A partnership made in Heaven – Children’s Lutheran Memorial Church

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers.

A few weeks ago, I received a call from my friend Kent Wilson. Kent has a great marketing company called Kent Wilson Designs that focuses on improving marketing results within profit and non-profit organizations. www.kentwilsondesign.com

He and I have done business together, and he’s a really good human doing great work personally and professionally. He introduced me to a church he’s affiliated with called Children’s Lutheran Memorial Church.

Children’s Lutheran Memorial Church

Children's Lutheran Memorial ChurchIn the midst of a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Kansas City is a tiny church community. A pastor, outside volunteers and highly-engaged church members have come together to create a sense of hope and joy… in spite of their surroundings.

Pastor Ann Rundquist leads the ministry and is doing incredible things for their community in providing an oasis for worship, food, clothing, showers and fellowship along Independence Avenue. The church has been through some very rough times as the surrounding neighborhood has declined. But Pastor Ann Rundquist sees hope.

While Ann was at Wartburg Seminary, she was asked to do part of her fieldwork at Children’s Memorial. “I bit,” said Ann, “and then I didn’t want to leave.”

Children's Lutheran Memorial Church Children's Lutheran Memorial Church

We met Pastor Ann and were touched by her commitment and focus to offer love and support to her neighbors.

Their mission is truly contagious. She has been faced with many challenges in this role… and one of them is the state of disrepair of their building. We wanted to join with her in her work and committed to providing new hardware and keying system to secure their facility—it is KB’s mission to protect people, property and possessions.

We know that peace of mind in feeling safe is important to everyone.

Our mechanical team led by Ryan and the project lead Zach worked to assess their location and meet with Pastor Ann to learn how she uses her facility and who needs access to what areas. We then created a keying system and went to work to update the locking hardware on their building. Two of our apprentice security technicians, Meshack and Chris, were able to use their new skills in installing the new locking hardware.

Children's Lutheran Memorial Church

Children's Lutheran Memorial Church Children's Lutheran Memorial Church

Kenton Brothers is proud of our apprenticeship program where we educate and train people to develop skills using their hands.

Starting from the basics, working your way up, a willingness to learn and understanding the KB way are all steps toward success in our apprenticeship program. At Kenton Brothers, our apprentices spend months working at our Commercial Counter, months working with a lead tech (or techs) in the field, as well as participating in various vendor and manufacturer trainings, and in-house trainings before they are promoted to their next role within the company.

Through partnerships and close customer interactions, our apprentices experience hands on, real world training that can’t be taught in a classroom.

In the case of Children’s Memorial, the team was able to provide new door hardware, a new keying system, and help bring peace of mind to a church that does so much for its community. It was a win/win situation where our apprentices were able to get valuable on-site training and the church and its community can feel safer knowing they have a secure space.

Thank you Pastor Ann and the Children’s Memorial Lutheran Church team for allowing us to serve you!

Children's Lutheran Memorial Church

Commercial Security and Video Surveillance Project in New Mexico… with a rare find!

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers.

In July, we were tasked with converting several banks in New Mexico to new security and video system. No two branches were alike. Some had analog video, some had digital, sometimes there was a Honeywell panel, sometimes DSC, sometimes no panel at all. And just like any road trip, it can’t be perfectly smooth, there have to be some bumps.

Our two adventurers this time were Terry McCurdy and Ryan Holtshaus.

New Mexico ProjectThey loaded up the van and began their merry journey just after the fourth of July weekend. In the end, they converted seven branches to Honeywell intrusion panels and Milestone Video management, but it’s the stuff in the middle that makes it the best.

At some point in the trip, they needed some more BNC connectors. Even though the guys had left “loaded for bear”, they had used up all of their supply of those connectors and needed more. For those of you who don’t know… BNC connectors have kind of gone the way of the dodo bird. They used to be everywhere, but now they are much harder to find in a store.

In Kansas City, I can only think of 2-3 places where we can get BNC connectors. In Santa Fe, there’s only one.

A-1 Communications to the rescue!

A-1 Communications in New MexicoTerry said the store was really cool. It was full of modern-day electronics like you would expect, but what made it cool was the older electronics. One such piece of art was a tube tester that the owner had created. It‘s amazing to me how much skill was required to make electronics years ago.

When Terry was done with his purchase, the man behind the counter said, “Let me put those in a bag for you.” After he was done, he asked, “Do you know why I put them in a bag for you?” Of course, Terry didn’t know. The man said, “So when you lose them, you lose all of them and have to come back.” Ha! How’s that for truth in advertisement?

When you’re out of town, you have to enjoy the local treats.

The guys had dinner at the Church Street Café. This establishment was owned as a home for 400 years and then turned into a restaurant. The restaurant has some amazing southwestern features and great food. (The guys give it two-thumbs up.)

Overall, it was a long two weeks, but the customer was thrilled with the success of the project. They commented to me after it was all done that they were impressed with Terry and Ryan’s tenacity and creativity towards creating solutions. It was great to hear that… that’s why we’re here. To solve the customer’s problems and have some adventures along the way. Here’s to the next time, we’re on the road!

Church Street Café

Project Spotlight : Subtropolis License Plate Recognition (LPR) Project

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Hunt Midwest Subtropolis is well known by the people in Kansas City. It’s the largest underground business complex in the world.

