Community Connect at the Back of the Yards

June 3, 2020

Summary

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.

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.

The company

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.

The challenge

“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

Results

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.

Stratocast

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