School security systems
The world has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many new challenges and regulations. MOBOTIX’s intelligent video technology can support companies, institutions, public as well as private facilities during the crisis and in the restart after the lockdown. MOBOTIX has bundled the available "back-on-track video technology solutions" for its partners and customers to help get them up and running quickly and effectively. This makes it easier for industries and sectors such as retai...
Dahua Technology, a globally renowned video-centric provider of smart IoT solutions, has announced the launch of SafetyTemp (DHI-ASI7213X-T1), a thermal temperature monitoring station. This easy-to-deploy solution quickly measures skin temperature without the need for personal contact and provides an accurate temperature reading to help businesses and schools assess employees, customers, students and other visitors for elevated body temperature. SafetyTemp thermal temperature monitoring statio...
AOPEN, a global technology company that specializes in smart products and services for cloud-based applications, announces the launch of the AOPEN Heat Finder Thermal Imaging Solution − a dual-camera system that quickly and accurately detects elevated body temperatures. "With so many industries facing unique, unprecedented challenges, thermal imaging technology has become more important than ever," says Aaron Pompey, President, AOPEN Pan America. "The new safety-conscious consumer ex...
Businesses are now gradually reopening in many countries, and people can return to restaurants, office buildings, and public spaces. A safe reopening process will rely heavily on effective public health strategies, including increased testing for the virus, social distancing, occupancy restrictions, and cleaning and disinfection activities. In many countries, temperature measurement and the wearing of masks have been commonly made mandatory in both business and public environments. While social...
UNIONCOMMUNITY, specialized in biometric recognition, has launched a face recognition device combined with a body temperature check system. It was developed with South Korean technology. By integrating face recognition terminals and thermal imaging cameras, it can be used in places where many people access it. Since COVID 19, in Korea, large hospitals, public institutions, and sports facilities often use paper forms to manually record personal information and purpose of the entry for those who...
As educational pioneers continue the challenging conversation about what the new normal will look like for students across the nation, Allied Universal®, a security and facility services company in North America, is helping school administrators and campus safety departments plan and prepare for students returning to school. Allied Universal’s more than 7,500 campus Security Professionals safeguard nearly 700 schools/universities nationwide. Over last several months, Allied Universal&...
On Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada), Genetec, together with Université Laval, one of the top research universities in Canada, and Axis communications will host a webinar that will look at: The importance of on-campus video surveillance and current trends in the education industry The areas of interest within a school setting that require surveillance and the considerations schools must take when implementing solutions Analytics, hardware, and software that will aid in effective access control and management of on-campus video How to find and implement scalable solutions to aid in the protection of campus grounds in today’s climate What considerations campus security professionals need to take into account before implementing security solutions or adding to their pre-existing solution Members of the press are welcome to attend. If they would like to register, they may go to the registration page on Genetec website or contact the company for more information.
Now that Europe is taking the first steps towards economic and social recovery after the COVID-19 crisis, it is also time to rethink the future. European politicians and institutions are now joining forces to present a recovery plan that builds on existing plans and ambitions to make the society healthier, more environmentally friendly, more energy efficient and safer. Euralarm calls on policymakers to take measures to increase the security of renovated buildings and to strengthen the cohesion of the European Union. The EU Recovery Plan that is soon expected will push for investments and reform. It will strengthen the EU economy by focusing on common priorities, like the European Green Deal, digitalization and resilience. In recent months, European citizens experienced what it means to be confined to one's home all day. Fire safety requirements With around 250 million homes across the EU that need energy renovation, now more than ever, it is time for the EU to invest in renovating homes, offices, schools and other private and public buildings. The Renovation Wave as part of the Green Deal is therefore welcomed by Euralarm and many other stakeholders. Boosting the rate of deep renovation in all buildings not only improves energy efficiency but also economic growth. Building renovation and retrofit add almost twice as much value as the construction of new buildings Building renovation and retrofit add almost twice as much value as the construction of new buildings. While investing more in renovations, governments and authorities as well as building owners need to pay attention to the implications on the fire safety of buildings because renovations can introduce significant changes in fire safety requirements. Energy efficiency measures With the growing number of electronic and electrical devices in buildings, (e.g. energy storage as part of the energy efficiency measures, electric cars), the fire load in buildings will continue to increase and must be considered in the overall fire safety concept. Regular fire safety reviews - including risk assessment - by certified professionals are today even more crucial and should be prioritised by private and public building owners and operators. As one of the Green Deal proposals the “Renovation Wave” is a unique opportunity to introduce a holistic approach towards fire safety and security when renovating buildings. Safe and secure buildings will contribute to the new European economy as well as the future European ecology. Euralarm therefore calls on EU decision makers to encourage all renovated buildings to be fitted with the latest technologies in terms of fire safety and security. Fire safety systems During the crisis, large parts of the European workforce had no other choice than to work from home, using teleconference and digital co-operation tools to continue their daily work. In just a few months, remote work has accelerated the digitalization of the European economy. With ambitious measures supporting a “Digital Recovery”, the digital transformation can be confirmed and amplified in the short term. In the building industry, they have seen the effects of a slow adoption of digitalization and they welcome an acceleration of the digital transformation. During this crisis, connectivity has proven to be pivotal to remote work. It became clear that wherever the company’s members had remote access to security and fire safety systems, there has been no disruption of service provided. The company continued to ensure the safety of the people and infrastructure. Cybersecurity strategy Pivotal to ensure business continuity, connectivity must be immune to cyber-threats Pivotal to ensure business continuity, connectivity must be immune to cyber-threats. Euralarm recommends to reassess the European cybersecurity strategy. Some sectors of the industry – including services – have specificities that should be taken into consideration when rethinking the cybersecurity strategy. The EU Recovery Plan is a unique opportunity to bring the Single Market back on track and to definitely address unjustified barriers that remain in place for products and for services. In this sector, and despite all the efforts to create European standards for products, systems and services, obstacles remain for cross-border trade, especially for SMEs. It is now time to put an end to these barriers and work together towards a society that shares and cares. Sector-specific measures Again, it is the COVID-19 crisis that demonstrates the crucial need that barriers are definitely removed. Therefore, Euralarm calls on the European Commission to engage in a consultation with stakeholders most affected by these remaining barriers to find sector-specific measures to achieve the long-expected Single Market in Europe.
Covid-19 can be stopped right at the entrance to office buildings, schools, hospitals, factories and in public transportation using the hi-tech infection control products launched by Gunnebo, the Swedish global provider of smart access control solutions. The new family of access control solutions supports the smooth return to a safe working environment by providing automated infection prevention through contactless processes, maximized social distancing, and enforcement of body temperature and personal protective equipment regimes. Body temperature detection The new H-Sense range offers three levels of protection: Body temperature detection integrated into the gate combines image analytics with infrared thermal monitoring to deliver contactless temperature measurement to an accuracy of ±0.3°C. The system denies entry to anyone exhibiting an elevated body temperature. Hygienic mask detection via a high precision camera integrated into the gate, backed up by image analytics, recognises if the visitor is wearing a mask and denies access if it is absent. An automatic gel dispenser delivers a dose of hand sanitizer contactlessly and prevents entry unless the sanitizer has been administered. Infection control processes More details about the product can be found on the company’s official website. These stylish modern gates can also now be configured with increased flexibility to maximize social distancing in limited entrance spaces. The new infection control features can be retro-fitted to existing gates. “We foresee increased demand for access control solutions with a higher degree of connectivity and peripherals to meet specific needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our new H-Sense range provides efficient and user-friendly infection control processes linked to the right of access, ensuring that protective measures are properly and safely enforced”, says Robert Hermans, SVP Entrance Control, Gunnebo.
