Safety and Security Upgrades at Wrigleyville High-Rise

Posted on Thursday October 15, 2020

The Association

This large building has many entrances, and foot traffic through the building is open to more than just residents, as anyone can patronize the convenience store. While residents gain access to their homes via a key fob, an audit of the fob inventory revealed that thousands of fobs from previous residents were still in circulation. Finally, the friendly residents would hold doors for others - possibly without a key - and could allow strangers to enter the private areas of the building.

The need for enhanced security became urgent after several potential robbers entered the building by helping a distracted resident with a stroller. At the same time, it was discovered that another criminal had abused a resident after sneaking into their home. While the doorstaff and police tracked down the intruders and handled them appropriately, Ms Epple and the board of directors began an initiative to modernize the security procedures and technology for the community association. 

The Solution

Park Place Tower's board of directors worked with Titan Security to perform a security audit of the building. This study looked at all potential weaknesses and opportunities to improve security in the building. The team did a walkthrough together and devised a plan of many layers to modernize and tighten up the building's protection.

The outdated key fob system was replaced by a photo ID for each resident that gave them access to the building. Their photo would appear on a monitor at the door staff station; if a non-resident entered, no photo would appear on the monitor, so the staff at the door would know they were not a resident and would take the apporpriate action. This security ID would also track the resident's access into other community areas, so the personnel would know if someone was trying to access a private area or one that was closed. The IDs were issued in stages by floors, with door staff pitching in working extra hours to get the work done, and the old fobs were deactivated. 

The company who implemented the technology, Elite, also installed new cameras in stairwells and other secluded areas. The team also added better lighting to hallways and entrances, and locked down some access points. This helped the building staff to focus their security on a smaller set of entry ways.

The final step was to tighten up security procedures and teach residents behaviors that would improve the safety of the building. Through posters at elevators and weekly emails, people were reminded not to let in strangers and to question suspicious behavior. 

The Results

The security changes implemented in 2018 have had a great impact on resident security. Door staff is able to more accurately identify residents and non-residents. The monitors and cameras have a great capacity to trace someone throughout the building if a break-in were to occur. Residents, especially longer-term homeowners, are often seen explaining that the perwson behind them needs to use an entrance key, rather than automatically letting the next person through the door. Community Manager Christina Epple states that the actual security analysis and implementation took only a month, and the homeowners' sense of peace and confidence was worth every minute of the community association project.
Contact your property manager to get started on your security plan, or reach FirstService Residential's Executive Vice President John Santoro at 312.379.3280, to learn how we can improve your community's peace of mind.