L.A. Mission Heightens Security With IP Video Upgrades

By Ashley Willis

LOS ANGELES — In response to a string of thefts, the Los Angeles (L.A.) Mission, a nonprofit organization serving the homeless in this city’s infamous Skid Row, recently upgraded to a scalable IP video surveillance system.

With the help of Costa Mesa, Calif.-based ISO Integration (ISO), the organization manages roughly 75 cameras with the Avigilon HD surveillance system. Prior to the upgrade, the L.A. Mission viewed footage from its analog cameras on three antiquated DVRs, L.A. Mission Vice President of Facilities/Operations Ron Rector tells SSI.

“It was hard to download and view recorded material,” he says. “I only had five to seven days of history to review. Whenever an incident occurred, and either I or my security manager had to review it, it was like the world was coming to an end.”

The integrator used encoders to allow all analog cameras to be reused, ISO IP Video Sales Manager David Darling tells SSI. The company installed Avigilon HD cameras with H.264 compression to monitor the perimeter of the 156,000-square-foot facility. The Avigilon control center network video management software (NVMS) with HD stream management allows L.A. Mission to view footage from a desktop computer or remotely. Additionally, the mission can now store more than 30 days of continuous video footage.

Located in a highly violent area, the mission requested that ISO add a camera that would hang in front of the building and monitor the sidewalk, says Darling. The integrator determined that the best place to connect the camera would be on a light pole located inside the mission’s fencing area.

[IMAGE]372[/IMAGE]“The biggest challenge was figuring out how we were going to do it,” says Darling. “With the light pole inside the courtyard fencing area, the mission would have to look through the fence or at an angle that would make it difficult to see the sidewalk. I had to custom design a three-and-a-half-foot extension. I sent the drawings over to a welder and they fabricated a specific piece for the light pole installation.”

ISO provided training to the mission’s security team, helping group members to understand the product and teaching them how to access and extract required information. Additionally, the integrator upgraded the mission’s intercom system with roughly 125 speakers in three different zones, says Darling.

Rector says he chose ISO because it offered Avigilon equipment. “I received bids from three different companies, and each one was offering a different type of system,” he says. “I was looking for what would be best in the long run, and the Avigilon system seemed to be the most superior. It was actually more than what I budgeted for, but if you are going to do the process, you need to do it right. I couldn’t invest money in a system and still not be happy.”

The system has helped L.A. Mission reduce security management costs, says Rector. Prior to installing the system, the mission wanted to hire additional people to its security team. “This system really helps our night crew to supervise and secure our facilities,” he says. “We’ve always had cameras, but it was as if they were asleep. Now the word is out that the ‘eyelids’ are now open.” The mission plans to add more cameras to the system and to other remote locations.

Founded in 2009, ISO, which offers video surveillance and access control solutions to the commercial market, realizes that as a young company, it must do all it can to stir up business. “Even though we are a subsidiary to a 20-year-old company, we are a young business,” says Darling. “We have history and contacts, but it really comes down to sitting down and building relationships.”

While it sticks to traditional marketing tactics, such as press releases and mail advertisements, Darling says caring for customers’ needs is the company’s focus. “We’re not just out there to sell cameras. We are here to understand and solve problems related to video solutions, access control or property protection.”

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION magazine. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.


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