Sielox LLC has further expanded the integration of its vast access control and emergency notification solutions with Allegion US to include the new enhanced Schlage NDE wireless lock featuring an Interior Push Button (IPB) which can easily lock a classroom door from the inside. Sielox is the first to complete the integration to include this new generation of Schlage NDE wireless locks, providing schools with enhanced security and greater control in emergency situations. Schlage NDE Wireless Lock Schlage NDE wireless lock with interior push button lock provides a fast, easy way to immediately secure a classroom door" “The new Schlage NDE wireless lock with interior push button locking capability provides a fast and easy way to immediately secure a classroom door from the inside in the event of an emergency situation,” said Karen Evans, CEO and President at Sielox, adding “This new integration further capitalizes on the inherent benefits wireless and WiFi locks provide for advanced networked access control systems.” Designed to meet the pressing demand for expansive school security nationwide, the new Schlage NDE mobile enabled wireless lock benefits schools in a variety of ways including: New Interior Push Button (IPB): Expands the way the lock operates to include storeroom, office and privacy functions. It allows students and faculty inside a classroom to simply lock the door with a push of a button, restricting access only to privileged card holders or first responders Advanced encryption and communication security: Provided at lock and as part of the larger system Ease of installation: Fits mechanical Schlage ND door prep with minor modifications for new DPS (Door Position Switch) Same price, with major upgrade: The list price is the same as the legacy NDE lock, while offering upgraded features including IPB Advanced access control and security “Allegion consistently looks for ways to deliver innovation and continuous improvement for end users and integrators, so we’re excited to expand integrations with Sielox and bring this to market,” said Mark Casey, Director of Commercial Electronic Sales at Allegion, adding “Schlage NDE mobile enabled wireless locks are ideal for schools that want an affordable, interoperable solution that offers advanced access control from the inside-out, for added protection during crises, when advanced security measures are needed.” Prior to this latest collaboration with Allegion, Sielox was first-to-market integration with networked Schlage locks and Von Duprin devices providing Over Network Reprogramming (ONR) firmware updates via Sielox’s popular 1700 Controller. Sielox also previously integrated its flagship Pinnacle Access Control Platform and Schlage NDE wireless cylindrical and LE wireless mortise locks to provide remote control and management of doors using a facility’s existing WiFi infrastructure, dramatically reducing installation costs.
Access control is a central concern for schools globally, both in the K-12 and university space, where the balance between openness and safety can be difficult to outline. Technology that restricts access yet allows for the freedom of traffic flow must also account for the fact that emergencies happen. Having a comprehensive policy for visitor management and appropriate access levels for students, faculty and staff requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. In its effort to address this challenge and help protect the campus population from threats, Vanderbilt is proud to announce that it has been recognized by Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine as a gold-level winner of a 2020 Secure Campus Award in the Lockdown and Physical Security category. Vanderbilt Security Management System The Vanderbilt Security Management System (SMS) with Allegion Von Duprin Remote Integration was chosen by an independent panel of judges using the following criteria: features, innovation, user-friendliness, interoperability, quality, design, market opportunity, impact on the security industry, technical advances and scalability. Vanderbilt SMS allows users to manage alarms, photo ID badging, visitor management, elevator control, offline and online locks, advanced reporting and lockdowns from a single, easy-to-use intuitive platform. Integration with Allegion Von Duprin locking solution Allegion Von Duprin RU option provides an electronic override of mechanical dogging for emergency facility lockdown Coupled with the integration of the Allegion Von Duprin locking solution, users can remotely monitor and lock down secondary perimeter doors with the touch of a button, in the event of an emergency using the remote undogging (RU) and remote monitoring (RM) options. The Allegion Von Duprin RU option provides an electronic override of mechanical dogging for emergency facility lockdown and includes sensors for monitoring. The RM option is a sensor-only configuration for exit-only or fire-rated doors that require monitoring and increased visibility. Enhanced access control All together, the solution aims to close the gap that many organizations have between external and internal doors with regards to lockdown protection, especially for the K-12 and university markets. As a result, the solution gives security experts in these facilities more control over their access points during an emergency and in day-to-day operations, strengthening their ability to respond as necessary in the event of an incident. School security For example, Redlands Unified School District in San Bernadino, California used this solution to help protect the more than 21,000 students across its 16 elementary schools, four middle schools and four high schools. Alongside the implementation of the Vanderbilt SMS, the Allegion Von Duprin locking system is installed on five doors that surround the cafeteria area. There are main entry doors where students enter, plug in their lunch numbers and go through the buffet line. With the solution, lockdown capabilities are streamlined and remotely managed, helping protect students, faculty and staff.
Videonetics, an international provider of AI & DL powered Unified Video Computing Platform development company, has announced a distribution partnership with Spectra Innovations Pte Ltd, Singapore, to offer their complete array of products and solutions across the South East Asia and ASEAN region. Headquartered in Singapore, Spectra Innovations Pte Ltd has an established network of certified channel partners, system integrators, training and support specialists in South East Asia and ASEAN countries. Through this partnership, Spectra is all set to offer Videonetics AI & DL powered Unified Video Computing Platform encompasses Intelligent VMS, Artificial Intelligence & Deep Learning Video Analytics, Intelligent Traffic Management System and Facial Recognition Software. Video Analytics solutions We are pleased to enter into this value-added distribution relationship with Spectra" On the appointment, Avinash Trivedi, VP – Business Development, Videonetics expressed, “We are pleased to enter into this value-added distribution relationship with Spectra and introduce our indigenous offerings in the ever-growing markets of SEA and ASEAN region. As ranked amongst the top 5 VMS providers in Asia, Videonetics continues to increase focus and investment globally." "I am assured that Spectra’s remarkable management capabilities and extensive partner network, combined with Videonetics’s state-of-the-art solutions will cater to growing demand for truly unified solutions in different verticals such as safe & smart city, aviation, transportation, critical infrastructures, heavy engineering, healthcare, education and retail to name a few.” Affordable and deployable “Spectra is pleased to be appointed as a Regional Distributor of Videonetics. With the adoption of CCTV gaining acceptance beyond just surveillance into sectors such as garbage management under Smart City initiative, loss prevention applications in retail, logistics and warehouses, productivity improvements in factories to name a few, the need for VMS and Video Analytics solutions are becoming affordable and deployable in mass scale today” said Kanwal Sahney, Managing Director, Spectra Innovations Pte Ltd.
