“Fun Safe Philly Summer” Provides Secure Alternative for City Youth
• “Fun Safe Philly Summer” provides secure alternative for city youth
• Video surveillance system deters potential threats
Hikvision Products in Use at City of Philadelphia
• DS-2CD7254 3MP WDR Outdoor Network Camera
• DS-2CD753F 2MP Vandal Resistant Network Dome Camera
• DS-2CD7153E 2MP Network Mini Dome Camera
• DS-9616NI-ST High-end Embedded NVR
• DS-9632NI Embedded NVR
• iVMS 4200 Video Management Software
Reasons City of Philadelphia selected Hikvision Products
• Unified video surveillance solution linked into a central management system
• Affordable cameras and VMS system with a simple licensing scheme
• Scalable networked system
• Durable, vandal-proof and outdoor cameras
With a population of over 1.5 million residents, Philadelphia is the United States’ fifth most populous city. Home to many national historical sites, the city is known for arts and culture, and also serves as Pennsylvania’s center of economic activity as home to several Fortune 500 companies.
Known as “The City of Brotherly Love,” the city’s ethnic populations provide cultural diversity for which the city is well known. Coupling population diversity with the East Coast’s second largest student concentration, it’s clear that city public safety officials face significant challenges that must be addressed to ensure safety for city residents and visitors.
Philadelphia also boasts a wealth of outdoor venues and Recreation Centers, providing city youth with opportunities to participate in structured activities. City and Rec Center staff aim for the centers to be safe havens where kids and teens can get involved with sports, art and learning as a healthy alternative to the potentially dangerous allure of inner city street life.
In the summer of 2014, the City of Philadelphia promoted the “Fun Safe Philly Summer” initiative to connect youth and their families to free and low-cost summer activities. The program comprised events at Recreation Centers throughout the city.
Serving thousands of Philadelphians each year, the Department of Parks and Recreation understands that situational awareness is critical to mitigate risks that come from security and safety vulnerabilities at city Recreation Centers. To ensure the success of the “Fun Safe Philly Summer” initiative, Parks and Recreation officials, led by Susan Slawson, Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, acknowledged the value of using video surveillance to deter crime in high risk areas.
Recognizing a need for surveillance capabilities, Parks and Recreation staff worked closely with City of Philadelphia engineers to develop a high standard for CCTV system design. Using the video surveillance system as a deterrent, the City of Philadelphia sought to curb unlawful and dangerous activity at basketball courts, stairways, exits and entryways in and around the Rec Centers.
In implementing the system, the Parks and Recreation department recognized that they would need to connect disparate security services to collaborate on strategy, technology and effective mutual communication. Existing public safety technology solutions meant that each municipal department was potentially operating on a different system, so it was crucial to provide a unified video surveillance solution in the recreation centers that could be linked into a central management system. As infrastructure would be gradually upgraded throughout the city, they needed to find a system that could stay intact during the project.
The system had to be affordable with a simple licensing scheme for cameras and VMS. For future expansion, the system needed to be scalable so that it could be networked. Also, to cover the needs of this application, the city needed durable, vandal-proof and outdoor cameras as well.
After carefully considering their needs and evaluating a broad variety of market offerings, the city selected high-performance video surveillance cameras, NVRs, and VMS technology from Hikvision to protect the city.
Hikvison’s reliable feature-rich VMS 4200 Video Management Software was an ideal solution to enable system components to easily communicate with each other and with units made by other manufacturers. Philadelphia-based security system integrators also installed Hikvision 2MP and 3MP network cameras in several of the recreation centers to take advantage of the cameras’ wide dynamic range and true day/night functionality.
In addition to gathering footage from the immediate vicinity, the cameras installed at recreation facilities capture clear images of surrounding areas, such as activity across the street. The security team monitors footage from cameras stationed on building exteriors to keep an eye on would-be perpetrators and vandals.
The video surveillance systems have been hugely successful in keeping the Recreation Centers safe. Commissioner Slawson reports that the success of this initiative was a key factor in convincing the city council to pledge budget investment to outfit all 140 Rec Centers with CCTV by 2016. The cost efficiency of Hikvision products, combined with their innovative technology, allows for greater return on investment. This gives the city the ability to outfit more recreation centers, creating a safer environment overall.
A 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, Commissioner Slawson well understands the importance of comprehensive surveillance in relation to crime reduction. Superior image quality from Hikvision cameras at the city’s recreation centers plays a key role in coordination with the police.
“Where we were faced with vandalism, loitering, and burglaries before, the numbers decreased immediately once we outfitted our facilities with cameras,” said Susan Slawson. “With the introduction of Hikvision video surveillance equipment, not only are we covering our sites, we can also tell what’s going on in the streets and coordinate with the police department if need be.”
Urban environments equipped with little or legacy security technologies mean that surveillance systems are stretched to the limit in many areas. As the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation initiative illustrates, video surveillance can enhance a safe city, providing a whole new life for recreational facilities whose use had eroded due to negative influences. With Hikvision products in use, Commissioner Slawson is encouraged that Philadelphia youth will be able to use these valuable Parks and Recreation resources long into the future. “We don’t just want a ‘fun, safe, Philly summer;’ we want a fun, safe, Philly,” she reports.