Access Control Project for St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but some doors framed by dark stained wood with lots of distinctive trim is my jam.

St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral Project

When asked how to access control a door like this, most people would see the hard-pan ceiling above and a large window in between and start sweating. The lock hardware and sensors are pretty easy, most have color options of either dark brown or black. It’s the bright yellow wire that has to get there, that presents the problem. There’s always the option of wire mold or conduit, but for this gorgeous entry into St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral, it simply wasn’t an option.

We were told that there was space under the wood trim. It looked like a viable option. But, it was going to take some delicate work to remove the trim, route the wire and replace the trim. I don’t know how much trim you’ve tried to remove around your house, but in my house there a 50% chance of breaking it. However, the KB technicians, Terry, Jeremy and Jeff, worked diligently to carefully install that wire. It came out looking great!

St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral Project

Going the extra mile with the wire makes an OK installation, turn into an awesome installation.

Unless you’re from the security or other wire-heavy industry, it’s hard to appreciate… but wiring a panel is an art form. You have to get all the right connections, or the system doesn’t work. If the wire is a little too long, or a little too short, it looks sloppy. The KB team blew it out of the park again at St. George. The access control panel at St. George looks amazing, providing both form and function.

This is an example of how KB goes the extra mile. Did it take some extra time? Yes. Did it take some extra effort? Of course. But the results are amazing. Hats off to Terry, Jeremy, and Jeff for such a good-looking installation!

KB is CSEIP certified to design access control systems for the Federal Government.

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers.

We sent team members to Washington for CSEIP CertificationSpecial access control requirements require special access control people.

Our most complex access control customer is any federal government customer. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has a set of memorandums that outline requirements for any government office access control system. This allows the federal government system to authenticate who a person is as well as allow a person access to a building.

Certainly, this falls under “Special requirements” that spans way past allowing or denying access through a door.

Understanding the requirements itself is a challenge. But two of our guys, Ryan Nance and Chris Skinner, have stepped up to that challenge. Both of them went to D.C. for training that involves the latest in Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), CAC / PIV Cards, and Biometrics. Both have been involved in multiple installations of government facilities across Kansas City for many years.

KB has CSEIP CertificationsCSEIP Certified

Ryan and Chris are both CSEIP certified to design and install physical access control systems (PACS as it’s known to the Feds) that meet OMB requirements.

Kenton Brothers has been helping the federal government for decades with their locks, keys, safes, containers and maintenance of their cameras and access control. This new certification means that Kenton Brothers is ready to serve the federal facilities in the Midwest region for their new PACS installations.

If your facility is ready for the latest and greatest in access control, let us know how we can help!

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.