They boast over 6 million square feet of space available to lease and over 8 miles of underground roads. The complex offers many amenities that are advantageous to businesses. These include year-round temperate climate and 24/7 security staff. This definitely helps client satisfaction for Hunt Midwest.

Like most businesses, Subtropolis is using technology to do more with less.

Hunt Midwest provides security for the entrances to the facility. We usually say that security and convenience don’t mix. If Hunt Midwest wants to provide more security, they could restrict the number of entrances. But since there are less available entrances, it would decrease convenience, possibly creating lines.

This is where technology can come to the rescue.

Hunt Midwest Subtropolis - License Plate Recognition ProjectThe complex has a limited number of entrances and constant lighting that is a great case for License Plate Recognition (LPR). This allows them to have more security than unmonitored entrances, but still provide convenience to their customers.

Kenton Brothers teamed up with Hunt Midwest to provide an Avigilon LPR system that allows the staff to track cars and trucks entering the facility. Not only does this provide and tracked log of vehicles, but it has also vastly improved the times needed to search for video by creating a database of licenses plates linked to the recorded video.

Now, Hunt Midwest can track when and how many times a vehicle has entered the facility. Investigations that might have taken hours or days can now be done in minutes.

Avigilon LPR

Avigilon LPR is analytic software that runs on a server. Unlike some solutions where you need to purchase a specialized camera with specialized software and IR illuminators, Avigilon LPR can run on any camera compatible with their video management system. This allows us to pick the best cameras for the application.

Hunt Midwest Subtropolis - License Plate Recognition Project Hunt Midwest Subtropolis - License Plate Recognition Project

Since lighting is constant in the underground, we did not need special IR illuminators or Wide Dynamic Range. Once we reach a sufficient number of pixels on a license plate, the system will automatically tag the video with the license plate number and a confidence rating of the reading. Tags can be searched using an exact match or wildcards.

LPR, like several other technologies, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning to increase confidence and accuracy. AI tech is finally reaching the masses, and recent advancements are lowering prices to make LPR and other technologies obtainable to solve business problems like mixing security with convenience.

Evergy substation project: 10,742 miles… 221 sites… in 8 weeks? Sure, we can do that.

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Last September, evergy approached us about a project that would add access control to 221 of their remote locations. The remote locations have been built over a period of more than fifty years with various locking hardware at each location. So, the mission was to go loaded for bear and make sure the technicians had every possible combination of lock, cylinder, and other hardware they might need as they went on their routes each week.

Adding access control to remote locations can be challenging.

Starting Before DawnMost, if not all, of their sites don’t have a network connection back to the evergy headquarters. Some don’t even have cellphone coverage. That’s where Abloy Cliq comes in. Cliq is a technology where every lock has circuitry built in. Every key for the lock has additional technology and a battery. When a key is presented to the physical lock, it powers up the lock, exchanges information, and either allows or denies entry.

Both the key and the lock store the transaction, so there’s never a concern about lost data. Every week, the key has to be “refreshed” at a networked location. While being refreshed, the key sends every lock it has touched back to the system and the system updates the allowed locks back to the key. This provides evergy an audit trail of every lock and what was accessed for the week.

If a key is broken or damaged, evergy personnel can get the audit log directly from the locks at their remote locations. The system requires no internet, network or power at the access control location, making it versatile.

Abloy Cliq bridges the gap between offline and online access control systems.

After safety and Cliq training, four of our technicians were sent out on a mission.

We weren’t sure of the locking hardware at each site. Every site was a potentially new situation. Sometimes we would get onsite and discover that a padlock needed to be replaced. Other times, we needed to spend 6-8 hours worth of work doing discovery. Sometimes our team started before dawn.

State PoliceThankfully, mother nature held off on snowstorms until after the project was completed. And apparently, if you drive a white van around substations in the middle of a farmer’s field, the state police might be called.

Even though the project was fast and furious, our technicians did an excellent job. They kept a great attitude in spite of the long hours and changing requirements. They adapted to each new challenge and secured all 221 sites for evergy within 8 weeks.

Creating Security Peace of Mind for Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers

Samuel U. Rodgers Health CenterIn 1967, Dr. Samuel U. Rodgers opened the first federally-recognized community health center in Missouri — just the fourth such center in the country at that time.

Dr. Rodgers believed families deserve access to everything they need to thrive. That’s why he chose to open his health center at the Wayne Miner Housing Project, so families got the care they needed right in their neighborhood. In 1988, the Wayne Miner Health Center was renamed in honor of its founder and Executive Director: the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center.

Dr. Rodgers dedicated his life to providing quality, compassionate and affordable health care to Kansas City.

Like Dr. Rodgers, Kenton Brothers Systems for Security has a long lived passion… ours is for creating security peace of mind. KB partnered with the Health Center as their security integrator of choice to upgrade and expand their access control and video surveillance systems. KB has been securing people, property and possessions for over a hundred years.

S2 access control and Milestone video management systems were utilized to increase peace of mind through effective administrative control and reporting. Kenton Brothers worked with the IT and Security teams to redesign and improve the capabilities and effectiveness of their systems. The end result was meeting the current needs at their main campus.

Kenton Brother commends the associates at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center as they build healthier families, enrich neighborhoods and strengthen the community via their five locations in the KC metro, serving more than 25,000 patients.

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