SAFR : Solution Guide - VIP and Threat Detection via VMS

Table of Contents

This guide explains how to use SAFR together with Genetec for threat detection. With SAFR for Genetec you can perform the following:

  • Highlight important persons (VIP, concern or threat) with video overlays on your video displays to enable security personnel to focus on what's important
  • Enable a dynamic video wall that monitors hundreds of cameras and surfaces video form any camera where people identified as VIP, concern or threat are detected
  • Automatically create bookmarks of important detection events
  • Configure actions upon detection of a VIP, concern or threat such as:
    • Display video of the person of interest
    • Send notification such as email or text
    • Record video or create bookmarks
  • Take other actions such as send notification or lock doors upon detection of a concern or threat
  • Search for all locations where a registered concern or threat has been
  • Trigger alarm if strangers are detected in a restricted area


Configuring Solutions


Adding Cardholders or Threats

Adding Cardholders

Cardholders are added thru Genetec using the Cardholder Management tab Genetec Config Tool.  The Cardholder Group a user is added to will determine the Person Type.  After adding users, manually re-import cardholders.  Below we create 2 people in different cardholders groups to demonstrate.

  1. Open Cardholder Management tab in Genetec Config Tool
  2. Click "Create a new Cardholder" and set the Cardholder group to "Visitor".  If necessary create a new cardholder group first.
  3. Open the newly created cardholder and add user face image.  The face image should be at least 220 pixels high (from chin to top of forehead).
  4. Create a 2nd cardholder with cardholder group of "VIP".
  5. Open SAFR Desktop App and choose Tools > Preferences
  6. Go to the Genetec Tab and click "Import now...".  This will import any new user and update changes to existing users.

Add Threat or Concern

You can add a person as a threat or concern to Genetec and set their ID Class in SAFR or add them directly to SAFR.  In this example we will add the users to Genetec and set their ID Class in SAFR.

  1. Open "Access Control" from Cardholder Management task in Genetec Config Tool.  Click "Add Entity" and choose "Cardholder group".  Enter group name "Suspects"
  2. Now open Cardholder Management tab in Genetec Config Tool and add new cardholder in the newly created Suspects group
  3. As above, set a user image by uploading a photo of the suspect
  4. Open SAFR Desktop App and open People screen from Tools menu
  5. As described above, resync Genetec and SAFR cardholders
  6. Set Sort by "Enrollment date" and Sort Order "Descending" and find the most recently added person.
  7. Double click the person and change the value of ID Class to "Threat"
  8. Repeat above for a 2nd user and set ID Class to Concern

Now you have 2 persons, one a threat and one a concern.  For testing purposes, you can do this on two known staff who can act as subjects during testing.


Augmenting Monitoring with Stranger, Concern or Threat Overlays

With the different user types created above, you are ready to test how SAFR can augment your monitoring display with video overlays.  See Monitoring above for information about the different overlay colors.  To set up for the test:

  1. Open Security Desk and create a 2x2 monitoring grid.  
  2. Add 4 different cameras to each view.
  3. Ask the 3 subjects created above VIP, Threat and Concern and a 4th subject who is not added to the system to walk in front of each of the cameras.
  4. Observe how overlays are added to the faces of each individual indicating their person type (VIP=green) and ID class (Stranger=Purple, Concern=Yellow and Threat=Red).

Describes how to configure different types of people and demonstrates how the information on the monitor screens gives security personnel far more insight. 

Searching for a Person or Person Type

In this section we describe how security personnel can search for videos that include specific people or person types during forensic or routine analysts.

  1. Go to Security Desk > Tasks and Open the Bookmarks task
  2. Select one or more Cameras and type your search term in the Message field.  

