor’s interim project progress report. A better control center was built, however. ○ November 2010 The work was completed. Tests were conducted. The district office hired all the required personnel. The center was launched. ○ April 2011 The district office signed a memorandum of understanding with the Seodaemun Policy Agency on the use of the center’s facilities and collaboration in the implementation of tasks designed to enhance residents’ safety. A close collaborative relationship was built between them. ○ December 2011 The district office installed the “early disaster warning and alert system through its own live music/news radio channel.” The radio channel broadcasts music and news on cultural events through numerous speakers installed along Hongjecheon Stream and the slopes of Ansan Mountain. In emergency situations including flooding and wildfires, the channel issues early warnings and alerts to residents to minimize damage to human lives and property.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Seodaemun-gu is the operator of the Integrated CCTV Control Center. Prior to the completion of the center, CCTVs in the districts were run by seven different organizations for the diverse purposes such as anti-theft, surveillance of bike racks, prevention of illegal waste dumping, monitoring of illegal vehicle parking on streets, surveillance of the district office building, surveillance of car illegal stopping, and disaster monitoring. Wastage was severe due to redundancy. Through the installation of the integrated tower, Seodaemun-gu prevents wastage in budgets and human resources while significantly improving its ability to respond to emergencies. CCTVs increasingly play an important role in the identification and pursuit of criminals, by the Seodaemun Police Agency in its endeavor to prevent crimes and enforce the law in Seodaemun-gu. The establishment of the integrated center was directly linked to the interests of the police agency. In the processes of planning and building the control center, the district office consulted with the agency sufficiently. Police officers are now stationed in the center round the clock. In April 2011, the district office and the district police agency executed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration in the efficient operation of the center; they have been closely cooperating with each other on a range of issues ever since. As one of its districts, Seodaemun-gu asked the Seoul Metropolitan Government for financial support for the center project. Only through numerous meetings to convince the relevant officials of the necessity and expected positive outcome was the district office able to secure the city government’s approval for financial support.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The initial investment in the integrated control center was estimated to be around 14.4 billion won. The Seoul Metropolitan Government agreed to give a grant of 12 billion won to the district office because of the high feasibility of the project. The district office paid the remaining 2.4 billion won. Later, the district office also asked the city government to subsidize the establishment of an “early disaster warning and alert system through its own live music/news radio channel.” The city government agreed to support fully the 6.3 billion won project. The Integrated CCTV Control Center was possible due to the country’s relatively highly developed information and communications technology. More than 800 CCTVs are installed in the district, and they are all connected to the center through IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) and VPN (Virtual Private Network). Firewalls have been installed in the network to make sure all information stays private. A geographic information system (GIS) displays the location of each camera. It ensures that the center can respond to diverse incidents in the district immediately. The control center can easily deal with various situations because all the information there are visualized and centralized. The information storage capacity of the center is as much as 200 TB (terabyte), so its visual information can be stored for a long time and used for various purposes. Seodaemun-gu has hired 16 monitoring personnel for the center. The Seodaemun Police Agency has dispatched 4 police officers to the center. These 20 people run the center in shifts round the clock so that the center can respond to any situation at any time.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Seodaemun-gu has been able to save a significant amount of manpower and money by integrating the control of all CCTVs operated by seven different departments. Currently, the center efficiently controls a total of 893 CCTV cameras installed in 376 locations throughout the district. In terms of manpower, the center has reduced full time manpower needs by 26 persons per year. With regard to its budget, the center has saved a considerable amount of money in direct costs on CCTV purchases and maintenance as well as on telecom expenses. In terms of indirect costs, the operation of the integrated center has brought about incalculable positive results to the community including crime deterrence, faster response to crimes, minimization of damage from disasters, and quick responses to various other emergency situations. The operation of the center has also greatly helped the district improve the protection of its residents’ private information. The center does its best to eliminate any risk of information being hacked. Residents have much more faith in the security of the CCTV information controlled by the center. Seodaemun-gu has established an IP (Internet Protocol)-based radio station to broadcast early warnings and alerts for emergencies along the walking path of Hongjecheon Stream (2.4km) and part of the hiking course of Ansan Mountain (0.6km), which are frequented by residents for various leisure activities. The establishment of such a system is the country’s first. The system is equipped with 14 digital amplifiers and 171 rock-shaped speakers that match the surroundings very well. The system ordinarily broadcasts a selection of music albums and important cultural news that might interest those enjoying leisure activities. When a wildfire is detected, or a flood is predicted on CCTVs, the broadcasting system issues warnings/alerts immediately to minimize damage to residents’ lives and property. Between 2011 and the first half of 2013, the integrated center supplied the police with up to 1,767 pieces of visual information required for police investigations of various crimes and traffic accidents. The information helped the police not just catch criminals much sooner but also make far fairer decisions on who to blame in car accidents. The fact that visual information is recorded at the center helps deter crimes against persons and property in the district.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Seodaemun-gu has established two committees to ensure that its Integrated CCTV Control Center is operating lawfully and efficiently. In April 2011, the Seodaemun-gu office and the district police agency joined forces to establish the “Anti-crime CCTV Operation Committee,” which meets twice a year and when necessary. It checks whether the center is being run efficiently, discusses ways of expanding the CCTV network in the district, and reviews requests for the supply of visual information for the purposes of crime prevention and solving crimes. In January 2011, the district office set up the “Operation Council of the U-Seodaemun Integrated Control Center” composed of 15 council members including civilians and public officials from department having CCTV operations. The council holds regular meetings twice a year and extraordinary meetings whenever necessary. It monitors and evaluates the operation of the integrated control center including evaluating CCTV monitoring personnel, their performance, and the operating results of each section of the integrated center.