School shootings continue, as does a search for answers. What solutions are there to prevent school shootings and/or to improve the response (and thus minimize the death toll)? In the physical security industry, we like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem, but realistically speaking, how effective are they at the end of the day? We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective ar...
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...
Sielox LLC and Allegion have partnered to provide a unique and powerful solution designed to increase perimeter security at K-12 schools. Utilizing the Sielox Pinnacle Access Control Platform and 1700 Intelligent Controllers, K-12 schools can seamlessly integrate the Remote Undogging (RU) and Remote Monitoring (RM) options available with Allegion’s Von Duprin and Schlage wireless locks from a centralized location, reducing overall costs for additional network cabling while increasing overa...
Video cameras are everywhere, and hundreds more are installed every day. Our society appears to be reaching a point of perpetual surveillance. It certainly feels as if we are always being watched even though it is not yet the case. But as cameras are becoming more common than ever, we are also entering a new era of privacy concerns and sensitivities, as evidenced by GDPR and other such initiatives. We presented this quandary to this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Surveillance cameras can...
K-12 schools and higher education campuses face a number of challenges, not the least of which is the basic principle of safeguarding students, staff and faculty from emerging threats. They must strive to strike a balance between building a safe and secure environment and maintaining a welcoming one. A combination of policies and procedures for stakeholders to follow can be instrumental in achieving these goals, but it's not enough to simply lay down strategies. Manufacturers and integrators mus...
Leaders in the electronic security and life safety industry will roll up their sleeves and contribute some creativity to an interactive art project on the ESX expo floor June 20-21 in Nashville, TN. #PassionateSecurity in Schools Initiative As part of ESX’s ‘#PassionateSecurity in Schools’ initiative, which also includes a heartfelt presentation during the show’s Closing Keynote Luncheon on June 22, attendees will be painting a 3-part mural that ESX will then donate to...
Axis Communications, provider of network video solutions, has announced new products and solutions to be introduced at ISC West. The main areas of development include, small business, seamless panoramic surveillance, and audio. “We are excited to attend ISC West and to showcase our products and solutions there,” said Fredrik Nilsson, VP, Americas, Axis Communications, Inc. “We encourage attendees to come to our booth to experience our newest innovations for a smarter, safer world and to learn more about what Axis will be releasing in the coming months.” AXIS Companion Eye Mini L is a fixed mini dome with a compact design for indoor use Fixed Dome and Bullet Cameras AXIS Companion Eye Mini L is a fixed mini dome with a compact design for indoor use, and AXIS Companion Bullet Mini LE is an outdoor-ready fixed, bullet-style camera. In addition to built-in IR for surveillance in dark conditions, both cameras offer high-quality video in HDTV 1080p and 2 MP resolution, wide dynamic range technology to handle scenes with complex light conditions and require AXIS Companion Recorder for system completion. The cameras, which are designed for the small business market to use with AXIS Companion Video Management Software, are 70% smaller than the existing AXIS Companion cameras, making them ideal for discreet installations in small business environments such as, restaurants, small boutiques shops and office spaces. The panoramic multi-sensor AXIS P3807-PVE Network Camera provides a seamlessly stitched 180° panoramic experience Multi-sensor Network Camera The panoramic multi-sensor AXIS P3807-PVE Network Camera provides a seamlessly stitched 180° panoramic experience and eliminates blind spots through a 90° vertical field of view. This fixed dome camera provides an easy, reliable, and cost-efficient installation, which reduces installation time, cabling, and VMS license costs. Using top-line image sensors, along with Axis Forensic WDR and Lightfinder technologies, the AXIS P3807-PVE provides great video quality in any light conditions while providing full coverage and forensic video quality. This camera is ideal for covering large open areas such as campuses, public places, and parking lots. AXIS T61 Audio & I/O Interface Series enables two-way audio and I/O connectivity together with compact, cost-efficient Axis cameras that do not have the functionality built in. Installed between the switch and the camera, the AXIS T61 unit provides connectivity where it’s needed. With Axis’ new Portcast technology, the camera can then deliver video and audio through a single stream, requiring no additional IP address - the camera will act as if audio and I/O were built in. Portcast will first be enabled with selected cameras from the AXIS M30 Series and, in coming months, will be available in additional cameras. AXIS Audio Manager C7050 Server enables the configuration and management of larger, more complex audio systems Audio Manager AXIS Audio Manager C7050 Server enables the configuration and management of larger, more complex audio systems. The AXIS Audio Manager comes with the management software pre-installed, making the installation process easier. When coupled with Axis C Series products, AXIS Audio Manager enables central management of audio content, zone management, and scheduling in larger, distributed setups, such as retail stores or large school campuses. Axis’ products and solutions will be showcased at ISC West in Axis’ booth #14051.