Here are some examples of possible searches

  1. Find all visitors or strangers observed in the pharmacy during the hours of 6 AM and 9 AM
    Note: Genetec only allows substring search so this needs to be accomplished in 2 searches
    1. Open Genetec Security Desk and Open a Bookmarks task
    2. Select the pharmacy camera
    3. Type 'Visitor' in the message field
    4. Set time range from 6 to 9 am and submit search
    5. View each of the results by double clicking to view video from that time
    6. Repeat above search with term "Stranger"

Augmenting Monitoring with Staff Names

A guard can have a display that shows everyone entering the building and displays their name directly below their face.  This allows the guard to learn staff names and allows the security team to become more familiar with the staff so that they can more easily recognize strangers.  To set up SAFR for Genetec to do this, perform the following:

  1. Ensure that all cardholders have images which contain a face of at least 220 pixels high
  2. Resync the cardholder data in SAFR Desktop as follows:
    1. Open Tools > Preferences
    2. Go to the Genetec Tab and click "Import now..."
  3. On the guard station on the front desk, place a monitor with Genetec Security Desk running with a single large monitor view
  4. Position a camera such that the faces of individuals walking thru the front door are clearly visible to the camera.  Ensure that face images are at least 80 pixels high in the video feed.
  5. Run SAFR Desktop against that camera feed and set mode to "Enrolled Monitoring"
    1. If you wish to also view strangers, use "Enrolled and Stranger Monitoring"
  6. As users walk through the door, they will be recognized and appear on the guard's station with their name printed below the face.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If overlays do not appear on faces
    • Confirm that "Draw Overlays" preferences is checked in SAFR Desktop Preferences > Genetec Tab
    • Confirm that "Report Events" is included in same location
  • If users are not being easily recognized by SAFR
    • Check that SAFR is in a suitable mode (Enrolled Monitoring)
    • Check that the face size is sufficiently large as follows:
      • Open SAFR Desktop App
      • Enable "Recognition Candidates" from the View
      • View the face size in upper right of the cut-out face in lower portion of window (see red arrow)
      • Ensure this is at least 220 pixels high
    • Open SAFR Desktop Preferences and try adjusting the following:
      • Minimum required center pose quality / To allow recognition: Try adjusting this lower to improve changes of finding a match (though reduces confidence of the match)
      • Minimum required sharpness quality / To allow recognition: Same - lower will result in more matches
      • Minimum required face contrast quality / To allow recognition: Same - lower will result in more matches
      • Identity recognition threshold / Camera: Try increasing
  • Ensure your camera has a good image of user.  

Generating Threat Alert Action

To generate a threat alert, you create an Action that is triggered by a detection event. Following the steps in this section to do so.

Add Alarm

An alarm can be used to ensure that an important event is noticed.  In this example, we demonstrate creating an Alarm that will trigger if someone who has been marked as a threat is recognized on one of the cameras.  To create an alarm, do the following:

Open Genetec Config Tool and open Alarms Screen

Click Add Alarm and type a Name as shown below.

Configure Alarm to send a message

  1. Select Actions
  2. Click "+" button
  3. Choose "Alarm triggered" under When
  4. Choose "Send a message" under Action
  5. Choose Recipients
  6. Type a message and set Timeout
  7. Click Save

Set any other properties within the alarm as desired.  See table below.

Save the Alarm

Recommended Settings for Alarms

Properties Tab
    • Choose priorities based on circumstances and your organization guidelines (1=high , 255=low)
      • Stranger - 100 (If infrequent, set high
      • Concern - 50
      • Threat - 10
    • Video display option
      • Set to live to see the live view when alarm loads video
      • Playback may be useful for short events where subject may have walked off the screen by time video loads
        • If playback mode, set to at least 4 seconds to avoid buffering
Advanced Tab
  • Auto-Acknowledge - Good for stranger events.  Give # second to stay in view.  (returns to what you were on before)
  • Choose color to match the SAFR colors (add ref to section in manual that describes colors)
  • Reactivate threshold - Suppresses additional alarm if another similar  alarm triggered within this time
    • Adjust as needed for use case. 

Add Alert

To trigger the alert as a result of a SAFR-generated recognition event, do the following.

Open the Genetec Config Tool and navigate to the System Panel.

Click the "+" button to add a new Action

Click the "When" dropdown.  Then type "SAFR" and press Enter to see the list of SAFR-enabled alarms.


Choose "SAFRThreatDetected" in the dropdown list.

If desired, limit cameras from which this alert will be triggered in the "From" list.

Under Action choose Trigger alarm and select the "Threat Detected" alarm created above.

Choose Save when done

Test the alert

  1. Create a new user and mark the ID Class of that user as "Threat" as described above in Add Threat or Concern
  2. Have that person step in front of the camera
  3. A message should be sent to the recipient.


