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Biometrics - Case Studies

Village of Hoffman Estates deploys Brivo’s Wireless Access Control System to enhance security throughout the town
The Village won the 2007 Exceptional Performance-Safety Award by Chicago Metro chapter of the American Public Works Association
Brivo's access control solution has enhanced building security throughout the town

The situation

The Village of Hoffman Estates is spread out over twenty-six square miles northeast of Chicago, Illinois. After its founding in 1959, the Village has steadily grown to a population of more than 51,000 residents, served by a full complement of municipal staff and services.

The challenge

In 2002, the Department of Public Works faced multiple challenges to cost-effectively upgrade its access control system over such a large area while avoiding the cost and time required to install and maintain a number of new phone lines. The Village was looking for a cost-effective, Web-based system that could be accessed from anywhere. Budget considerations also dictated that any system upgrade would have to be implemented over a number of years, while being capable of integrating with existing and future systems including video surveillance. In the post-9/11 world, the Village lso began planning in earnest to protect its water tower, wells, and chlorine substations; other key infrastructure; and the staff who serve the Village residents.

The solution

Selecting Brivo, the Village used a phased implementation over five years in which they have been able to upgrade software along the way, use different installation vendors as dictated by their bid process, and integrate with other technologies to bring multiple buildings, vehicles, and doors onto a system managed by one control interface. The Village utilises Brivo’s advanced Web-enabled and wireless access control system to enhance security for key buildings and critical infrastructure throughout the town.

Brivo ACS4000 Web-enabled panels and readers installed at the Village police station
Brivo wireless panels installed to control access to the Village’s water towers and the chlorine facility

In the early phases, Brivo ACS4000 Web-enabled panels and readers were installed at the Village police station and Brivo wireless panels have been installed to control access to the Village’s water towers and the chlorine facility. The Village has been able to mix and match transmission technologies to best fit their needs and budget. Other major advantages are the flexibility and integration potential of the Brivo platform.

Phase III, which was recently completed, included expanding access coverage with the Brivo ACS5000 to the Village Hall, the Public Works Center, the Vehicle Maintenance Building, and four fi re stations. These installations are all Ethernet-based and Web controlled. This phase also included installation of multiple DVRs and more than 20 surveillance cameras integrated onto the Brivo platform.

The highlights

  • Paul Petrenko, the Village’s Facilities Manager, assessed the Brivo system: “Our initial plans were with the remote sites, we didn’t want to install phone lines everywhere. Brivo offered cellular transmission along with Ethernet, and with a Web-enabled system, we didn’t have to maintain servers and get our IT department involved. Brivo provides data storage and management. And front-end installation costs were kept low, so we were able to do this on budget.”
  • Petrenko on overall system performance, “The Brivo system is fantastic. It’s logical and easy to use—I didn’t even need to read the manuals.”
  • Village administrators have programmed the system to fulfill a number of critical functions. Every day staff members receive an “exception report,” which flags activity for investigation: propped or forced doors, unauthorised access attempts, and repeated attempts for access by someone who may actually need such access.
  • The system has also been programmed to send alerts to handheld devices in the event of system or communications failure, problems at the water supply facilities, and more.
  • One of the major advantages of the Brivo Online Access Control system is virtually unlimited access and control without buying and loading any software. Petrenko often accesses the system from his home office and even when on vacation by handheld device. On one occasion, he unlocked an access gate to the water treatment plant for a vendor from hundreds of miles away.
  • Tom Murdock of Initial Electronics, who has overseen later phase installation and integration, noted, from an integrator standpoint, how proactive Brivo is in upgrading their application and hardware. “Brivo is always addressing issues that fit an integrator’s needs; they listen.”
  • Everything on the system is hosted by Brivo, so the Village does not have to worry about data back-up. For the Village of Hoffman Estates, Brivo brought costs down for initial installation and saved the end-user a substantial amount of money — while delivering superior system performance, service, and support.
  • With the Brivo Online Access Control solution, the Village of Hoffman Estates won the 2007 Exceptional Performance-Safety Award given by the Chicago Metro chapter of the American Public Works Association.

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