Securing a Sanctuary

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

Slotnick’s integrator on the project was the Aronson Security Group. Slotnick provided the performance specifications he was looking for and Aronson found the products that could do the job. In the case of the exterior cameras, Aronson chose the P3346-VE series by AXIS Communications of Lund, Sweden. P3346-VE is a 3-mega­pixel fixed-dome network camera with IR illuminators. These cameras are integrated with a suite of video analytics software by Mate Intelligent Video, Inc., USA, of Norwalk, Connecticut, and exacqVision video management software by Exacq Technologies of Fishers, Indiana.

The cameras are programmed to detect approaching movement during nonoperational hours. If a camera spots someone coming up to the synagogue late at night, for instance, an alarm will trigger and, additionally, the analytics software will send camera images to a smartphone so that the rabbi or others appointed by him can ascertain what is occurring and notify 911 if the situation appears to warrant it. They can also look at the camera feed via an IP address on the Internet. The alarms do not, as of now, report to a central monitoring service or command center. This decision was made for monetary reasons. Slotnick notes that the solution was this “virtual” command center, with the rabbi—who lives nearby—and his trusted assistants having the ability to view the video via computer whenever they wish.

The exterior cameras are also programmed to look for items left behind, so if at any time of day someone approaches the Chabad House and leaves a package by the door, an alarm condition will result.

Inside the Chabad House, watching the sanctuary and the principal entrances are AXIS P1343 dome cameras. These are non­analytic. All of the feed from the cameras runs to a server for storage that is located in the rabbi’s office. There is no redundant server now, but as finances permit, Slotnick says he will look at a cloud storage solution for backing the system up.

When the synagogue is not in use, the doors will be locked. All the exterior doors and rooms such as the rabbi’s office, the kitchen, and the social hall are controlled by a cardkey access system. Following Slotnick’s specifications, Aronson chose proximity readers and cards by HID of Irvine, California, that are integrated with a Web-based management software called Pronto, by S2 Security of Framingham, Massachusetts, that is designed for nonsecurity personnel. The user interface features a home page that acts as a simple system dashboard.


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