Displaying SAFR-triggered events in Monitoring

Any video within the Monitoring panel can automatically show any camera for which a face recognition event is detected on the few cameras. To configure this follow the procedure below.

Open Security Desk

Open an existing Monitoring tab or click on "Monitoring" to open a new monitoring tab

If not already done, select a monitoring layout and drag cameras into each of the video windows

Select a video region and click "Monitoring" in lower left

In the popup that opens, enter following:

  1. Under Event Monitoring, choose one or more cameras to trigger events for
  2. Enable Alarm Monitoring and select "Specific" and then choose "Threat Detected" event crated above in Generating Threat Alert Action


Test the alert

  1. Create a new user and mark the ID Class of that user as "Threat" as described above in Add Threat or Concern
  2. Have that person step in front of the camera
  3. The video region will switch to view that camera and show live video

Tracking in Realtime

This section described how to track where a person marked as a threat goes in real time (i.e. pop up alert at each camera the person passes starting from tagging person on the 1st camera).

To track a person in realtime as they pass from camera to camera, configure a single video region in the monitors tab as described above in Displaying SAFR-triggered events in Monitoring.  Ensure that the Event Monitoring has all cameras or camera groups.  This will cause the single video region to show any recognized threat in that view.  As the threat moves from camera to camera, the video display will switch to that camera.

Test the alert

  1. Create a new user and mark the ID Class of that user as "Threat" as described above in Add Threat or Concern
  2. Have that person walk from camera to camera
  3. The video region will switch to view each camera as the person walks thru the building.

(lightbulb) The action used to change the monitoring display could be set to auto-acknowledge after some time such as 60 seconds.  This would allow the default video when no alarm has been triggered recently. Other alarms for the threat detection event could be persisted until acknowledged but this would allow the display region to return to default view to avoid giving someone the impression that something happened recently in a certain camera view.

Tracking in post analysis

This section described how to track all the places a recognized threat has been.

If a person who is a recognized threat enters the facility and is seen in front of a number of cameras, recognition threat events will occur at each camera that person has been.  When this happens, bookmarks are automatically created.  These bookmarks will contain the person ID and the person name if set. This information can be used to search for that person.

Unusual Activity Alerts

An alarm can be triggered if there are people in places they should not be such as a restricted area.  For example, there may be a secure lab which is only authorized for specific staff members belonging to the "Lab Staff" group.  An alarm can be configured for any camera inside the lab to send an alert if anyone not in the Lab Staff group is recognized on any of the lab cameras.  

To configure for unusual activity alerts:

  1. Create Cardholder Group "Lab Staff" and add one or more users to that group
    1. After creating group, from the SAFR App Genetec Preferences dialog, import cardholders in order to add the new cardholder group.
  2. Create alarm as described in Add Alarm and Add Alert limited to all cameras inside your lab
    1. Add all groups except the SAFR Event "SAFR Lab Staff detected"
    2. You may also choose to omit the group "SAFR Unrecognizable Face Detected" to avoid false alarms if someone is obscured or too far away to detect
      1. Alternatively, set a different alert for this event.

Test this configuration by having a person in the Lab Staff group and one not in that group enter the lab and check if the alarm is triggered.

Tailgating Alerts

Tailgating is when an unauthorized person passes through a secured door without having to provide access credentials by walking behind an authorized person.  To detect this, a camera inside the facility should be positioned to detect users that have already passed through the entrance.  This camera will be used to detect all people passing by and can be used to trigger an alert if anyone is not one of the authorized people allowed access. 

This use case is similar to above except the alarm will omit all groups that are authorized to have access to the general facility and only Staranger, Threat or Concern type persons will trigger alarm.

Send alerts to mobile device

Genetec can send alerts to a mobile device if using the Genetec Security Center mobile application on Android or iOS.  To enable this, see your Genetect documentation for how to install the Genetec Mobile Server.  Once installed, notifications can be sent to users with the Genetect Security Center mobile app installed.  This allows video monitoring with overlays and alerts to be sent to the operators mobile phone.

Following is possible when using Genetec Security Center Mobile App:

  • Instant alarm notifications based on SAFR detections
  • Mobile video playback of SAFR bookmarked events
  • Viewing of SAFR generated video overlays