In existence since the late 1930s, the Trenton Housing Authority (THA) provides decent and affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents throughout the city of Trenton, New Jersey, USA. Its mission is to provide safe and sanitary housing for residents and to lead them toward self-sufficiency. For the past 30 years, the THA has served nearly 2,000 households. Today, the THA is an autonomous body that is chartered by the State of New Jersey, partially funded by the federal government and governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners.
Previously, the THA relied on 11 unarmed officers patrolling various developments to maintain safety and security. Due to the prevalence of drugs and guns in the area, this was a dangerous situation for both the unarmed officers and the THA residents. As a result, THA officials sought to create a safer environment, where people could feel comfortable walking to and from their housing units, regardless of the time of day. Officials also wanted to provide officers with tools that could help them become more efficient and effective. To accomplish this, THA officials began by distributing an RFP to security companies with the goal of creating safer surroundings for THA residents and officers. After a careful ranking process based on a variety of factors, the THA selected integrator ComTec Systems, Inc. of Vineland, N.J. As ComTec employees began to address the needs and concerns of the authority, they realised the THA needed a full-scale security initiative, so they set about to design a unique solution.
Since the housing communities were spread across multiple locations throughout the city, THA officials sought complete convergence of all THA video. Officials also needed the video to be centralised so they could manage it more cost-effectively. "One of the challenges in our industry is gathering information from locations across an entire city and sending it back to one location. And how do you balance cost and technology effectively, so it works?" says Michael Vertolli, president of ComTec Systems. In response to these needs, ComTec designed a unique wireless network to transmit CCTV, access and other data to a command and control centre. The wireless solution proved to be especially economical, since it did not require putting fibre in the ground and trenching or digging up existing environments. A critical piece of the installation is Honeywell's MAXPRO® VMS - a unique video management system that bridges the gap between analogue and digital video systems.
A critical piece of the installation is Honeywell's MAXPRO VMS - a unique video management system
Using the facility’s existing video infrastructure, MAXPRO VMS collects, manages and presents video in a crystal-clear way. “MAXPRO VMS is ideal for a central command centre where multiple operators are required to view numerous cameras all at the same time,” explains Maureen Bruen, regional sales manager of Honeywell’s Video Systems. “For the THA, this solution enables the integration of all camera systems and provides a single user interface to manage the entire system.” Now, multiple operators can share incidents with other operators using simple drag-and-drop functionality. This increases operator productivity and, most importantly, reduces investigation time. The THA works closely with local police departments to solve any crimes that occur in their jurisdiction. With this technology in place, officials can make real-time decisions about investigations. Police can come to the THA command centre to view any criminal activity, and camera shots can also be sent to a desktop in a patrol car, further aiding investigations. The THA is extremely pleased with this powerful system. Since its implementation, crime has decreased, and illegal dumping and unauthorised use of certain areas has also been significantly reduced. Most importantly, the community feels secure, fulfilling the THA's mission to create safer communities for its residents.