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America will showcase its latest innovations and a diversified technology portfolio of end-to-end security and evidence management solutions at ISC West 2018 Booth 10037, April 11-13, at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. Expanding upon the broad collection of fixed, mobile and body-worn hardware and software surveillance platforms unveiled late last year, Panasonic will exhibit a collection of highly-integrated products and services to easily connect and manage the fast-changing security industry. New products include FacePRO facial recognition software with deep learning technology; the new Video Insight VI 7.2 VMS; the i-PRO EXTREME 33MP (4x4K) Multi-Sensor camera; the i-PRO EXTREME 9 Megapixel 360 degree dome camera series; and the i-PRO EXTREME 5 Megapixel Fixed camera series. ISC West serves as an important platform to show the significant investment Panasonic has made in security technology" Unified Security Management Solutions “ISC West serves as an important platform to show the significant investment Panasonic has made in security technology to provide integrated solutions that are easy to use across numerous key vertical markets including education, public safety, and transportation,” said M. Faisal Pandit, SVP and Chief Digital Officer, Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America. “We are committed to delivering comprehensive, turnkey, video surveillance hardware and software solutions that work together to keep cities, schools, and our communities safe.” This year the new Unified Security Management Solutions exhibit demonstrates Panasonic’s VI 7 VMS Solution, MonitorCast Access Control, Transportation Solution and Advidia Cameras. The Unified Public Safety area demos body-worn-cameras, UEMS (Unified Evidence Management System) and the new FacePRO high-precision facial recognition software with deep learning technology. The new I-PRO Extreme Products display showcases FacePRO facial recognition software and its integration with the new i-PRO EXTREME line of cameras (Multi-Sensor, 9 Megapixel 360, and 5 Megapixel camera series), as well as the cameras themselves, and a new NVR. The Strategic Partner Zone includes v5 systems a portable outdoor security solution, Optex an intrusion detection security demo and integration between Genetec / FacePRO. FacePRO high-precision facial recognition software can identify faces that are difficult to recognise with conventional technologies Showcase Details Details on the Panasonic technology and solutions to be showcased in ISC West Booth 10037 include: New FacePRO Facial Recognition – Featuring a “deep learning” core engine that boasts the world’s highest face recognition performance, FacePRO high-precision facial recognition software can identify faces that are difficult to recognize with conventional technologies, including faces at an angle of up to 45 degrees to the left or right or 30 degrees up or down, and those partially hidden by sunglasses. FacePRO even works better with the feature "iA (intelligent Auto) mode" that camera automatically adjusts settings to shoot optimal images best suited for facial recognition. When used with Panasonic's i-PRO EXTREME series network cameras installed with “Best Shot feature,” only the “best shots” will be sent to the server for face recognition. Using FacePRO with cameras equipped with the iA function enables image analysis to be performed on the camera instead of the server. As a result, only the best images are sent, reducing server and network load and total system cost. Video Insight VI 7.2 Video Management Software – An integral component of any school or city safety solution is video surveillance management. Video Insight VI 7.2 is the latest generation