Town of Marshfield balances privacy and protection with Axis

Historic town gives first responders critical situational awareness with specially designed network cameras

“Axis cameras with SituCam Privacy Protecting Enclosures give us the situational awareness we need to protect first responders and citizens in an emergency situation. Now we can see what we’re up against before we arrive at the scene.“ Bill Sullivan, Chief of Police for the town of Marshfield.


When police unraveled a Columbine-like plot that included a planned assault on emergency first responders, it forever changed the psyche of the quaint seaside town of Marshfield, Mass. The police department and emergency management agency wanted to improve public safety by installing video cameras in several high-risk public buildings. But since cameras were going into areas where they weren’t historically permitted, they needed to safeguard the privacy of citizens and town employees.


SituCon Systems, an Axis partner in Port Washington, N.Y., deployed more than a dozen Axis pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) network cameras in the town hall, recreation center, library and airport. They encased each camera in a special SituCam Privacy Protecting Enclosure, which provides a mechanical cover over the lens to guarantee privacy. Whenever a town employee activates a wireless “Instant Alert” button during a security event, the cameras’ “eyelids” open so that dispatchers and police can remotely monitor the location and evaluate the situation before they arrive on scene. To prevent hacking or security risks, the wireless network is only accessible during an incident.


Marshfield appreciates the feeling of safety the system creates. When a disgruntled citizen aggressively confronted a town council member after a vote, the Town Administrator hit the wireless alert button to activate the new network video system, giving Marshfield police the situational awareness they needed to quickly respond and deflate a highly-charged situation.

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