The statistics are staggering. The death tolls are rising. And those who now fear environments that were once thought to be safe zones like school campuses, factories, commercial businesses and government facilities, find themselves having to add the routine of active-shooter drills into their traditional fire drill protocols. The latest active shooter statistics released by the FBI earlier this year in their annual active-shooter report designated 27 events as active shooter incidents in 2018. The report reveals that 16 of the 27 incidents occurred in areas of commerce, seven incidents occurred in business environments, and five incidents occurred in education environments. Deadly active-shooter events Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years, including Sutherland Springs church, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the San Bernardino regional center, the Walmart in El Paso and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which have all occurred since 2015. Although these incidents occurred in facilities with designated entry points common to churches, schools and businesses, the two most deadly active-shooter events since 2015 were the Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and the Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando where 49 perished. As Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in San Antonio, Texas, said during a news conference following the August 31 mass shooting in Odessa, Texas that claimed seven lives: “We are now at almost every two weeks seeing an active shooter in this country." Active shooter incidents Between December 2000 and December 2018, the FBI’s distribution of active shooter incidents by location looks like this: Businesses Open to Pedestrian Traffic (74) Businesses Closed to Pedestrian Traffic (43) K-12 Schools (39) Institutions of Higher Learning (16) Non-Military Government Properties (28) Military Properties—Restricted (5) Healthcare Facilities (11) Houses of Worship (10) Private Properties (12) Malls (6) What the majority of these venues have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point. Situational awareness in perimeter and door security Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal" According to Paul Franco, an A&E with more than 28 years of experience as a consultant and systems integrator focusing on schools, healthcare and large public and private facilities, that while active shooter incidents continue to rise, the residual effect has been an increase in situational awareness in perimeter and door security. “Certainly, protecting people and assets is the number one goal of all our clients. There are multiple considerations in facilities like K-12 and Healthcare. Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal. But a critical consideration to emphasize to your client is getting that person out of your facility and not creating a more dangerous situation by locking the person in your facility,” says Franco. High-security turnstiles “Schools today are creating a space for vetting visitors prior to allowing access into the main facility. Using technology properly like high-security turnstiles offer great benefits in existing schools where space constraints and renovation costs can be impractical.” What steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe As a consultant/integrator, when discussions are had with a client that has a facility in a public space like a corporate building, government center or industrial facility, what steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe and can protect its people and assets? For Frank Pisciotta, President and CEO of Business Protection Specialists, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, a fundamental element of his security strategy is making appropriate recommendations that are broad-based and proactive. Properly identifying the adversaries “As a consultant, my recommendations must include properly identifying the adversaries who may show up at a client’s door, the likelihood of that event occurring, the consequences of that event occurring, determining if there are tripwires that can be set so an organization can move their line of defense away from the door, educating employees to report potential threats and creating real-time actionable plans to respond to threats. A more reactionary posture might include such thing as target hardening such as ballistic resistant materials at entry access points to a facility,” Pisciotta says. Veteran consultant David Aggleton of Aggleton & Associates of Mission Viejo, California recommends that clients compartmentalize their higher security areas for limited access by adding multiple credential controls (card + keypad + biometric), along with ‘positive’ access systems that inhibit tailgating/piggybacking such as secure turnstiles, revolving door and mantrap if your entrances and security needs meet the required space and access throughput rates. Integrated solution of electronic access control Defining a single point of entry in some public facilities is becoming the new standard of care according to many A&Es and security consultants, especially in a school environment. This approach allows a concerted effort when it comes to staffing, visitor monitoring and an integrated technology solution. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach A proactive stance to securing a door entryway will use an integrated solution of electronic access control, turnstiles, revolving doors and mantraps that can substantially improve a facility’s security profile. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach, so it’s not a matter of if there will be a next active shooter tragedy, it’s only a matter of where. Enhancing access control assurance “There is no easy answer to this question,” says Pisciotta referring to how a secured entrance can deter an active shooter. “There have been at least two high-profile incidents of adversaries shooting their way into a facility through access control barriers. So, if the threat so dictates, a ballistic resistant might be required.” He concludes: “There is obviously no question that turnstiles, revolving doors and man traps enhance access control assurance. Electronic access control is easy to integrate with these devices and providing that credentials are secure, approval processes are in place, change management is properly managed and the appropriate auditing measures in place, access control objectives can be met.”
As we approach National Safe Schools Week (October 21-27), it is appropriate for a conversation to begin regarding establishing standards for K12 school security. Currently no standards exist for assisting schools navigate the complexity of understanding what they need, how much it will cost and how they will secure their learning environments. Security Industry Experts The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) is one of the organizations at the forefront of establishing security standards for schools. In 2014, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) formed PASS, which brought together a cross functional group of members including school officials, safe schools’ consultants, law enforcement and security industry experts to collaborate and develop a coordinated approach to protecting K-12 students and staff. School administrators are often contacted repeatedly by organizations with multiple safety and security products PASS has provided valuable insights regarding an ‘All Hazards’ approach to school safety and security. In fact, PASS suggests that school administrators are challenged with two decisions: Determining what they need to do How to prioritize Safe School Environment School administrators are experts in running schools and providing education. However, most are not security experts and do not understand the complexity of implementing a comprehensive physical security and safety program across their districts. Still, they are often contacted repeatedly by organizations with multiple safety and security products. School administrators are experts in running schools and providing education, but most are not security experts Some of these organizations recognize their products are just pieces of a safe school environment puzzle and how they fit in, whereas others focus on specific applications and do not understand how their specific solutions may affect life safety codes and Americans with Disabilities Act law. (Note: Many ‘barricade devices’ fall into this latter category and actually introduce liability concerns with the unintended consequences of their use.)Schools incorporate evacuation drills as part of their emergency preparedness plans and practice on a regular basis Even for experts, the plethora of options and disparate systems required to integrate a safety and security approach at schools is daunting. The ongoing challenge is integrating access control, video, mass notification, and/or visitor management products into a single, effective, and appropriate system the owner can understand, utilize, and afford and that meet local codes and ADA laws. In the absence of standards, schools are likely to amass a collection of devices that do not constitute a comprehensive solution. Lack Of Consensus In years past, the our industry and commercial buildings adhered to legacy codes – like Building Officials and Code Administrators International Inc. (BOCA), Uniform Building Code (UBC), Southern Building Code Congress International Inc. (SBBCI), and International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) – which have traditionally been revised every three years, while local jurisdictions decided what versions to adopt and enforce. Currently, however, there is a move toward the International Building Code (IBC), which is published by the International Code Council (ICC) and includes standards and guidance for commercial buildings on doors, windows, and other openings. A risk assessment is the next step toward developing a comprehensive security plan, and begins with developing a trend analysis Still, despite this migration of codes from a patchwork of local decisions to global guidelines, there remains a lack of consensus around school security. The current fragmented approach causes confusion regarding how new schools are designed and how to retrofit existing school buildings, whose average age is 45+ years. Right Protection Equipment One can point to the fact that there hasn’t been one student lost in a school fire in over 50 years as testament to standards like NFPA 80 and NFPA 101 being referenced in model building codes. Additionally, schools incorporate evacuation drills as part of their emergency preparedness plans and practice on a regular basis. It’s not just having the right protection equipment in the building, it’s also having a procedural layer in place to make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of fire. The stress of the actual event can limit ones’ ability to think clearly. Practice makes perfect. Why would we approach school security any differently? School security is a team effort, and it is important to understand all the areas security impacts and involves School security is a team effort. It is important to understand all the areas security impacts and involves. PASS suggests starting with a basic team consisting of: Security Director Local Law Enforcement School Administrator Integrator Door and Hardware Consultant IT Director Comprehensive Security Plan Quantifying and mitigating risk are the jobs of security professionals and school administratorsA risk assessment is the next step toward developing a comprehensive security plan. This often begins with conducting a trend analysis requiring the collection of data from a variety of public and private sources. The challenge is to pull these pieces into a usable and easily understood format that provides a guide for current and future risk concerns. Risk assessment and mitigation can never eliminate risk. Quantifying and mitigating risk are the jobs of security professionals and school administrators. Data from the following sources can help measure risk: Campus: Review incident report trends for at least the past 36 months. Area and city: Review crime data from local law enforcement for the surrounding neighborhood and city. Screening procedures: How is hiring conducted? Anonymous tip reporting systems: Enabling students, staff members, parents and the community to anonymously alert administrators to perceived and actual threats. Social media monitoring: such monitoring can provide important information that can be used to identify risks. Monitoring social media could help measure risk for school safety Delay Adversarial Behaviors These assessments can then be incorporated into the best practice approach of Layered Security. Layered security combines best practice components within each layer that effectively deter, detect and delay adversarial behaviors. Layered security works from the outside in. As one layer is bypassed, another layer provides an additional level of protection. The asset being protected is at the center of the layers – students, staff and authorized visitors. PASS defines five layers of Security:As one layer is bypassed, another layer provides an additional level of protection District Wide Property Perimeter Parking Lot Perimeter Building Perimeter Classroom/Interior Perimeter Appropriate Tier Target Each layer can be broken down into Tier levels with Tier 1 being basic and Tier 4 being the highest level of security. It is important to understand that the demographics of individual school buildings varies, even within the same district. Security experts will quickly point out that ‘if you’ve seen one school, you’ve seen one school’. The assessments will determine the appropriate Tier target. Figure 1 Each layer includes essential protective elements, or components, of security. Every layer does not necessarily include all seven of these common components, and a layer may include additional components unique to that particular layer. Safety And Security Components Policies & Procedures People (roles & training) Architectural Communication Access Control Video Surveillance Detection and Alarms Layered Security While components are not listed in a priority order, three components included in all layers are policies and procedures, the roles and training of people, and communication. These components often perform a function in every layer and every tier in each layer. Three tools come together in the PASS approach as outlined in the new 4th Edition of the PASS Guidelines (Figure 2) - the Layers are established and defined, a Checklist/Assessment breaks down each layer into tiered best practices which then tie into the guidelines where a narrative explains each best practice in more detail. Figure 2 Schools need not reinvent the wheel when it comes to school security planning. Following the best practices of Risk Assessments and Layered Security will ensure that every school building in a district will have a unique and comprehensive plan that is tailored to their individual needs.
