Guest Post: Bringing Heart Back to a City

Ryan Kelly by Ryan Kelly | 02.17.2014

As the population of a city grows, more and more of its residents move out to the suburbs. It doesn’t take long before the downtown areas—once thriving, vibrant centers of commerce and activity—begin to shrivel and die. You might have seen the same thing happen in your city, but even if you haven’t experienced it firsthand, you’ve probably heard a lot about revitalization of downtown areas.

I’ve always heard about urban renewal, but it never hit very close to home. Then Advantech won the bid on a job to work with the City of Dover to fulfill the mayor’s dream of bringing his own downtown area back to life. I’ve been a resident of this area in Delaware for 20 years, so the installation of wireless video cameras in the City of Dover is more than just another job to me. It’s helping my own neighbors. It feels good to be involved in something that’s the first step in building a stronger community and bringing local commerce back to Dover. And when members of the community again bring their business to the small shops and locally-owned restaurants whose owners and employees call this place home, the heart of this city will begin beating normally again.

If YouTube is blocked, you can view the video here.

Protecting a Community
The wireless video cameras we installed on this job do more than just protect citizens. They’re also silent witnesses that offer an additional layer of security for the law enforcement officers who patrol these areas. Now when they answer a call downtown, our police officers have a better idea of what they’re getting into before they get there—and that knowledge can save lives. Since I graduated with some of those officers and know them personally, their safety is important to me.

We were proud to be recognized by Government Security News magazine, which awarded the project a Silver Medal in its 2013 Homeland Security Awards program for most notable municipal/county security program. We would have expended the same amount of energy and effort had this job been done in New York or Chicago—but the fact that it’s right here in our own backyard gives this project a greater sense of meaning to us. I’ve worked at Advantech for more than seven years now, and I’ve been proud to see the difference we make for every customer on every job, but this one was different. Take a look at the video above to see how we’ve helped bring the heart back to Dover.