After more than a year of research, pilots, and planning, the Indy Public Safety Foundation (IPSF), in collaboration with IMPD and Indianapolis government officials, announced in July that a new public safety initiative, b-link Indy, is finally live and operational.
As one of Indianapolis's longest-standing fire and security companies, Koorsen Fire & Security is proud to be part of this initiative as one of its official certified integrators.
What is b-link INDY?
b-link INDY is a collaborative effort by local city government, the IPSF, and IMPD, to utilize new technologies to "help extend the impact, efficacy, and safety of both police officers and community members," explains Mr. Dane Nutty, Executive Director of IPSF. It is "aimed at reducing crime and enhancing public safety in Indianapolis."
Specifically, the b-link initiative will enable city residents and business owners to share their security camera footage with IMPD in the event of criminal activity or public safety incidents within their proximity.
The initiative has two sub-programs: b-link Home and b-link Pro.
b-link Home allows home owners to register their contact information and the location of their already existing security cameras with IMPD. In the event that an incident occurs within the proximity of a registered camera, IMPD will then request consent from the security camera's owner to review footage. Consent must be given before IMPD can collect and review the camera footage.
b-link Pro, on the other hand, enables IMPD to have immediate access to a business' live and recorded, public-facing security camera feed through cloud-based and Genetec server technologies, allowing Indianapolis businesses to partner with IMPD and IPSF to keep Indy safe.
How Does b-link Pro Work?
As stated above, when a business partners with the b-link Pro program, it allows IMPD to have access to their system's exterior camera views through either cloud or Genetec server technologies.
These feeds are only accessed if and when a public safety or criminal incident occurs within the camera's geographic proximity. However, the feed's simple availability will significantly improve the IMPD's ability to see, respond, and investigate incidents in near real-time.
Furthermore, as criminals learn that business' external cameras are linked with the police department, participating in the program will also act as a major deterrent to criminal activity on your premises.
As already mentioned, b-link Pro uses both cloud and on-premise solutions to facilitate IMPD's access to live and recorded camera feeds, so businesses of all sizes and budgets can partner using a solution that best fits their needs.
- Cloud Solution: b-link Pro cloud solutions will make it easy for businesses who do not yet have a surveillance system or those who already have compatible cloud-based camera systems to join the program.
Only two exterior, cloud-based, b-link compatible cameras are required, along with sufficient internet speeds, making it an easy solution for those who currently have no cameras.
To participate, a business simply needs to contact a certified integrator, like Koorsen, through the b-link team to find out what, if anything, they need to make their system compatible and to get it connected to b-link.
Once the compatible cameras are set up and/or connected to b-link, the cameras' live feed will be available, via the cloud, to the IMPD's Incident Analysis Center (IAC). If an incident occurs within a geographic proximity of the camera, IMPD can then access the live feed from that camera.
- On-Premise Solution: the on-premise solution was designed in collaboration with Koorsen Fire & Security for large businesses, apartment complexes, HOAs, etc., that already have robust, in-house video surveillance systems but which are not cloud-based / remote accessible.
Though the cloud-based solution does much to enhance the city's public safety, it may not be cost effective with larger surveillance systems, which can easily have 20 or more cameras at work. The on-premise solution also plays to the advantage of a customer that already has IP or analog cameras in place in order to reutilize them with the program. IMPD, IPSF, and local officials wanted to make b-link's impact more effective by developing a way to include these larger systems and approached Koorsen to develop a solution.
Koorsen eagerly rose to the task.
For the on-premise solution, a business will work with Koorsen to set up a Genetec server specifically for the b-link program. The server will be connected with the pre-existing cameras and will then act as the conduit for feeding camera views back to IMPD's IAC.
As with the cloud-based partners, when an incident occurs within geographic proximity of on-premise partners, IMPD will then be able to access live and recorded camera views through their emergency response systems.
Whether you are a new, small business in the heart of downtown that has yet to purchase a security camera, or you manage a large warehouse protected by 40 surveillance cameras, you can help protect and improve your city by partnering with the b-link Pro initiative within the Indianapolis community.
Furthermore, if your business is within the mile square area, you may qualify to receive financial support from Downtown Indy investment for some of the equipment you may need to purchase in order to participate in the program.
Why Participate in b-link?
If you are a downtown Indy business, becoming a b-link Pro partner is your chance to do your part to help keep Indy a great place to be and to support your local government and law enforcement.
Over the past few years, IMPD and the city of Indianapolis have been striving to put enhanced technologies to work to better serve and protect the city of Indianapolis.
As part of these efforts, they observed two cities that implemented city wide security camera and surveillance initiatives: Detroit, MI, and New Orleans, LA.
- Past Success: Detroit's initiative, Project Green Light, which launched in 2016, saw a 48% reduction in violent crimes at the participating locations within the first 12 months.
The program now has over 500 participating businesses, and the DPD continues to see significant reductions in violent crimes at participating locations. New Orleans' initiative, SafeCam NOLA, experienced similar results.
- Present Momentum: After observing their success, and with a desire to create a similar program for Indy, IMPD and the city of Indianapolis began making technological enhancements that made b-link possible.
In 2019, IMPD and IPSF ran a successful, six-month program with three downtown Indy businesses and were able to launch the program for the public this summer.
To date, over 400 cameras have already been registered through the b-link Indy program, and five business locations are now fully participating as partners through the b-link Pro. Thirty-five more businesses are in the process of becoming partners.
- Future Potential: What makes this opportunity both unique and exciting is that it allows local businesses and entities to partner with city officials and law enforcement in reducing crime, increasing public safety, and improving Indy's downtown experience, while simultaneously enhancing their own security efforts.
For the b-link initiative to be truly effective, however, more businesses are needed to partner in this endeavor to increase the network of coverage.
By participating, businesses are not only improving their own security but are also demonstrating their commitment to public safety and helping Indianapolis be a safer, more enjoyable place to live, work, and play.
What are the Details?
Interested in partnering with b-link Pro and helping make Indy a safer, better place to be? Here are the basic details:
- Cloud Solution starts at $1,800 for two compatible cameras and installation
- On-Premise Solution starts at $3,500 for server installation and connecting existing cameras with server
- Cloud Solution incurs a $20 (+/-) per camera per month recurring service fee
- On-Premise Solution incurs an annual software support fee
- Technology Compatibilities:
- Cloud Solution requires a minimum of two b-link compatible, Stratocast connected, edge-based cameras and reliable internet with minimum upload speeds of 10Mbps
- On-Premise Solution requires a pre-existing security camera system or installation of a new camera system, an on-site, Genetec server, and a reliable internet connection with minimum upload speeds of 10Mbps.
- Financial assistance: Financial assistance is available on a first-come, first-serve basis to businesses within the qualifying geographic range of the Indianapolis downtown mile square area. Qualifying businesses may receive $1,800 or more credit toward equipment and installation services needed to connect its cameras with the b-link program. Talk to your certified integrator to learn more.
Costs and fees will vary depending on your current system and specific needs.
How Do You Become a b-link Pro Partner?
Whether you already have a robust security camera system or you have none at all, every interested potential partner begins the same way – contact a certified integrator to find out what your next step should be.
Koorsen is proud to be a part of launching the b-link Pro initiative and is ready to help answer your questions and get you connected.
As a b-link integrator who is certified to perform both cloud-based and on-premise solutions, you can rely on them to get you started with the solution that's best for your business.
Call Koorsen today to get started protecting your business and your city by becoming a b-link pro partner today.