The Herb Chambers car dealership in Boston has a large and valuable inventory protcted by motion dectors and interated digital video monitoring equipment.
The sprawling Herb Chambers car lots, which made up the better part of a city block in downtown Boston, were for a time a perfect playground for a game of hide-and-go-seek, if not the most secure of campuses. Today, the local children won’t find many good hiding spots; but considering the tradeoff in security, the car lot company seems to have come out ahead.

What changed things was the application of a state-of-the-art security system. Thanks to motion detectors and integrated digital video monitoring equipment from Vision Systems, Norwell, Mass., and Smart Interactive Systems (SIS), the New York security firm hired by Herb Chambers to design, install and administer the system, the entire facility is now protected from theft and vandalism.

From this centralized monitoting station in New York, Smart Interactive Systems monitors multiple high-security sites. Interactive management software can alert to an intrusive and pinpoint an intruder's location.

From guards to technology

I'd say the old system was obsolete,” said SIS Regiona It is not uncommon for facilities to deal with separate vendors for various needs like an alarm/access-control system, security video system and guard service. But Herb Chambers asked SIS to put together a custom-designed system that met all three needs. To assemble this comprehensive package, SIS in turn brought in Vision Systems.

In addition to installing about 30 more video cameras at the Herb Chambers facility, SIS chose Vision System’s ADPRO Pro 250, a passive infrared motion detector designed for perimeter protection. The long-range device could detect motion up to 300 feet away in any weather. Used in conjunction with interactive management software, the equipment would instantly alert the system operator to an intrusion and pinpoint an intruder’s location. An SIS operator at the company’s CMS in New York would assess video of the situation and respond accordingly.

Within a month of installation in October 2003, the new surveillance system led to the arrest of three men who were trying to steal car parts.

“Our main goal is to scare intruders off,” Harrow explained. “In the case of the would-be car-parts thieves, the intruders heard the audio warning, but the police response was so quick they were still on the property when the authorities arrived.”

When police are called to the scene, the operator in New York can send video of the intruder via a high-speed Internet connection and direct a responding officer with two-way audio.

Pertinent video and audio is stored for potential use by law enforcement agencies. A DVR instantly retrieves up to 120 days worth of evidence-quality archived video in addition to providing live video of the monitored site. Its image-compression capability is complemented by Video Central Gold software, which communicates with the DVR and supplies the operator with a four-picture snapshot of what caused the alarm. The CMS records activity on the site when the car lots are closed. Although the video cameras are always on, there has to be motion in a camera’s field of view (the pixels have to change) for recording to begin.

An extra benefit to the car lot is an on-site system that enhances the company’s capability for internal policing. Managers have ADPRO Video Central Lite software on their personal computers and can access live surveillance video and up to 30 days worth of archived video. This can help management.