Most technology companies have one goal in mind: to provide customers with high-quality, affordable products that can efficiently help streamline operations. Whether it's surveillance cameras, video management software, access control technology or any other type of security device, today's leading organizations invest in expertise in these product segments and strive to produce the highest quality solutions. To effectively fulfill this task, technology providers are always searching for emerging components to make their products and services even stronger. Oftentimes, a key aspect necessary to build a comprehensively robust solution involves finding like-minded partners that share a common goal and are willing to work together to create an integration that increases insight and intelligence.The interoperability between systems, devices and different types of applications should be intuitive and fast Key Factors For Security Integrations A basic factor in a partnership is openness. For an integration to perform seamlessly for the end user, the platform through which the technologies converge must follow standard protocols, easily operate with other platforms, allow freedom and customization, and provide adaptability. The interoperability between systems, devices and different types of applications should be intuitive and fast, enabling more time to be spent on analyzing critical data and responding to security events. The puzzle of a complete security solution contains many pieces, and it's often necessary to fuse together aspects from various providers to create a best-in-breed technology offering. When organizations collaborate, the end result is a simplified solution with an increased level of value. As threats become more severe and complex, customers demand solutions that combine different security and business elements into a single interface that can address a wide variety of risks. A unified security system requires a strong collaboration between technology providers and integrated solutions Interconnected Security Devices Users used to only look at specific security devices - such as cameras or door alarms - as each having a strong, autonomous purpose, but now, every device plays an important interconnected role. And the progression of the Internet of Things (IoT) has made this transition even easier, as maintaining a consistent and uniform communication and interconnectivity between devices has now become the norm. The IoT has also made it so that partnerships must not only exist between manufacturers, but also within the customer's organizational structure. Although exceptionally beneficial, the IoT brings with it an increased amount of cyber vulnerabilities. As security systems are networked to increase flexibility, the door is opened to a number of potential threats that could compromise the entire enterprise. This risk highlights the need for an internal partnership and knowledge sharing between a company's physical security professionals and its IT team. IT experts should be pulled into security decisions and positioned as collaborative partners to assist with software updates, data safety protocols and solving complex network challenges, ultimately leading to a more cyber secure solution.Partnerships are beneficial to both the companies involved and their customers Knowledge Sharing And Learning Aside from cybersecurity, the latest prominent security attacks and events have focused primarily on soft targets, such as schools, concerts or shopping malls. This has caused many technology providers to venture into different vertical markets, and strong partnerships streamline this crossover. Innovators can extend their geographic reach and purpose through integrations with other like-minded manufacturers or integrators to add new levels of functionalities. Of course, a partnership cannot operate properly and to the best of its ability without a core component: learning. In today's evolving business and risk environment, knowledge is critical. A shared knowledge base can open up new opportunities and lead to the strengthening of security across many levels. A truly powerful, unified security system requires a strong collaboration between technology providers and integrated solutions. Partnerships are beneficial to both the companies involved and their customers, and the results created through these alliances can reach far beyond a user's expectations, offering enhanced flexibility and extensive safety options.
Many venues are using access control, video surveillance systems, sensors, and additional hardware solutions as part of a broader security strategy. By utilizing so many disparate systems, corporate security teams are left with information “silos” that create inefficiencies and hamper communication. This abundance of hardware has left teams with too much data or too many tools, to manage effectively. Armored Things offers a software solution. The company’s “spatial intelligence platform” currently collects more data than other security intelligence solutions, utilizing a broader range of sources and fusing data together rather than integrating it. The platform currently focuses on taking in data from WiFi, access control, and video surveillance systems and applying machine learning to deliver customers features such as real-time predictive analytics to prevent incidents like bottlenecks or overcrowding. Spatial Intelligence is an approach to physical security that enables users to collect, manage, and interpret data in a single platform. Combine machine learning with data The term can best be used to describe how digital transformation has affected physical security. Spatial Intelligence in its infancy looked like video surveillance data combined with machine learning to produce video analytics. The spatial intelligence solutions of today can combine machine learning with data of any source, type, and size to deliver value across a large organization, not just the security team, says the company. Armored Things’ Spatial Intelligence platform unifies data from information silos to support data-driven decisions around operations and security. By fusing data from multiple sources, we can produce more consistent and useful insights for our customers” A suite of analytics, reporting and visualization tools helps customers gain a real-time understanding of people and flow in their space. By removing the guesswork of everyday decisions, the product enables customers to make data-driven decisions at a moment’s notice, according to the company. Armored Things is more than a data management tool. “By fusing data from multiple sources (rather than only cameras or only WiFi), we can produce more consistent, accurate, and useful insights for our customers,” says Kevin Davis, Chief Security Officer at Armored Things. "Being able to collect the data is the first step, but turning it into actionable intelligence is where Armored Things excels.” IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices The range of data sources includes IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices and even outside data sources like bus schedules and weather reports. Armored Things has built a team of public safety and technical experts with the mission to keep people safe where they live, work, and play. By leveraging emerging technology to enhance physical security, the company built the software-centric Spatial Intelligence Platform for large organizations to enhance the safety and operations of their space. Schools and education facilities are among the customers that can benefit. The leadership at Armored Things cares deeply about school safety, so the recent epidemic of campus violence has definitely been a large topic of conversation, according to the company. “By delivering our products to a greater number of customers, Armored Things hopes to continue making schools a safe place to learn and gather,” says Davis. Recently, there was a significant bottleneck lasting nearly 30 minutes at the Syracuse-Clemson soccer game. Unifying data into one platform Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” Using Armored Things technology and providing real-time data to security and operations personnel could have identified the bottleneck as it began to form. This would have notified relevant personnel, who could have taken steps to mitigate the problem before it turned into a security risk. Keeping the security infrastructure simple is imperative to success. Integrating a software solution into the security strategy shouldn’t complicate existing operations, says the company. “Armored Things Spatial Intelligence Platform can bring your security and operations into focus by unifying all of your data into one platform for ease of use,” says Davis. For this reason, the team chose to integrate not only with customers’ existing security infrastructure but with non-traditional data sources (e.g. WiFi, event schedules, ticketing) as well. “By combining and analyzing a more diverse dataset, Armored Things can help our customers make better decisions with deeper data-driven insights,” says Davis. "Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” says Davis. “As a team, our aim is to help our customers adapt to the digital age, as they transition from hardware to software-centric security solutions. Fostering organizational change is difficult, and our team hopes to make the transition process easier for our customers.”
