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Photo courtesy of Hikvision

Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce Chooses Hikvision Surveillance System

Chicago’s Chinatown community is one of the largest in North America with a 30-block commercial area that is home to more than 10,000 residents, and an estimated 400 businesses and community organizations. A key region for tourism, Chicago Chinatown receives a large influx of people arriving by car and via public transportation, especially on the weekends.

To preserve the safety of the neighborhood, both for tourists and residents, the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Chinatown Parking Corporation to determine key locations throughout the district where additional security cameras could be placed for increased surveillance.

Planning took several months and included meetings with both the chamber and the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Chicago police worked with Chicago-based integrator Vintech Systems, Inc., to provide a detailed outline of where existing security cameras were placed throughout the city, in addition to providing studies and statistics on local crime rates.

“The meetings helped us gather critical information to make decisions about placement of the Hikvision surveillance cameras. We wanted as much input from the community as possible to create the safe street environment for Chicago’s Chinatown,” says Sean Duffy, project manager at Vintech Systems.

Vintech, in conjunction with feedback from the CPD and Chinatown Chamber of Commerce members, selected 18 locations to place Hikvision security cameras.

“We felt that a 30 TB Hikvision NVR would guarantee the chamber a minimum of 30 days of storage per camera. This is the minimum that Vintech guarantees all its clients. And we wanted to ensure the 18 Chinatown locations would have more than enough recording capacity,” says Duffy.

It was also critical that various parties—the parking corporation, the chamber, and a mobile security patrol team—had access to live viewing and recordings. Using the Hikvision iVMS-4200 app, team members can view the camera footage from their computers and smartphones. An iPad Pro is used by the security patrol as well.

“We have a mobile security patrol team that accesses the Hikvision security system from an iPad for eight hours per day, including weekends,” says Simon Leung, operations manager at the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. “The flexibility of system access through multiple platforms has helped the chamber, security patrol, and law enforcement teams locate criminal trails and accurately track activity.”

“If the security patrol sees anything suspicious, they can manipulate the camera’s PTZ feature and further investigate the situation before driving over,” adds Duffy.

Vintech recommended 18 Hikvision DS-2DF6223-AEL 2MP Network PTZ Dome cameras with 23x optical zoom. The cameras were placed high on lamp posts in parking garages or intersections to gain a wide view of the area. “With the pan-tilt-zoom feature, the Hikvision security cameras can capture views from two to three lots down,” Duffy adds.

The Chinatown chamber hosts the 32-channel Hikvision DS-9632NI-I8 NVR in its central monitoring room and monitors live footage on a 32-inch screen during business hours. Chamber staff can also access footage from their smartphones and PCs using the app. Footage can be compiled going back 30 days.

“We also equipped each individual camera with a Hikvision DS-7204HGHI-SH Turbo HD DVR, which is compatible with the PTZ cameras installed on site as local backup. Paired with the wireless system we installed at each camera location, the chamber will never lose coverage,” says Duffy.

“The camera resolution is great. We monitor the live feed at the chamber office in case we need to contact authorities. We captured a crime in progress after one of the first cameras was installed, then handed that evidence over to our local police department and to the media. As a result of this project, we have gained more of a safety confidence about the city,” says Leung.

He adds that he would like to see security efforts expand to camera views across all sectors of Chinatown. “I think Hikvision systems can deliver reliable and quality images, acting as the dedicated eyes of the Chicago Chinatown community,” says Leung.

Heather Martin is an editor with Hikvision USA.