Helping Those in Need

Outdated equipment can create critical vulnerabilities and leave a facility unprotected

In the United States, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, equating to more than 10 million in a single year. The Faces of Hope Victims Center is on a mission to reduce this victimization with a safety net of crisis services. Located in Boise, Idaho, Faces of Hope provides a safe haven, where those affected by any type of interpersonal violence can come to receive help without judgment, waitlists or fees. Through a single door, the specialized multi-disciplinary team wraps around an individual or family and provides crisis-intervention services to stabilize them.

Fleeing in-home violence can be a dangerous undertaking for many, fearing stalking or intervention by their abuser. For this reason, centers like Faces of Hope rely heavily on video surveillance solutions to increase their situational awareness and keep both victims and employees alike safe from imminent threats.

The team at Faces of Hope reached out to Darren Braden, regional sales director at Integrated Security Resources (ISR), an All-star Dahua dealer, after noticing their aging analog video system was no longer performing optimally. Braden had previously designed the solution for the Faces of Hope Victims Center, and after meeting with Dahua, who offered to donate all product needed, ISR donate their time to implement the needed updates.

“It was clear that Dahua was eager to help us in any way they could,” Braden said. “Upgrading the older cameras was a must for the Victims Center, so the video surveillance equipment was a step towards making this upgrade a reality.”

Another goal of the upgrade was to add accessibility features to the video surveillance system. Employees needed to have the ability to live-stream the surveillance video without manually connecting to the DVR, located in the basement of the facility. In emergency situations tapping into the video feed from a laptop, phone or tablet is crucial for the safety of those at the center.

“After almost 13 years, the (old) security system had been pretty beaten up,” Paige Dinger of Faces of Hope said. “Our technology was outdated, and the cameras were capturing blurry images.”

HD over Coax (HDCVI) was used to give the system a muchneeded upgrade, without having to rip and replace all existing wiring. This saved time for the integrator, while only requiring a minor disruption of service for the center’s camera system. To address the concerns surrounding both day and night surveillance, ISR equipped the center with a mix of 4MP IR 3.6mm Mini Dome and Mini Bullet cameras featuring Smart Infrared (IR) and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technologies.

These new cameras allow for the superior clarity of the realtime 4MP video, while simultaneously leveraging the existing legacy infrastructure. The HDCVI technology guarantees the added benefit of real-time transmissions over long distance without a loss of video quality.

The next step was to tackle the accessibility issues faced by employees. Integrated Security Resources installed a Dahua 4K Pentabrid DVR to seamlessly integrate the new HD over Coax system. With over 64 camera inputs available, the integration team allowed for scalability within the system. This new DVR also enabled employees of the facility to view security footage remotely, without needing to physically connect to the DVR or use a monitor to view surveillance footage.

Gaining the ability to better understand the situation when a victim arrives was of the upmost importance, to see if they are being followed and if the facility needed to lock down accordingly.

Smart IR illumination enables the capture of detailed images in low light or no light scenarios. The technology automatically adjusts the intensity of the camera’s infrared LEDs to compensate for the distance of objects. This keeps the camera from producing “white out” images when something comes too near to the camera. The need for cameras to output clear video at all times of day was crucial.

“As partners in the building, the Boise Police Department, was concerned that the old technology was too outdated, providing bad picture quality,” Dinger said.

Also featuring true WDR, created specifically for applications under complex dynamic range, the solution presents high-quality images with clear details and accurate color rendition. WDR is also responsible for ensuring the video surveillance system can produce high-quality images in both bright and low light conditions.

Integrating the HD video solution with existing access control and alarm systems was no issue for the team at Integrated Security Resources.

One of the most important aspects of the installation of the new solution was the constant support they received. Dahua prides itself on its technical support and services, helping their partnered integrators in any way they can. The technical support is paramount in the success of any installation.

“Any questions we had were always immediately taken care of. The whole team is incredibly responsive,” said Braden. “Down the road, something in electronics will inevitably fail. Dahua technical support makes it so easy to fix these issues and will get you back on track with minimal downtime.”

“Our clients are very pleased with how their new system has been performing,” Braden said. “With all of the new functionalities provided by the video surveillance system, employees feel that the center is better secured.”

Providing a natural deterrent and keeping surveillance on the exterior of the building, the new cameras allowed employees to more safely asses a situation when a victim arrived. They found that this allowed them a greater reaction time, with the ability to instantly see the parking lot and entrance area. Having cameras securing the victims, employees, and legal paperwork inside on the center has allowed staff to better understand what is happening within the facility and have better peace of mind.

As an added benefit, the newly installed cameras came in handy when an incident took place next door. “A burglary took place at one of the neighboring businesses; thankfully we were actually able to use the security footage (from the new cameras) to help identify a suspect for them,” Dinger said. “The new system is much easier to use, has perfect picture quality and makes us feel safer.

Unlike deploying an IP system, which forces integrators to rip and replace the existing infrastructure, the solution allowed for a simple and quick installation.

“Deploying an HD over Coax solution always makes our job easier,” Braden said. “These systems have so many benefits, especially for those who cannot have their video surveillance system down for an extended amount of time.”

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Security Today.

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