My New Friends - Tradeshows provide many different opportunities

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My New Friends

Tradeshows provide many different opportunities

Providing security for a house of worship wasn’t on my radar until recently. Dylann Roof changed all that when he opened fire on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, S.C.

Nine people died that day, and security in a church setting has been on my mind ever since.

I’ve been to a lot of tradeshows over the years, and each year at ISC West, I notice two or three guys walking the show floor, dressed in orange garb. Not really knowing who they are, I managed to bump into Kaivalyamurti KV Swami last April. We talked about security, and became fast friends. To KV, security is critical, and has taken keen interest in searching for the optimal products or solutions for the requirements at hand.

I asked KV how he and his associates tackle security. After all, a house of worship is typically an open venue and expected to be safe.

“We believe that pre-emptive measures with the use of smart security, such as alarms and analytics,” he said. “Good lighting, perimeter security, vigilance and visual deterrents are all part of it.”

Like anyone who installs security equipment, or wants it installed, a definition of requirements and results are needed when specifying equipment. KV said that trials and demos make all the difference, as well as education and experience. With agreed upon requirements, KV Swami and his team are able to achieve their desired goal.

For instance, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha runs its video surveillance systems off a dedicated security subnet with Cat6 Ethernet cabling. The video is displayed on monitors in the security booth and recorded to Veracity COLDSTORE surveillance storage. With their integrator, Best Communications Network partnered with Axis Communications to create a hybrid solution with cameras and video encoders. The cameras blend seamlessly into the surrounding architecture.

Jay Patel, CEO of Best said you wouldn’t even notice the security solutions unless you were looking for them.

The effectiveness of an IP system was put to the test and passed recently. A thief broke into the BAPS donation box, stealing all the cash from the Stafford, Texas facility. Because of that incident, BAPS installed several AXIS M1054 network cameras with PIR sensors for motion detection over the donation box. When and if the system was triggered, built-in LED illuminators lighted up and a prerecorded message would sound. Certainly now, no one would try and steal from the donation box, but on the very night that the system was installed, the thief returned to the scene of the first theft only to have the lights illuminate and the sound caught his attention when he turned around. Even though the thief ran away empty handed, an image of his face was captured and proved to law enforcement. The thief never returned.

BAPS also included the Genetec Security Center VMS because of the ease in controlling the cameras, the ability to create event triggers and make use of hardware features offered by the cameras and access control devices.

Part of the security goals at BAPS is to preserve the beauty of the buildings. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is a worldwide Hindu faith-based organization. Previously under surveillance with analog CCTV cameras, the Swamis only saw poor image quality and operated without camera intelligence. With this type of solution, the system was ineffective and purely reactive.

“While I don’t have a background in security operations, I have picked it up out of self-learning and necessity,” KV said. “We had analog systems, but they were not serving our needs and were not delivering video quality we needed. I started to ask around and explore the IP security industry back in 2009. I attended ASIS in Anaheim for the first time and met some amazing people who helped me kick-start my journey in the security industry.

“We also look for any new solutions that may be useful to us. In 2010, we opted to go with IP-based equipment only.”

Each BAPS campus is a meticulously constructed place of worship called Mandirs. They are built from Turkish limestone and Italian marble (Safford, Texas) and pink sandstone (Chino Hills, Calif.). This is another place where security plays a major role. Damage or harm to a building is a concern because of the ornate construction.

The old system provided nothing in the way of intelligence. With Axis partner Preferred Technologies, the Texas site began to render high resolution images. BAPS added the Theia varifocal 9 to 40mm lens to capture more footage from a greater distance. BAPS also employed software developed by Preferred Technologies, which, when the system is triggered, an image is pulled and instantly sent by email to the proper authority.

“It is great to get an alarm of an event on your perimeter, but it’s a huge negative if you can’t visually assess it quickly,” said Grady Jett, vice president of sales at Preferred Technologies. “We always try to pair intrusion detection with visual assessment. Axis cameras with cross-line detection enable us to do that.”

Cross-line detection also is used to trigger a physical alarm system that run through the I/O ports of an Axis fixed dome network camera. The camera is configured to function as a switch, and when the line is tripped, the Genetec VMS initiates a siren and strobe light to warn away intruders. At the Chino Hills, Calif., site, the BAPS community turned to an intelligent outdoor surveillance solution from SightLogix. Because the temple is constructed of pink sandstone blocks, sent from India one-by-one and hand crafted, the need for security has never been greater. Six SightLogix cameras are positioned on 30-foot poles around the perimeter.

KV Swami said that going with this system would give the temple staff views of the entire perimeter, and they have the option of reviewing these areas visually. Most importantly, however, it gives them an early notice of an intrusion so any damages can be prevented.

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Security Today.

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