From New York to California, city and state governments throughout the United States are second-guessing the use of facial recognition technologies by police departments and other government entities. San Francisco was among the first major cities to issue a ban on ‘secret surveillance’ tools such as facial recognition. Now backlash against public use of facial recognition appears to be gathering steam, and some technology trials have faced additional scrutiny. Oakland, California, has joined San Francisco in banning use of facial recognition. Oakland’s diverse population has led to concerns about facial recognition systems that are prone to misidentify people of color. Limiting the use of facial recognition technology The policy would limit use of live facial recognition to situations of credible terrorism threatsNearby Berkeley, California, is considering its own prohibition of facial recognition systems by city government. Somerville, Massachusetts, has banned city departments from buying or using facial-recognition technology for any purpose. A Detroit civilian oversight board and the Board of Police Commissioners are reviewing a formal policy that would require other evidence to be used along with biometric search results to confirm a suspect’s identity. The policy would also limit use of live facial recognition to situations of credible terrorism threats. At the state level, Massachusetts and Michigan are considering moratoriums on use of facial recognition, and a bill in California would forbid police use of facial recognition in body cameras. There is a law in Illinois that requires companies to get consent from customers before collecting biometric information. Installing cameras and facial recognition system Lockport Schools in western New York state have recently drawn attention to their planned use of facial recognition. The school system plans to install dozens of surveillance cameras and a facial recognition system using $1.4 million of a state grant. The Aegis system (by SN Technologies in Canada) creates an ‘early warning system’ that informs staff if it detects individuals who are not allowed in the schools. The school system plans to install dozens of surveillance cameras and a facial recognition system The system will screen every door and also use object recognition to detect 10 types of guns. An initial implementation of the program this summer is meant to troubleshoot the system, train officials on its use, and discuss procedures with law enforcement in the event of an alert. Full implementation is planned in the fall. Abuse of facial recognition system However, New York State Education Department has asked Lockport Schools to delay use of facial recognition technology on students pending further evaluation, and a bill introduced in the New York State Assembly would halt use of the technology for a year for further study. The city of Orlando and Orlando Police Department are testing facial recognition technology to address public safety Abuse has also been a concern. A report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology details widespread abuse of the New York Police Department’s facial recognition system, including image alteration and use of non-suspect images. The charges raise questions about the propriety of how expanding technical capabilities of facial recognition systems are implemented. Testing facial recognition for public safety The city of Orlando, Florida, and Orlando Police Department are testing facial recognition technology to address public safety, partnering with Amazon Web Services. One pilot ended in June 2018, and the most recent ended on July 18, 2019. Orlando has no immediate plants regarding future pilots. Light bulb-sized cameras were affixed to traffic signal poles along the city’s palm-tree-lined avenues. If a camera ‘sees’ someone, it sends a live video feed to Amazon’s facial ‘Rekognition’ system, cross-referencing the face against persons of interest. Only images of Orlando police officer volunteers were used for the test. Recently Congress has become attentive to privacy concerns and, now, the Senate is considering a bill that would limit businesses from collecting and tracking facial recognition data without consent.
School shootings, especially in the United States, present an ongoing tragedy and a challenge to the security industry. We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of preventative measures as they relate to school shootings. A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. points to the problem: Lack of data and research on what works and what doesn’t. “Despite growth in the school safety-technology sector, rigorous research about the effectiveness of these technologies is virtually non-existent,” according to Rand (as reported in Education Week). “The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them in vetted, digestible ways to help them with procurement.” Role of early detection Early detection of weapons in the school environment can minimise the impact of school violence Early detection of weapons – and their users – in the school environment can minimize the impact of school violence. For example, ZeroEyes is an intelligent video analytics platform, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to detect weapons and recognize faces in real time. The company’s goal is to provide school administrators and decision-makers with a simple, intuitive situational awareness platform that gives first responders a tactical advantage. Data capture form to appear here! An emerging tool in campus security is audio analytics: Aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the campus security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognizing duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. A gunshot detector recognizes firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification. Emergency response technology CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role. For example, physical security company Sielox has adapted the idea of using a color scheme to characterize an emergency situation into its electronic security system. CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution that uses a variety of colors to designate the emergency conditions in various parts of a school building – red to alert to a crisis condition and green to designate "safe/secure". Colors are displayed on a schematic of the building, and new colors have been added, too, such as yellow for “unaccounted individual", orange for “disturbance” and blue to designate a medical emergency. CLASS offers five different alert levels and eight different colors that are configurable to denote a wide variety of emergency or non-emergency situations (such as maintenance or homeroom check-in status). Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role Non-lethal methods to suppress active shooters in schools are also emerging. For example, one remotely deployed threat suppression system drenches a perpetrator with a repulsive water-based solution, thus impairing their ability to enact violence. The solution irritates eyes, throat, lungs and skin, but does not cause permanent injury. Cleanup is easy using water and detergent. The solution is manually deployed in predetermined zones, which limits the affected areas in a building. Touch-screen control enables rapid deployment, which can also be integrated with Threat Alert buttons and/or gunshot detection. ShotSpotter gunfire tracking Gun violence is also an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located Beyond the schools themselves, gun violence is an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located. ShotSpotter, Inc. released data tracking gunfire in and around public K-12 school communities within ShotSpotter coverage areas during 2017. The data revealed more than 4,800 gunfire incidents occurred during school hours within a one-half mile radius of public K-12 schools and within the coverage area. There are 2,320 public K-12 schools and over 1,079,700 students within ShotSpotter coverage areas in 77 cities in the United States. The ShotSpotter study tracked and analyzed data on the number of gunfire incidents that occurred at or near those schools across the time period from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. local time, Monday – Friday, including summer and holidays. On a positive note, awareness of high-profile school violence has prompted action. Schools and universities are most certainly safer than ever before. High-profile incidents, especially active shooters tragedies, have increased collective security awareness. Heightened awareness leads to safer practices, improved emergency preparedness and security technology innovations. Collaborative efforts that involve stakeholder groups, such as administrators, responders and students, are the key to a safer learning environment. Investing in technology advances in 1) access control (e.g. electronic access, visitor management) and 2) communications (e.g. duress capabilities, mass notification) is the most effective way to protect people.
