The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC) is a non-profit organization serving Chicago’s Southwest side in the United States. The BYNC recently launched a Community Connect program, collaborating with local businesses to expand video coverage and improve urban safety.
Explore this project in photos
The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC) is a non-profit organization serving a large area of Chicago’s Southwest side in the United States. The BYNC offers social and economic programs to help improve their communities and surrounding areas. They also manage numerous Special Service Areas (SSAs) which use a local tax levy to fund additional services and programs. For example, one of the services provided within SSA #10, the 47th, and Ashland retail district, is enhanced security. This bustling district has seen its share of vandalism, theft, and other delinquencies.
To keep residents and businesses safe, the BYNC had hired a security firm to patrol the neighborhood. While guards kept watchful eyes on the community, costs for the services stretched the SSA’s budget. It was also a challenge to know for certain if the guards were patrolling as needed and if it was effectively reducing crime. The BYNC went in search of a more affordable solution that would offer them better visibility and results. Together, the BYNC, police commander, aldermen, and 7 commissioners decided that adding video surveillance cameras around the community would be the best solution.
“Genetec Stratocast doesn’t just benefit the businesses, but the entire community. It’s adding more value and security to our neighborhood, and that has been our goal from the start.”
Fabiola Flores, SSA#10 Program Manager and Business Development Coordinator
The BYNC chose the Genetec Stratocast cloud surveillance system which allowed them to launch Community Connect. It’s a Genetec framework that facilitates public-private collaboration to improve urban safety. With the help of their integrator, Procom, and Genetec, SSA #10 began a campaign to get local businesses involved. SSA #10 offered to subsidize one video camera along with the cost of the system installation to all participating businesses.
While the program is still in its early stages, the BYNC currently has over 10 businesses onboard in SSA #10. As time ticks on and news of the project spreads throughout the community, the BYNC is confident that more businesses will sign up. When a business owner in SSA #10 decides to participate, BYNC’s system integrator, Procom, meets with shop owners for an initial consultation. On the next visit, Procom handles the installation and system training.
Keeping eyes on the community
When a security incident is reported by a business owner, the SSA team will quickly handle preliminary investigations from their office and retrieve video to see if they can spot anything.
Collaborating for success
Chicago’s OEMC operators can pull up video from community cameras during emergencies. This is enabled by the Federation™ feature, which allows them to manage many Genetec systems as one.
Easy installation and viewing
The camera installation, system setup, and user training are completed in Stratocast mobile app to easily check their video footage from anywhere.
Doing more with surveillance
Using the video system, the SSA#10 team check-in on community maintenance such as verifying if sidewalks were de-iced, debris was cleared from roadways, and fallen branches were collected.
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