Building A Safe Community – a Case Study

Aug-11 Network-Centric SecurityThe cover story in this month’s Network-Centric Security magazine is Building A Safe Community.

It is an interesting case study, detailing the unique security challenges facing Northridge Cooperative Homes, a non-profit housing development in the Bayview-Hunters Point area of San Francisco. The article starts out:

The community campus is located next to a decommissioned naval shipyard, Hunters Point, and near San Francisco’s downtown area situated in one of the city’s prime hilltop locations. However, the area surrounding the community contains some of San Francisco’s rougher neighborhoods.

It’s a security struggle that many condo associations and housing authorities endure: safely managing their interior grounds while holding at bay outside threats with no ties to the community.

They started out with just 24-hour guards, but:

What they didn’t account for at first, however, was that, as a large open site with multiple buildings that lacked any secure perimeter, the property presented substantial opportunity for trespassing, illegal dumping and general criminal activity. With only street lighting in place, perpetrators could use the low-light conditions at night to their advantage, as most criminals do.

After repeated incidents, NCH realized it needed a surveillance system in place—and fast—to establish safer grounds for its community members and help reduce the crime, vandalism, violence and illegal drug activity. Specifically, NCH sought out a system that would monitor vehicles and their occupants entering the community and capture vehicle license plate numbers.

NCH chose San Francisco-based integrator Applied Video Solutions:

Northridge Cooperative HomesNCH enlisted the expertise of local integrator Applied Video Solutions to provide a full security and system needs analysis at the property. The integrator completed a full site survey and needs assessment, and designed a tailor-made video management solution that would aid in tackling the various challenges of the community and help manage the specific issues of the property’s aesthetic layout.

Applied Video Solutions’ analysis provided NCH with a clear understanding of what it would need to control when it came to physical security. The question then became, given the challenges of the site, what technology should NCH use in order to deliver the desired outcomes?

After significant lab and field testing, including a wireless interference survey, products from Axis Communications, Exacq Technologies and Hautespot Wireless Networks were selected for their performance and reliability.

The full article makes great reading and is available here. This installation was also highlighted in a case study done by Applied Video, available here.

This installation will also be featured in the seminar entitled "Run a Tight Ship: New Tools to Enhance Site Security" at the upcoming AHMA-NCNH Conference in Santa Clara, Sept 15-16.

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