Security Management Systems Installs 1,000+ Cameras for Massive N.Y. Complex

The scale and scope is staggering. Integrator Security Management Systems designs and deploys a comprehensive security solution featuring 1,183 cameras for a Manhattan-based development’s 110-building, 80-acre site encompassing more than 30,000 residents. See why the amazing multiyear project won SSI‘s 2011 Integrated Installation of the Year Award.

Our story begins in 2005 when Rose Associates on behalf of New York City’s Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town — one of the world’s largest apartment complexes — issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the design and upgrade of an integrated video surveillance and access control solution. A “city within a city,” the private housing community located on the East Side of Manhattan comprises 110 buildings on an 80-acre campus.

In 2006, Great Neck, N.Y.-based Security Management Systems (SMS) was awarded the contract to engineer, install and manage the construction of campus-wide security upgrades following a competitive RFP process that some of the largest security integration firms in the country bid on. The new security system was part of a major renovation project at the complex that included new walkways, lobbies, elevators and playgrounds. 

Still in progress today, the sheer magnitude of the project alone is impressive. But what really set it apart to earn SMS SSI‘s 2011 Integrated Installation of the Year award was the firm’s success in implementing a best-in-class security system, on time and on budget. In addition, it was accomplished without downtime or disruption of services to the sprawling, iconic housing community.

Launched in 2002, the Integrated Installation of the Year program judges entries based on innovation; systems design; integration of at least three electronic systems; seamlessness of installation; uniqueness of application; and end-user satisfaction. Other particularly worthy finalists this year were Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) of Milwaukee and Stanley Convergent Security Solutions (CSS) of Naperville, Ill.

Adept at Advanced Solutions

Founded in 1978 by Al Albrecht, together with son Craig, SMS is staffed by industry-leading technicians, engineers and programmers who design, build and manage a full range of integrated security systems. The company, which places special emphasis on remote support and managed services, also offers expertise in access control, video surveillance and analytics, intercom systems, turnstiles, perimeter/intrusion protection and mass notification systems.

“While SMS has a core competence in physical security applications, we take it a step further by providing an IT-centric approach to deployment and ongoing support. This way our clients receive high availability of their applications that are easily scalable as their needs grow,” explains Craig Albrecht.

SMS has designed and managed enterprise security systems for some of the most notable and recognizable buildings in the Big Apple. The independent integrator serves a blue-chip client roster including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, multitenant residential developments, commercial high-rise facilities, hospitals, and K-12 and higher education campuses.

Securing a Small City

Most towns and many small cities have fewer residents and visitors than the 30,000 inhabiting Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town, a collection of red brick apartment buildings containing one- to five-bedroom units. The non-gated complex, with 11,250 apartments, stretches from First Avenue to Avenue C and from 14th to 23rd Streets.

Overlooking the East River in Manhattan, the apartment buildings are set within a beautifully landscaped park. In addition to many playgrounds and athletic courts, the community offers onsite parking, storage, a seasonal greenmarket, and free music and movies on the Oval, the center of the complex.

Firms were requested to design and construct user-friendly, fully integrated systems that would maximize the efficiency of an already professional and well trained security force.

“In New York City, and other major cities, security is essential but also an amenity that ensures tenant and visitor safety,” Al Albrecht (referred to as Albrecht for rest of article) explains.

Among the many objectives of the project: accelerating awareness of incidents requiring response and rapid access to archived video for forensic review. After an extensive and lengthy evaluation process, SMS was chosen by Rose Associates.

“SMS demonstrated to management that our solution provided superior performance. Our team also detailed how we would be able to manage the installation of more than four miles of conduit, cabling and devices with a streamlined, methodical approach,” says Albrecht. “The specifications were generic so we surveyed the project building by building to determine optimum access control, and camera locations in conjunction with available power and other building services.”

The first phase of the installation spanned three years and was completed in 2010.

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