of VI’s open-platform VMS and is faster and is reimagined from the ground up to be more intuitive, easy, and powerful, while offering new premium functionality for key vertical markets: Panasonic Body-Worn Camera Support – Ability to connect to Panasonic body-worn cameras and can transfer video and audio to VI MonitorPlus. The new i-Pro EXTREME Multi-Sensor cameras deliver extreme image quality for evidence capturing Vehicle Incident Detection (VID) – Capture and highlight video of stopped and wrong-way vehicles. Transportation Functionality – Transfer and review video and audio from Panasonic body-worn cameras. LPR License Plate Recognition (LPR) Plug-in – Integrate with LPR cameras to capture, monitor, and review video associated with recognized license plates. FacePRO Integration Plug-In – Detect registered faces and retrieve recorded snapshots and associated video. Panasonic NVR Integration – Ability to connect Panasonic NVRs and cameras for live and recorded video. New i-Pro EXTREME H.265 Multi-Sensor Camera – WV-X8570N, WV-S8530NThe new i-Pro EXTREME Multi-Sensor cameras deliver extreme image quality – 4x4K (33 MP), 3840x2160, 15 FPS – for evidence capturing under the most challenging of conditions which makes it perfect for use in safe city and traffic applications. i-Pro EXTREME Multi-Sensor cameras have four repositionable lenses, 4K image sensors, offer sharp and clear images of fast moving vehicles with iA (intelligent Auto) and ClearSight Coating. Durable, with outstanding low light performance, the i-ProEXTREME Multi-Sensor is an excellent choice for nighttime applications. H.265 compression with new smart coding, self-learning ROI (Region of Interest), and the highest in data security make the i-Pro EXTREME Multi-Sensor a technologically superior line of video surveillance cameras. The i-Pro EXTREME 9 MP 360 video surveillance cameras are perfect for transportation, retail, logistics, campus, city and healthcare applications New i-Pro EXTREME H.265 9 MP 360 Degree Camera – WV-X4571LM, WV-X4571L, WV-X4171, WV-X4170The i-Pro EXTREME 9 MP 360 line of video surveillance cameras is perfect for transportation, retail, logistics, campus, city and healthcare applications. With a clearer – and less distorted – image of faces and objects near the edge of the fisheye, the camera provides 9 megapixel fisheye images up to 30 FPS and instantly responds to sudden light changes. It also has Auto Shutter speed control for fast moving objects, Super Dynamic 108dB for backlit situations and shadows, and built-in IR LED for clarity in zero lux conditions (*). H.265 compression with new smart coding, self-learning ROI (Region of Interest), and the highest in data security encryption make the i-Pro EXTREME 9 MP 360 camera a technologically superior line of video surveillance cameras. (*IR LED is outdoor models only) New i-Pro EXTREME H.265 5 MP Fixed Camera – WV-S2550L, WV-S2250L, WV-S1550LPerfect for safe cities and campuses, as well as for transportation, retail and finance implementations, the new i-Pro EXTREME 5 MP fixed camera line offers Auto Shutter speed control for moving vehicles, sharp images of a person walking in daylight or at night, outstanding low light performance, and Super Dynamic 120dB for backlit situations including headlights or shadows on streets. With 5 megapixel images up to 30 FPS, efficient H.265 compression provides longer recording and less storage compared to any other H.264 techniques. New self-learning ROI (Region of Interest) detects movement within an image and compresses areas with little motion to reduce transmitted data while maintaining the quality of the image. Full end-to-end system encryption with i-PRO EXTREME Recorder and devices provide protection from IP snooping, IP spoofing, and data alteration.