From simple thefts of copper wire from rooftop HVAC systems, to substantial damage and revenue loss at electrical substations, copper continues to be stolen from everywhere that it is readily available. Due to the high price of copper, a large electric power holding company in the Mid-West United States faced the growing issue of theft and damage at multiple sites. The few hundred dollars of copper that was being ripped out was causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, repairs, and down time, while creating unsafe grounding conditions for the electrical equipment. Electrical substations Changing site conditions, large perimeters and the inability to trench, and remote locations were all challenges that needed to be addressed when deciding on a solution. An integrator was selected who then teamed up with OPTEX to create a reliable, effective security solution. The team decided on protecting the existing perimeter fence and automatic gate systems using pairs of the SL-350QFRi housed in photoelectric beam towers. This offered a battery-powered, wireless 350ft. point-to-point perimeter solution and allowed the integrator to set up the units without running power to them, eliminating the need to trench or run cables. When a site plan is provided, OPTEX offers to custom build the towers and pre-install the photoelectric beams in them based on the job site specifications, all at no charge. Also, it will be shipped directly to the job site, labeled for position and ready to be installed. Rooftop and HVAC units When a high school in DeKalb County, Georgia began feeling the effects of copper theft, The DeKalb County School District turned to OPTEX to help protect their HVAC systems, rooftops and yards. Because of labor and cost associated with wiring, along with the difficulty bringing power to the rooftops, the Regional Sales Director for OPTEX recommended the iSeries battery-powered, wireless PIRs. The iSeries detectors offered spot protection for the HVAC units while covering all access points on the rooftop. Relocation of detectors Thefts have been eliminated and the end user can respond quickly before any damage is done The wireless feature also allows the integrator to relocate and easily adjust the detectors based on future security needs. With the system in place, copper and other related thefts have been eliminated and the end user can respond quickly before any damage is done. All of the battery-powered, wireless detectors from OPTEX come with an empty backbox and work with most manufacturers wireless transmitters. When one selects the iSeries version, OPTEX will pre-install the batteries and an Inovonics EN1941 wireless transmitter. One less time consuming step to do for the installer! Construction sites A New Mexico based construction contractor began having problems keeping thieves out of its construction sites during non-working hours. Unwatched construction sites are hot beds for a variety of thefts from copper pipes and wire to hand tools to heavy-duty machinery. Set-up was able to accommodate the frequently changing conditions of a construction site Sometimes workers would arrive to a site in the morning only to find materials, such as copper pipe, gone along with their tools. The result is the loss of a whole day and sometimes multiple days of work. On top of the lost time, the contractor had to cover the cost of replacing materials. An Albuquerque based integrator introduced the construction contractor to the idea of a flexible, reliable wireless solution that could continually monitor the entire site without the need to trench around the perimeter. OPTEX iSeries photo beams and PIR detectors A combination of OPTEX iSeries photo beams and PIR detectors were attached to freestanding steel posts with base plates and deployed throughout the job sites. This set-up was able to accommodate the frequently changing conditions of a construction site. For some sites, the integrator used as few as a dozen detectors, while others required as many as 30 or more. With the PIR and Photo beam solution specific to each site, the end user has seen zero thefts since installation.
A British university has overhauled its dated suite of security cameras to prepare for expansion and better protect its students and staff. Newman University in Birmingham called in systems specialist Unison Integrated Technology after a major power-surge disabled more than 30 cameras in its ageing system. Newman wanted comprehensive video coverage that was more robust and easier to use as part of its development plan for a safe learning environment for almost 3,000 students and staff. Facilities manager Lewis Palin said: “We contract out our security services, so it’s important for newly arrived officers to be able to use all of the system’s key features with minimal training.” Digital image stabilization Unison proposed an IDIS end-to-end solution that had already performed excellently at a number of nearby schools, colleges and commercial sites. Total cost of ownership was also a factor as Newman needed more than 150 new internal and external cameras, so Palin wanted to integrate its existing cameras and infrastructure with the new kit. It also meant minimal maintenance charges, no license fees and the option to adapt or scale the system as the campus grew or requirements changed. The Unison team delivered an IDIS DirectIP solution with more than 160 cameras, including five advanced 2MP Lightmaster IR PTZ models delivering 36x zoom and pin-sharp images in all lighting thanks to their 350 meter IR, true wide dynamic range and digital image stabilization. Network video recorders Unrivalled storage capability is assured by four powerful 64-channel network video recorders Unison also installed 55 full-HD IR vandal-resistant dome cameras to secure entrances and internal areas, and 40 IR bullet cameras to give HD coverage of key external areas. All the new cameras incorporate IDIS Smart Failover technology, which ensures automatic protection against video data loss, eliminating the risk of gaps in recordings in the event of power failure or network instability. Unrivalled storage capability is assured by four powerful 64-channel network video recorders with built-in failover and RAID 1, 5 and 10 support, plus a further three 32-channel recorders with IDIS Intelligent Codec to deliver storage efficiency. easily monitor live Security officers can now easily monitor live internal and external areas, and quickly search and retrieve recorded footage to find events of interest. Palin concluded: “Unison got the entire job done in three weeks – with swift stock delivery from IDIS – working around us to deliver our new system exactly as promised. We will definitely stick with IDIS technology as we expand our estate.”
Rishikul Vidyapeeth is a reputed residential school built across 43 acres of land located in Sonepat, Haryana with separate hostels facilities. It is one of the best CBSE boarding schools in Delhi/NCR with international faculty and tie-ups. Rishikul Vidyapeeth is an eco-friendly residential school, housed in well-defined infrastructure rich with architectural extras including well-furnished and well-ventilated modern buildings, smart classrooms and sophisticated labs to suffice the needs of 21st-century learners and educators. The school is big on quality teaching and on helping the students to reach their full potential. Managing attendance data Rishikul Vidyapeeth has its presence in three places - Sonepat, Jagos Bhaghpat and Alipur. Managing the attendance data of various locations from a central place was a major challenge for the organization. The system they used was inefficient to address their challenges. The officials were looking for a comprehensive time-attendance solution for efficiently tracking the movement of its staff situated at different locations from a central place. Moreover, they required an effective solution that would notify on exceptions - missing in/out punch, attendance summary, etc. Fingerprint-based time-attendance solution Matrix has installed a total of 10 fingerprint-based time-attendance terminals at three different locations After a comprehensive discussion with their team, Matrix has proposed a comprehensive time-attendance solution for managing their attendance and tracking their staff movement from a centralized location. Matrix has installed a total of 10 fingerprint-based time-attendance terminals at three different locations. These devices are connected via LAN with the COSEC CENTRA server installed at Rishikul Vidyapeeth, Sonepat. COSEC CENTRA server integrated with SMS web server Moreover, with the help of the solution, they could generate customized reports in different file formats. Matrix has integrated COSEC CENTRA server with an SMS web server for instant notification on exceptions. With that, the users were instantly updated on occurrences of such events. Results include: Efficient time-attendance management Improved accuracy in attendance calculation with SMS notification Proper user database management Centralized monitoring and control Increased productivity Customized reports as and when required Products and solutions offered: COSEC DOOR FOT - Optical fingerprint and card-based time-attendance terminal COSEC LE PLATFORM - COSEC software platform for up to 1000 users COSEC LE TAM - Time-attendance and leave management module for COSEC software platform
