Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Solving Complex Issues: Retired Cop Maps out Computer-Based Security for Multi-Family and Commercial Use

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Solving Complex Issues: Retired Cop Maps out Computer-Based Security for Multi-Family and Commercial Use

Article excerpt

After responding to apartment complex emergency calls for 17 years and getting lost among unnumbered, incorrectly numbered or randomly numbered apartment units, former Sgt. Dennis Keys developed a solution to protect residents and officers.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"I have spent several minutes--maybe up to ten minutes--wandering around an apartment complex, trying to get to an apartment," Keys said. "Those minutes it takes for the officer to find a unit could cost someone his or her life."

In December 2004, Keys, a retired Tucson, Ariz., police officer and self-described "computer geek," launched Police Interactive, a one-man company generating computer-based, interactive site maps for apartment and mobile home communities, shopping centers and schools.

"It's always a problem when you respond to one of these places," Keys said. "At a single address you have a very condensed area with a large amount of people. It's typical for apartment complexes to show up as one of the top ten call generators. [The maps] are designed to keep officers from wandering around."

Keys develops computer-generated maps from hardcopies provided by police departments and property managers. Currently, three Arizona police departments, about 50 shopping centers and 20 apartment complexes are using the maps.

Using Macromedia Flash software, Keys draws the maps and creates interactive files for clients. The files attach to clients' networks and can be pulled up on personal computers, including those found in patrol cars. By clicking on an address or location name, a user can view an entire property. Once the property is on screen, clicking on a specific building or typing in a unit number triggers the zoom function or highlights the space, helping viewers get their bearings.

"This technology is a wonderful thing," said Officer Joe Wakefield of the Tucson, Ariz., Police Department, one of the police departments using the maps on patrol car computers. "It makes our jobs faster, which hopefully leads to a more satisfied public."

Because the maps highlight the exact location of units, officers can determine precisely where they need to go while en route to the complex, shaving seconds--or even minutes--off their response times, Keys said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.