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, ID., 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-dis- ciplinary 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.
Upgrading security measures
While video surveillance is a key factor in any security system, outdated equipment can create critical vulnerabilities and leave a facility unprotected. The team at Faces of Hope reached out to Darren Braden, Regional Sales Director at Dahua
's All-star Dealer — Integrated Security Resources (ISR), after noticing their aging analog video system was no longer performing optimally. Darren at ISR 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.
"Meeting with Dahua, it was clear that they were eager to help us in any way they could," said Braden. "Upgrading the older cameras was a must for the Victims Center, so having Dahua donate their 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," said Paige Dinger of Faces of Hope. "Our technology was outdated, and the cameras were capturing blurry images." All of this made it difficult to ensure the safety of those at the facility and protect the sensitive case information housed in the building for the legal services they provide victims.
HD over Coax (HDCVI) was used to give the system a much-needed 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 Dahua cameras featuring Smart Infrared (IR) and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technologies.
These new cameras allow for the superior clarity of the real-time 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 Penta-brid 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.
"Due to the nature of our work, we felt it was important to update the security and ensure that every aspect of the building was safe," said Dinger. 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.
Night surveillance capabilities
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." said Dinger.
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 new Dahua HD video solution with existing access control and alarm systems was no issue for the team at Integrated Security Resources. "The installation went very smoothly," said Braden 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," said Braden. "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," said Dinger. She continued, "The new system is much easier to use, has perfect picture quality and makes us feel safer. Dahua's generosity is greatly appreciated, and the quality of their products is unmatched, we would 100% recommend Dahua to anyone looking for a security system.”
Unlike deploying an IP system, which forces integrators to rip and replace the existing infrastructure, the Dahua solution allowed for a simple and quick installation. "Deploying an HD over Coax solution always makes our job easier," said Braden. "These systems have so many benefits, especially for those who cannot have their video surveillance system down for an extended amount of time.”