Holocaust memorial vandal caught with integrated surveillance

Philadelphia, Pa

A security video surveillance system designed and installed by Convergint protects the Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza in Philadelphia, a major monument in the area created to commemorate the Holocaust victims.

Located in downtown Philadelphia, between Arch Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Memorial stands to remind and educate the public about the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust. The Memorial’s Holocaust Monument was originally built by artist and holocaust survivor Nathan Rapoport in 1964. In 2018, the Monument’s sight was expanded to include the Wall of Remembrance, memorial pillars, as well as Holocaust artifacts.

The security video surveillance system designed and installed by Convergint protects this important monument, and it served to help identify and arrest a man who vandalised it.

At the time of the Memorial’s reconstruction by the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, the Delaware Valley Intelligence Center, a division under Philadelphia Police Department, advised on additional security measures for the Memorial, which would include video monitoring. Convergint Technologies was chosen to design and install a security video surveillance system.

Convergint’s Team in Philadelphia, led by the Sales Engineer Frank Zumaeta and IT Network and Enterprise Specialist David Shchultze, performed the implementation of this project. To allow for expansive video coverage of the entire Memorial, Convergint recommended a mix of Hanwha XNO-8080R 5-megapixel and PNO-9080R 4K bullet network cameras.

To efficiently manage the video captured by cameras, Convergint selected Genetec’s Security Center. This unified security platform simplifies operations and allows the authorised personnel and Philadelphia PD to easily access and review the video footage captured by the cameras.

The Holocaust Memorial Foundation was pleased with the high-resolution video and overall system’s usability. “We’re happy with the quality of the Hanwha cameras. The interface is user friendly, as is the ability to review and isolate footage of incidents occurring at the Memorial Plaza.” said Eszter Kutas. Executive Director, Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.

In June of 2019, the memorial pillars of the monument were vandalised by a man who carved Nazi symbols onto them. The suspect was captured on the video, which allowed submitting his photos to the police and sharing them through social media. With the help of these detailed snapshots, the vandalism suspect was successfully identified and arrested by the police.

“I looked at the footage and was able to get a few different angles of the person responsible for the crime. The footage was of good quality and I could clearly see him. We sent it to the Philadelphia Police Department, and they put out a media advisory; we also shared images of the person responsible for the defacement of the Six Pillars on Facebook. Footage of the incident was shared thousands of times on social media. Public sharing of these images eventually led to a positive identification of a suspect.” said Eszter Kutas, Executive Director, Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.

The administration of the Holocaust Memorial Plaza is pleased to partner with Convergint and Hanwha on securing the Memorial, so that it can remain safe and secure as a place of remembrance. “We worked with Hanwha and Convergint to help us realise the goals of the Memorial Plaza, and they’ve been excellent partners in our mission.”  concluded Eszter Kutas.


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