Sony’s latest SNC-HMX70 security camera maintains an all-round 360-degree hemispheric view with no blind spots – ensuring full situational awareness in a wide range of indoor surveillance applications. The camera's fixed lens and high-resolution 12-megapixel CMOS sensor stream crisply detailed, high-resolution video at a smooth 30 fps. This assures that people and objects are seen clearly, even in challenging lighting conditions. Harshly backlit windows, lobbies and entrances are no problem for the SNC-HMX70. Intelligent Auto Exposure analyses front and backlighting in the scene, fine-tuning exposure for perfect footage in any lighting conditions. The camera’s wide 92dB dynamic range captures crucial image detail, even in high-contrast scenes with extremes of light and shade. Its slim, low-profile styling makes the SNC-HMX70 ideal for discreet round-the-clock monitoring in environments ranging from retail stores, banks, casinos and commercial buildings to schools and offices. Mounting is quick and easy with supplied twist/click mounting ring, while Power-over-Ethernet connection simplifies cabling.Even greater monitoring flexibility is provided by a choice of Panoramic, Quad and Corridor viewing modes 24/7 Situational Awareness Unlike conventional PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) cameras, the SNC-HMX70 maintains total situational awareness of the entire coverage area. This means that a full-resolution 360-degree image can always be recorded, even if only a portion of the scene is being scrutinized in close-up. To provide an undistorted rectangular view, this hemispheric image can be ‘de-warped’ – using Video Management System software or the camera’s own edge de-warping function that provides three simultaneous views. In addition to full image circle and de-warped views, remote E-PTZ (Electronic Pan, Tilt and Zoom) allows high-resolution monitoring of specific Regions of Interest (ROI). Even greater monitoring flexibility is provided by a choice of Panoramic, Quad and Corridor viewing modes. Smart Coding And Video Analytics Smart Coding intelligently distinguishes between noise and crucial picture information, as well as between moving and static parts of the scene. This reduces video bitrate by up to 50 percent, cutting network data demands without compromising picture quality. Through Sony’s technology partnership with Bosch, the new SNC-HMX70 uses powerful on-board video analytics that can accurately track movement through the camera’s entire coverage area. This makes the SNC-HMX70 ideal for applications such as people counting or detection of suspicious activity. In addition, metadata is streamed from the camera to client software for further use in business analysis or search. With the SNC-HMX70, security users can be confident that no detail gets missed when it really matters" Hemispheric Monitoring “The new SNC-HMX70 is compact, discreet and unobtrusive – but it’s remarkably powerful for its size,” notes Yoshikazu Hirano, General Manager of the B2B Segment Business Division at Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc. “Hemispheric monitoring offers a really big advantage over conventional PTZ cameras that sacrifice wide-area situational awareness when they’re zoomed in to see unusual activity in close-up. With the SNC-HMX70, security users can be confident that no detail gets missed when it really matters.”
CNL Software, global pure play Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) software provider, will be showcasing its latest IP Security Center PSIM solution at the Connected Security Expo at ISC West in Las Vegas April 11-13, 2018. CNL Software will demonstrate how its PSIM technology helps law enforcement, government agencies and the military, owners and operators of public and private critical infrastructure, large corporations and school districts, colleges and universities, and transportation facilities and networks integrate, automate, and connect security operations and realize the full potential of security system investments. Connected Security Expo The Connected Security Expo targets the convergence of the physical and digital domains and increased demand for more holistic solutions that reduce the clutter that often impedes situational awareness, promote quicker and more consistent incident assessment and response times, automate business rules to ensure compliance with policies, and collect and report insightful data in support of enterprise optimization and decision making.Following a string of tragic incidents at our nation’s schools and colleges and universities, PSIM has become an essential technology Physical Security Information Management “Following a string of tragic incidents at our nation’s schools and colleges and universities, PSIM has become an essential technology bridge between educational facilities and the first responder community, helping deliver critical information, when and where needed, so that better informed decisions can be made as rapidly as possible”, says Mike Mostow, Americas General Manager, CNL Software. “PSIM delivers the collaborative element required to deliver real-time situational awareness to first responders - a crucial aspect of campus security initiatives being driven at the state, local, and federal government levels.” Mostow concludes, “Critical data, at the right time, in the right place, in the right way, to the right person, can simply save lives.” “We are working with some of the world’s most innovative technology providers to create software-based solutions that drastically improve the effectiveness of control room operations”, added Adlan Hussain, VP Marketing. “We are also now working to empower multi-agency operations, including public and private collaborations; enabling law enforcement, school districts, and transportation facilities and networks to not only have real-time situation awareness but to also use data analysis to effectively preempt and prevent crime.”
