Columbia Bank, a Northwest community bank headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, sought to upgrade their video surveillance solution to improve image quality and retention time. They also wanted to maximize field of view to deliver a more forceful and expansive – yet, less intrusive – solution. Community banks are charged with keeping employees, customers and assets safe, but also need to present a warm and inviting environment since they are often a hub of civic activity. In-your-face video surveillance cameras in a bank can be threatening to any would-be criminal, but they are also off putting to customers that visit banks on a day-to-day basis. When vice president of physical security at Columbia Bank, Ross A. Armstrong and his team were evaluating camera solutions across its branches, they wanted to find a way to let customers know they were providing the latest in video security without the potentially intrusive analog cameras that often can be found just inches away from customers during transactions at the teller counter.
Working with Cook Security Group, Inc., Ross Armstrong decided to overhaul the video surveillance system of their 150-plus branches across the Northwest. They chose to install a mix of Hanwha Techwin models including Wisenet P series PNM-9000VQ multi-sensor / multi-directional outdoor vandal-proof dome cameras with 5-megapixel lens modules and Wisenet X series XND-8020F 5-megapixel indoor flush mount dome cameras. Columbia Bank is in the process of a multi-phase upgrade to convert their existing branches to Hanwha Techwin video surveillance cameras, to be managed by Genetec’s Security Center Omnicast Video Management System (VMS). The project began in June 2018 and has already deployed over 1,200 of Hanwha Techwin’s cameras across 80 locations, which will expand to another 60 sites in 2019, and 30 more in 2020. The video cameras serve as part of an overall physical security plan and are positioned to provide expansive coverage of bank interiors including teller lines, exteriors – including parking lots and surrounding areas – and ATM machines.
One reason that Armstrong chose Hanwha Techwin’s cameras was that they come bundled with many analytics. One useful analytics feature the Columbia Bank security team uses regularly is the loitering function, specifically at their ATM machines. If an individual is found loitering at one of Columbia Bank’s ATMs beyond a set time limit, the intelligent cameras programmed into Genetec’s Security Center will send an alert. Omnicast snaps a photo of the loiterer and emails it to everyone designated on the bank’s security team who can then take a look and swiftly determine whether or not somebody is utilizing the ATM as a customer or if they’re doing something they’re not supposed to, such as breaking into the ATM or installing an illegal skimmer.
Columbia Bank has long emphasized that they are a community bank that’s community minded. That’s why they made the decision to add video surveillance cameras to the exterior of all bank locations not only to protect their customers, but also to assist the community and law enforcement when incidents occur in areas surrounding their branches. So far, Columbia Bank has provided video evidence to help law enforcement investigate a variety of incidents including drive-by shootings, traffic accidents, and arson. Columbia Bank has been well served by the Hanwha Techwin-Genetec security solution and Armstrong said they are very satisfied with the performance of the system. “Hanwha Techwin has been a phenomenal partner for us,” he said. “And that’s what I look for in a security provider – a long-term partnership. We’re very pleased with the solution from Cook Security Group, Hanwha Techwin, and Genetec and we look forward to completing all phases of the project.”