Though the term affordable housing may differ from region to region, the term's connotation and denotation unfortunately often carry a negative association. And due to the challenges often associated with affordable housing, nations and the world (as well as the cities within them) have taken differing approaches in how to best implement policy.
For example, in the United States, due to a variety of factors, the city of Chicago has opted to shutter the once ubiquitous high-rise facilities for smaller, less centralized options.
However, some New York City companies have taken a very different approach to improve conditions. Instead of removing tenants, state-of-the-art security has been installed to increase both the level of overall technology and quality of solution employed in these affordable housing facilities.
Building from the Foundation Up
While the goal of curbing tenant crime with a modern solution is an admirable goal, it is often much harder to actually implement in the field. It goes without saying that NYC is not the first place that has attempted to address this chronic issue with technology.
One such privately owned affordable housing facility, River Park Towers in the borough of the Bronx, New York served as a test case for just such a solution. For this project, Omni New York LLC (the parent company that owns the facility) utilized its affiliate, Reliant Safety, LLC to serve as installer of the security system. And as such, Reliant Safety chose a variety of Hikvision products to ensure success.
Reliant Safety's goal was to:
- Install iVMS management software to streamline and coordinate the solution
- Create a more secure atmosphere
- Install new cameras to provide comprehensive coverage, both inside and out
A Fresh Perspective
Ash Abolos, Vice President of Technology at Reliant Safety noted, "Initially, we wanted to create a new environment. A fresh start for the government assisted living facility. We felt if the rehab of the facility included cleaning of existing and adding extensive lighting, it would not only better the tenants' living environment - it would provide the basis for a more secure, and safe, facility."
Obviously from a security perspective, better lighting is key in proactively deterring crime and unwanted behavior. However, it is only the first step. The second step is for cameras to piggyback this deterrence quality and provide the means to actively respond to incidents.
Hikvision iVMS Software
While lighting represents the first step in improvement, from an overall perspective, the key to tying the whole solution together - and ultimately achieving success - is Hikvision's iVMS-5000 Integral Monitoring Management System Software.
"This software allows us to manage all of our new Hikvision cameras, as well as older preexisting models, on one convenient platform. In addition, iVMS-5000 Enterprise allows us to remotely link both the NYPD, as well as our own 24/7 private security personnel, to achieve quicker response times."
To achieve these quicker response times, Mr. Abolos selected two models of Hikvision cameras: the DS-2CD7133-E Mini Dome Camera and the DS-2CD2012 IR Mini Bullet Camera.
While in the process of concurrently rehabbing River Park Towers, 1400 units of this
DS-2CD7133-E Mini Dome Camera were placed throughout the lobbies, hallways, and stairwells of the facility's interior. Mr. Abolos explained, "This Hikvision model was chosen for a number of factors. Primarily, the DS-2CD7133-E provides very good image quality. Additionally, although placed indoors, its IK10 rating provides a level of protection against issues of tampering; it's a quality overall camera."
As noted, while lighting is vastly improved throughout the interior, the DS-2CD7133-E has a
super-low illumination and a day /night auto switch to serve as a backup for any lighting issues, should one suddenly arise.
With the interior secured, Reliant Safety opted for Hikvision's DS-2CD2012 IR Mini Bullet Camera to guard the Towers' exterior areas. Similar to the above situation, lighting is also dramatically improved in the adjacent outdoor environment.
Yet, in the same vein of guarding against any unforeseen future issues, this IR Mini Bullet provides a low illumination feature, true day / night, and an up-to 30m IR range just in case they are ever needed.
But in the present, the DS-2CD2012's 1.3 megapixel high resolution provides detailed coverage over both external access and perimeter control. As such, both main entrances and exits are covered, as well as courtyard areas and parking facilities. However, differing from the indoor dome, the DS-2CD2012's IP66 rating is utilized to protect against New York's notoriously tough weather conditions.
Through this usage of Hikvision hardware and software, Reliant Safety has already been successful in forcing out undesirable elements from River Park Towers. "We've already seen a huge decrease in crime. What's exciting is: we're only just beginning," summed up Mr. Abolos.