Dahua Technology USA, a manufacturer of video surveillance solutions, will be showcasing its cutting-edge HDCVI multi-sensor camera at ASIS 2017 in Dallas, Texas, as part of a full portfolio of innovative multi-sensor models. HDCVI Multi-sensor camera Features Dahua’s HDCVI multi-sensor camera brings wide panoramic views in high definition to coaxial infrastructure. The durable, high-performing device features three individual 2MP sensors in an all-in-one IP67 weather resistant indoor/outdoor housing. It has an IR illumination distance of up to 66 feet and a transmission distance of up to 1640 feet over RG59 coaxial cable. “Dahua expanded our multi-sensor family with the addition of the HDCVI model because multi-sensor cameras are becoming a popular choice for an increasing variety of installations,” commented Jennifer Hackenburg, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Dahua Technology USA. “Multi-sensors were once regarded as niche components of large, exterior surveillance systems but we are seeing a greater need for them for interior surveillance. They’re well-suited for hospitals and school buildings, for example.” Fewer Cameras For Lower Costs Because a multi-sensor camera provides the same coverage that would typically be provided by multiple standard cameras, fewer cameras are required. This makes for a less conspicuous camera presence, not to mention a reduction in cost of installation, maintenance, and VMS license. Dahua also offers four network multi-sensor cameras: a bullet camera with four 2MP sensors (PFW8800N), a bullet camera with three 2MP sensors (PFW8601N), a dome camera with four 2 MP sensors (PDBW8800N), and an all-in-one multi-sensor/PTZ hybrid (PSD81602N). The all-in-one camera boasts eight 2MP sensors integrated with a 2MP PTZ, an exceptional choice for 360-degree awareness. In addition to an array of form factors, the network multi-sensor family encompasses an impressive set of features that includes Smart H.265+ compression, Starlight technology for ultra-low light sensitivity, and Intelligent Video System (IVS) analytics. For more information about Dahua’s multi-sensors visit the Dahua booth, #4145, at the ASIS show from September 26- 28.
A+ Technology & Security Solutions (A+ Technology) invites all professionals responsible for their organization’s security to attend a free, informative Technology Showcase on Wednesday, June 14th. Future Of School Security And Learning A+ Technology and its partners will be exhibiting how the latest market products will help shape the future of security and learning for schools. Along with sponsoring partners AXIS Communications, Gallagher, and Promethean, retired Police Lieutenant and Security Trainer and Educator Joseph Pangaro will provide actionable guidance on ways to proactively identify and address potential workplace security threats. This special event will be held at the A+ Technology & Security Solutions headquarters, 1490 North Clinton Avenue, Bay Shore, NY 11706, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Representatives from corporate, municipal, and educational organizations are encouraged to attend. Topics to be addressed include a look into the future of security initiatives, how to conduct threat vulnerability risk assessments, how to address weaknesses in emergency procedures, and how to develop a threat matrix to profile and identify potentially dangerous employees or students. See how A+ Technology created an action plan to tie Long Island school districts directly with police departments in the event of any emergency. The showcase also offers new instructional and audio/visual technology geared towards greater student engagement. This educational event is being offered, free of charge, to the Long Island Community through the generosity of A+ Technology and its sponsoring partners. Joseph Pangaro Program speaker Joseph Pangaro is a retired Police Lieutenant from Monmouth County, NJ, whose duties included total oversight of the patrol bureau as co-commander of his division. He currently teaches at the Monmouth and Ocean County Police Academies. He also pens a weekly newspaper column called “Behind the Badge” and has been published in NJCOPS, NJ Blue and the FBI Worldwide Law Enforcement Bulletin. His training classes are typically offered for a significant fee and filled to capacity. To register for this event, call 631-675-2255 or visit http://www.aplustechnology.com/sharing-insights/aplus-technology-showcase-bay-shore/. Seating is limited.