Imagine a campus security installation so big that it will take years to complete all the work, and it also means installing solutions with the latest technology and significant impact on school security. This illustration is the kind of job an integrator can really sink their teeth into. It is the kind of solution that a manufacturer wants to keep on their to-do list. Houston Independent School District Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the largest school district in Texas and is the seventh-largest school district in the United States. The latest technology is about to make its debut in every one of HISD's campuses. HISD has built ten new schools within the district in 2018 and is expected to add another 10 to 12 this year, all of which will be brought on board with new cabling and IP cameras. In all, there are 280 schools in the district. IP network cameras installed We (Salient) have partnered with Houston ISD for their security needs for more than a decade" The change in security solutions would be significant as the district had already deployed upwards of 17,000 analog cameras at its schools with coax cable. As seen with many of the surrounding school districts, the time had come to retire the old system and make significant upgrades. "We (Salient) have partnered with Houston ISD for their security needs for more than a decade," said Paul Fisher, Vice President of Global Key and National Accounts at Salient Systems, adding "We have worked with other nearby school districts in the Houston area, including HISD. Our extensive experience will continue to guide HISD as they build new schools and refurbish other facilities in the district." Implementation of PowerUltra hardware Fisher said the most significant difference with the new IP security installations would be the implementation of Salient's PowerUltra hardware. This hardware will replace an obsolete Windows XP, which is no longer serviced by Microsoft. PowerUltra hardware is the new standard of storage from the IT perspective. "This hardware will allow HISD to grow over the next five years and give them twice as much horsepower than they currently need," Fisher said, adding "This is a major move to IP video surveillance, and each server will easily handle more than 200 IP cameras." IP video surveillance solution Building schools and refurbishing the current installed base at HISD is no easy task. The district covers territory in nine municipalities and some unincorporated areas in Greater Houston, including all of the cities of Bellaire, West University Place, Southside Place, and most of the area within the Houston city limits. HISD also takes students from the Harris County portion of Missouri City, a part of Jacinto City, a small portion of Hunters Creek Village, a small piece of Piney Point Village, and a small section of Pearland; Pearland annexed territory within HISD between 1998 and 2005. There are 209,000 students, speaking nearly 100 languages, nearly 12,000 teachers, and approximately 28,000 support staff. Enhanced safety and security Safety and security are part of the project scope for all recently completed schools" "Safety and security are part of the project scope for all recently completed schools and those currently under construction,” District officials said, adding "This includes the 40 schools that are part of the 2012 Bond Program, as well as seven more schools, either recently completed or under construction, that are not funded by the 2012 Bond." Additionally, the 2012 Bond Program includes a US$ 17.3 million line item dedicated to safety and security upgrades at schools district-wide. That focus was further strengthened in 2017 when the HISD Board of Education allocated an additional US$ 12.1 million for district-wide safety and security needs. Adopting a total IP solution "We are pleased to be a part of this safety and security upgrade at HISD. Using Salient technology at the head-end of the security systems says a lot about our open architecture, and the trust that the school district has placed in us," Fisher said. He adds, "As we help HISD move towards a total IP solution, we are also pleased to work with the HISD IT department and upgrade their network cabling." Security upgrades Not all HISD schools fall under the bond program. Many safety and security upgrades are made based on a review of assessed needs at various campuses. Most updates are at elementary and middle schools because so many high schools have been or will be replaced or rebuilt with the district-standard safety and security measures already incorporated. "The upgrades have been completed partially in-house and partially by contracting with construction, technology, and security vendors," district officials stated, adding "In regards to wire pulls, all new campuses have robust fiber optic and wire backbones, minimizing the need for new wire pulls. However, for upgrades at existing campuses, the amount of wiring needed and pull times will vary." Salient Systems VMS Salient System's VMS has been in place throughout their decades-long security contract While Salient System's VMS has been in place throughout their decades-long security contract, the company's technology unit has been working hand-in-hand with HISD's Information Technology division with the installation of the PowerUltra in new schools. All while security maintenance, a team under the purview of the business operations facilities and fleet services department, is overseeing server replacement in existing schools. Increased level of visibility "The leadership of HISD has taken safety and security to a new level with the highest quality of products and solutions, meeting the demands of installation at new schools and existing campuses," Fisher said. He adds, "Our goal has been to ensure that the software and storage systems we provide lend themselves to the overall health of the security system. The increased level of visibility in the 'live view mode' ensures that what an operator is looking at is viewed at the proper resolution." Increased coordination between SOC and security system Implementation of safety and security upgrades is currently underway. Once fully implemented, HISD expects to see a significant increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of communications, specifically, district officials will be able to see real-time 24/7 server monitoring, allowing for increased connections between the security operations center (SOC) and the security system. Technicians also will be able to troubleshoot remotely, increasing efficiency. "The SOC is manned 24/7," the district official said, adding "As servers are migrated to the PowerUltra, SOC will be monitoring them 24/7”. The official further stated, “Currently, a manual report is run each morning to determine what servers are down. Campuses also may call during the day to report if they are unable to view their cameras. Once an issue is identified, a technician is dispatched to the site to troubleshoot."
The sad reality of today’s campuses, whether K-12 schools or college campuses, is that they can no longer be areas anyone is welcome to enter; there must be steps taken to prevent someone who would enter the campus with intentions to harm students, teachers, and staff. For years many organizations have been reactionary, thinking some of the horrific acts of violence happen elsewhere but could not happen here. However, recent events, especially the Parkland shooting, have caused many to realize they must be proactive. People who studied education most likely have no formal training in the security field, yet now they are expected to make expert decisions about campus security. So how can those in this field make the best choices with regard to campus security? Paul Fisher shares four things to consider when developing campus security. Access control system Integration has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the security industry for the past few years Integration has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the security industry for the past few years. People understand the need for different technologies to communicate effectively and reliably, and to provide law enforcement, firefighters, and school administrators with seamless communication with security systems so they can effectively do their jobs. “Many of the recent tragedies have caught us, from the campus security side, off guard,” Paul Fisher, Director of Key Accounts, at Salient Systems said. “Just because I have this access control system, this camera system, and a gunshot detection solution, security professionals still need to confirm these products are going to work seamlessly together.” Seamless interoperability Unfortunately, Fisher says, as 9/11 taught us, seamless interoperability isn’t always the case. “While many security consultants might say certain technologies should or must integrate, they don’t necessarily go through the process of step-by-step implementation and review,” Fisher said. “You need to ask yourself, ‘If this is happening, what should happen next?’” The main goal of the consulting world is to fit a video system or a security system into the budget of the school district or bond, and unfortunately, things might get left out as schools don’t always have enough money to outfit their campuses with a fully effective security solution. Video surveillance systems Schools can focus on physical hardening aspects of security, such as a man trap area in a vestibule Fortunately, attitudes in this area seem to be shifting as campus security professionals address real threats towards their campus and begin to be proactive about implementing a solution that truly integrates and interoperates with the various layers of available technology, as well as with campus readiness programs and local law enforcement. Schools can focus on physical hardening aspects of security, such as a man trap area in a vestibule or bulletproof doors. Another technology that campuses are finding useful is gunshot detection. While this technology is not new, it has certainly become far more effective than it was in its earlier iterations, and when integrated properly with video surveillance systems and cellphone map technology, it can be an incredibly useful tool for law enforcement entering a potentially deadly situation and for those who need the earliest possible warning. Law enforcement awareness “If you talk to students and really listen to the stories that come out of the shootings,” Fisher said. “So many times, the kids say, ‘We thought it was something else; we didn’t realize it was a gun.’ Until they realize the gunfire is right next to them, they don’t know what is happening.” As soon as the gunshot is detected, that’s an early warning for the teachers and students to get out of the hallways and into a classroom or an area where they can lock the door. Another related technology that must integrate with an overall security system is automatic lockdown. As soon as the school realizes there is the potential for an event, it must have the ability to lock down as many doors as possible while still providing the ability to see inside the school, so the responding officers have a better idea the threat and giving staff and law enforcement awareness into the situation. Facilitate Situational Awareness Situational awareness is closely tied in with a campus security system’s integration with other technologies Fisher says most schools use their video surveillance systems primarily for investigation purposes after the fact, but to truly save lives, schools must be able to offer useful live video feeds to law enforcement. This requires integration with gunshot detection systems that can pinpoint the spot where a shot was fired and highlight the live feed from nearby cameras. A simple interface must give an officer, who may not be trained in such a system, the ability to know where the camera is located and the direction it is pointed so that he or she has the situational awareness necessary to find and neutralize the threat as quickly and safely as possible. This situational awareness is closely tied in with a campus security system’s integration with other technologies. gunshot detection system To help organizations better capitalize on this technology, Salient’s platform is offering the ability to implement maps into a cellphone device, Fisher says.“So now with a handheld device, cellphone or a tablet, approaching law enforcement, if given that access, can look at a map that will show the direction the camera is pointed and its physical location on the map of the facility,” Fisher said. “If the video surveillance system is tied to the gunshot detection system, it would trigger the camera to change colors indicating this is the general direction the shot came from. With a camera that is physically located in the area, the instant video will show exactly what’s happening in the camera view area.” Good financial fiduciaries For educational institutions, finances are probably the biggest barrier to getting the most effective system. Those making the decisions must not only spend the allotted money wisely, but they must spend it on proven technology. Schools can’t afford to spend it on a new technology that makes huge promises but fails to deliver. Local businesses often partner with law enforcement who will come in and do an evaluation of the facility One way Fisher says educational organizations can ensure they are good financial fiduciaries is to cultivate partnerships with local, state, and even federal law enforcement agencies. “A security consultant addressing a school board doesn’t have as much weight as your local FBI saying it,” Fisher said. Local businesses often partner with law enforcement and the FBI, who will come in and do an evaluation of the facility. Law enforcement agency “They come into ports, airports, critical infrastructure on a daily basis and provide a threat assessment. It would be valuable for school districts to go to local or state level and even a federal level law enforcement agency and ask for an evaluation of their campus,” Fisher said. “Those evaluations would provide a high level of assurances for a school board when they propose a bond request.” Institutions must partner with the right companies to truly get the most out of their security solutions and integrations. “The industry started with proprietary technologies in everything they did,” Fisher said. “And then it moved to an open architecture approach. Security industry manufacturers are now moving back to a proprietary format, meaning that companies have decided they want to be the jack-of-all-trades and the master of none. They offer access control, cameras, VMS, analytics—they try to wrap it all up and say they can do it all.” Video security solution Fisher says it is the companies that continue in an open architecture approach that has the ability to really hone in on the best-of-breed technologies and provide the flexibility to adopt and deploy the best available components of a total solution. “We are committed to helping you design the best video security solution for your needs,” Fisher said. “And we will integrate with companies that offer products that meet those needs.” Integration between systems can be one of the most important features for day-to-day users of the security system. If multiple security technologies are in place, integration of those technologies should be a goal for most organizations’ security programs in order to maximize benefits from each system.
The education sector is a gateway to the future for young people all over the world. But to assure this passage, schools must guarantee their students' safety as well as their education. In today's world, educators, administrators, and parents can all agree on one thing: the need to provide safe and secure learning environments for students is of paramount importance. When any type or size of threat has been made evident to an educational institution, immediate security protocol nowadays typically involves securing the entire facility and taking all measures necessary to keep intruders out. But this is not always as easy as it sounds, as reaching all doors during the event promptly can prove to be challenging. Multiple buildings, community spaces, and the logistics of personnel having to physically lock doors increases the risk for both students and staff. Intrusion detection platforms The integration between both systems means security managers can have access to a single user interface to monitor When determining which access control platforms to invest in, several factors have to be considered. This can include whether intrusion systems are also a critical component of the school’s security makeup. This is where Vanderbilt has the edge as the company possesses two award-winning products that also integrate with each other. These are the access control software ACT Enterprise and the intrusion detection system, SPC. The integration between both systems means security managers can have access to a single user interface to monitor both their access control and intrusion detection platforms. This includes a real-time of their SPC zone status from within ACT Enterprise, as well as the ability to view SPC events within ACT Enterprise, and more importantly, send commands such as “set” or “unset” to SPC from within ACT Enterprise. Access control fob Overall, this is an excellent added layer of security for school managers who get the benefit of two award-winning security systems all from one interface. Of course, a standout feature of ACT Enterprise is the software’s intuitive rules mapping engine that can trigger pre-defined outcomes based on specific event outcomes. Therefore, this feature is a particularly useful and creative tool to have at the disposal of a security or facility manager. Through the rules mapping feature, they can ensure not only the safety of the schools’ students and staff, but the smooth running of the building as well. For instance, an example of a rule that a security manager could create in the system, would be to receive an email notification anytime someone used their access control fob to enter into the school after hours. Audio and video verification Additionally, the integration between ACT Enterprise and SPC comes back into play here as the system user can also monitor their sites remotely through the SPC Connect app, which allows audio and video verification of any events that may take place on site. So, in essence, any security alerts can be immediately investigated and verified through video confirmation before taking the next appropriate steps to correct the situation. Libraries are often open late or even 24/7 to accommodate student learning for assignments and exams In addition to schools in general, when it comes to higher education, many universities are spread across a wide radius and contain popular student destinations such as bars, restaurants, gyms, and sporting facilities. One such popular student destination, the library, is a key example of the problematic issues that face the education sector. Libraries are often open late or even 24/7 to accommodate student learning for assignments and exams. Recording fob activity Libraries also house an abundance of valuable equipment such as state-of-the-art computers and printers. However, their opening hours and equipment makes them sensitive to theft, while the fact that they are focal gathering points for many students makes them a significant priority in securing students’ safety in the event of an active shooter on campus. Thanks to ACT Enterprise’s muster reporting feature, security managers can, for example, keep an audit trail of who is in the library by monitoring and recording fob activity. The ACT Enterprise muster report gives security a real-time list of all students in the library, and when students exit the library and swipe out, the muster report will automatically update. Access control systems These are just some of the advantages that access control systems such as Vanderbilt’s ACT Enterprise can have in an educational environment. Vanderbilt understands that security in education is an essential issue, one that requires thoughtful attention and procedure while allowing room for agility, adaptability, and dependability. Vanderbilt’s ACT Enterprise respond to these expectations and enable practical safeguarding foundations to be laid.
Round table discussion
The new school year is a good time to reflect on the role of security in protecting our schools. From video to access control to some newer technologies, our Expert Panel Roundtable found plenty to talk about when we asked this week’s question: How does security technology make our schools safer?
Physical security technologies operate successfully in many different markets, but in which markets do they fall short? Physical security is a difficult challenge that can sometime defy the best efforts of manufacturers, integrators and end users. This is especially the case in some of the more problematic markets and applications where even the best technology has to offer may not be good enough, or could it be that the best technology has not been adequately applied? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to reflect on instances when the industry may fall short: Which segments of the physical security industry are most under-served and why?
The beginning of the school year and upcoming seasonal changes remind us that demand for security systems, like almost everything else, is seasonal to some extent. Making improvements to educational facilities during the summer months – including installation of security systems – is the most obvious example of seasonal demand, but there are others. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which vertical markets for security are impacted by seasonal changes in demand?
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