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Seodaemun-gu has a relatively low financial self-sufficiency rate. It would have been difficult to finance the initiative on its own. The district office contacted the metropolitan government with a basic plan for the center. Through numerous meetings, it eventually convinced the city government of the necessity and potential effects of the initiative and secured a 12 billion won special grant from the government for the establishment of the center. The district office also persuaded the city government to provide the former with a 6.3 billion won grant for the installation of an early disaster warning and alert system at the center through the district’s live music/news radio channel. Installing CCTVs is desirable to protect resident’s lives and property, yet any leaked information might infringe on residents’ privacy seriously. To prevent such violation, Seodaemun-gu has enacted the “Guidelines for CCTV Operation and Management in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul.” They stipulate limited access to visual information and rules for the safe storage and transmission of the information. The district office is doing its best to protect residents’ rights to privacy as much as possible. For integrated CCTV control, it is crucial to establish a network that connects all the relevant CCTVs to the center. Leasing a network was estimated to cost the center 2 billion won each year. The district office has built its own broadband telecommunication network that connects the district office, various agencies under its auspices, and all of its CCTVs. It has saved a significant amount of money while ensuring high-quality administrative service.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
CCTVs are designed to help protect residents’ lives and property. Before, CCTVs were installed for various purposes and poorly managed. The integrated CCTV control center has significantly improved the management of the CCTVs and the information from them, thereby enabling the more efficient protection of residents’ lives and property. Building an integrated CCTV control center may not be new. Nonetheless, no one had put it into action in the district. Seodaemun-gu has built an integrated control center, and it continues to make improvements in the operation of the center, too. The successful operation of the integrated center is playing a key role in the efforts of Seodaemun-gu to evolve into a smart city. Previously, when a flood or wildfire occurred, the relevant disaster management department dealt with it using information from its own CCTVs installed in a limited number of locations. For instance, the disaster management department had just 14 CCTVs in Seodaemun-gu. When a disaster occurred outside the coverage of their cameras, its response was seriously delayed. Now, the disaster management department can use all the information available in the 893 CCTVs installed in 376 locations of the district (as of 2013) under the integrated control center’s direct control. Remarkable improvements have been made in the disaster response system of the district. If a disaster occurs anywhere in the district, monitoring personnel at the center immediately notify the disaster management department for prompt countermeasures. When it comes to disasters, immediate detection and responses are most important. The establishment of the integrated center is a crucial step toward the protection of residents’ lives and property in the district. Previously, some residents in disaster-prone areas like neighborhoods close to streams and mountains were likely to suffer greatly because they were not tuned in to the radio or television. Through the installation of an early disaster warning and alert system in those areas, the district has secured a critical means of warning those residents of disasters and urging immediate evacuation. CCTVs are playing a key role in preventing crimes and catching criminals. Before the establishment of the integrated center, the police agency had to figure out which organization was in charge of CCTVs at or near a crime scene and ask that organization to release the relevant visual information. Now, the police contact the integrated center for any CCTV footage of crimes in the district. The center is instrumental in catching criminals within the shortest time possible. Besides, since police officers are always stationed in the center, they can take the necessary actions to apprehend dangerous criminals much earlier than before. Seodaemun Police Agency received CCTV images from the center a total of 1,767 times from 2011 until the end of June 2013. The information greatly contributed to the agency’s efforts to solve various crimes in the district.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
< High Sustainability> An integrated CCTV control center requires a significant amount of initial investment, but its maintenance costs are significantly low. The operation of the center in the district has proven to be beneficial to various groups of stakeholders over and over again. As a result, Korea’s Ministry of Safety and Public Affairs has recommended that other local governments set up an integrated CCTV control center in each of their districts. The ministry is planning to make it compulsory for local governments to install an integrated CCTV control center by 2015. < Liaison with Other Agencies> Currently, the integrated control center is playing a very positive role in fighting crimes in the district particularly through its liaison with the district police. The center is planning to expand its collaboration and join forces with the fire department to step up its contributions to fire prevention and cooperate with the army to carry out emergency drills and exercises jointly. The center will always do its best to prevent leaks of private information gathered by its CCTV. For the past three years since the establishment of the center, a total of 305 people from 32 agencies have officially visited the center to learn about and benchmark the successful establishment and operation of the center. Most notably, the districts of Seongbuk-gu, Jung-gu, and Dobong-gu in Seoul have paid particular attention to the initiative. Ecuador’s public officials and Japan’s university students have also visited the center, indicating their intentions to benchmark or study the integrated CCTV operation at the center.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Ultimately, CCTVs are installed to protect residents’ lives and property. Prior to the establishment of the integrated center, CCTVs installed in the district did not fulfill their basic mission. They were installed for a variety of objectives and controlled by several different organizations. Due to their lax management and security measures, they often became a source of problems instead of a tool for problem solution. Through the establishment and operation of the integrated center, CCTVs in the district are now able to fulfill their mission. As a popular Korean proverb goes, “Nothing is complete unless you put it in its final shape.” Great ideas are no good at all unless they are put into an action plan and implemented. The Integrated CCTV Control Center in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul is a very good example in that regard. It has networked all the CCTVs installed and run by a number of organizations in the district and has put them all under its direct control. Such integration has resulted in synergy effects as well, generating benefits and profits for the residents in a variety of ways. It is a very successful case that the district can proudly recommend to other organizations around the world for emulation.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Seodaemun-gu Office
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Ja-kyeong Lee
Title:   manager  
Telephone/ Fax:   82-2-330-1088 / 82-2-330-1442
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Yeonheero 248
Postal Code:   120-703
City:   Seodaemun-gu
State/Province:   Seoul

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