Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe (FREE) Chicago NorthShore Synagogue & 911inform

911 inform Gives Religious Congregations Comfort to Worship With Peace of Mind

Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe (FREE), Inc., has been in existence since 1973.  Their mission is to promote Jewish pride, identity and continuity among New American families in the greater Chicagoland area, by providing educational, religious, cultural and social services.


The Bellows Center (FREE of Chicago) is a synagogue in West Rogers Park. In late January of 2022 the synagogue was vandalized with swastika images and antisemitic graffiti. The perpetrator was eventually caught but the emotional damage was done.

Sentry Security approached F.R.E.E. with a new security solution called 911inform which would help improve security both in the synagogue and within the adjacent parking lot. 


911inform is an emergency management solution that greatly improves emergency response times and emergency situational awareness. 911inform notifies the correct 911 center directly avoiding the need for 3rd party involvement to get the correct first responders to the emergency.

After meeting with the Rabbi and Head of Security, Sentry Security and 911inform developed a phase I implementation plan that would geofence the synagogue and parking lot. This will allow any 911 call placed within the geofenced area to send the location map, with exact caller location, directly to the Chicago 911 center. At the same time, key F.R.E.E. personnel and the Secure Community Network will also be notified that a 911 call had been placed.

The 911 center sends out a link to all relevant personnel which when clicked will open the geofenced location and start 2-way communications between all personnel. This 2-way communication will keep everyone informed of the evolving situation in real time to provide the fastest and most accurate response to the emergency. Fire extinguishers, AED’s, 

Future implementations

Sentry Security has proposed adding phase II and Phase III level security implementations which F.R.E.E. is in the process of reviewing.

Phase II-Building control

Sentry Security will install 911inform equipment to allow live camera views from the geofence map link. We will also connect to the two access control doors to allow first responders the ability to unlock an electronically controlled door if they need to gain access to the synagogue.

Phase III-Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This will allow certain outdoor camera views to use AI to detect, and notify the key synagogue personnel on detection of “persons of interest” or “objects of interest”. If a person of interest or weapon is detected, the proper authorities can be alerted instantaneously, while the necessary security protocols are initiated.