Over the course of the past few months, I have discussed a myriad of topics, from Big Data, the Internet of Things and emerging video surveillance-use cases, to analytics, storage complexities and IT technologies like virtualization and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). All of these trends have a significant effect on the security market, and in April they were highlighted in spades at ISC West. It’s great to talk about these trends but it’s far better to see how they are being leveraged in real-world applications. That’s really where we can all see the true value of new solutions and concepts. We’re lucky enough to work with some leading organizations that want others to benefit from their experience and I’m happy to have the opportunity to share two of these applications with you. Protecting Educational Facilities UCF has adopted advancements in technology, particularly video surveillance solutions, to help ensure stronger security on campus Educational institutions face an increasingly complex risk environment. Recent high-profile incidents emphasize these risks and magnify the vulnerabilities that educational facilities face. These incidents have led to more public demand for improved security solutions across campuses. The primary mission of these organizations is to deliver quality education to students, and they face the challenge of balancing between a highly secure facility and one that supports open interaction. The University of Central Florida is no different. This organization, one of the largest universities in the country, has adopted advancements in technology, particularly video surveillance solutions, to help ensure stronger security on campus. Active Shooter Incidents In March 2013, UCF faced an active shooter situation in which a former student planned to pull the fire alarm in a residence hall and then attack his classmates as the building was evacuated. However, the shooter’s gun jammed, and as officers were closing in on the gunman, he took his own life. During the university’s response to the incident, accessibility to critical video data was a major issue. Educational institutions face an increasingly complex risk environment UCF had cameras in the area where the incident took place, but first responders had no way of viewing the footage without being at the physical location of the video recorder. At the time, UCF had a wide variety of standalone systems in place, including non-integrated video surveillance, access control and intrusion systems. As a result, there was no way to centralize video management, viewing and analysis. Upgrading From Analog Systems Altogether, its security system consisted of older analog platforms that were reaching end of life, 58 standalone servers, 12,000 access points and a wide variety of DVRs — all being managed in a siloed manner. UCF needed a solution that would allow officials to centralize system management, store video data more effectively and reliably, and enable the security team to deliver situational awareness to responders when needed. Security leaders sought a way to further modernize its security, surveillance, access control and IT infrastructure The university deployed an HCI solution, one that is optimized for demanding, data-intensive workloads like video surveillance. Using standard off-the-shelf server hardware, the system aggregates the storage and compute resources from multiple servers into a single unified pool that all cameras can access, which maximizes performance and storage capacity utilization. The platform also hosts the university’s video management solution, which serves as a centralized source to manage video and effectively protect its security data. Because of the growing demand for video across UCF's campuses — for both safety and business purposes — the HCI solution’s ability to eliminate the opportunity for data loss and easily scale were key components in its selection. Protecting Air Travel And Airports In 2012, Charleston International Airport embarked on an ambitious upgrade project dubbed the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program. The $200 million initiative was designed to modernize and expand the facility to meet increased passenger demand. While the aesthetics and amenities of the airport were under construction, security leaders sought a way to further modernize its security, surveillance, access control and IT infrastructure. The IT and security teams needed to address the challenges of their existing standalone server environment, which included siloed systems, management complexity and high administrative and equipment costs. Charleston International Airport embarked on an ambitious upgrade project dubbed the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program Considering the high value of the airport’s video, security and IT data, it required a solution that could deliver reliable data protection, system resiliency and fault tolerance. The airport is required to store video for 30 days, but it seeks to expand its retention time to 60 days. Therefore, technology that can scale simply was key in the selection process. Storage System Updates It also required a storage platform that could manage the demanding and write-intensive nature of its nearly 250 IP surveillance cameras — a challenging task for traditional video recorders. The airport deployed HCI appliances to better manage captured video data and expand its archive capability for video surveillance. Users rely on video to validate whether something did or did not happen - and this is essential in airports HCI surveillance solutions are designed to provide industry-leading resiliency. Even if multiple hardware failures occur, including an entire appliance, video management servers will remain online and recording, and any previously recorded video will continue to be protected and accessible. Reducing Expenses And Costs The solution also reduced total cost of operations by consolidating servers, storage and client workstations into one enterprise-class solution that is easily managed from a single user interface, without the need for specialized IT skills. These use cases demonstrate the value emerging technologies bring to these types of modern environments. And they show that solutions like HCI are no longer simply much-talked about technology trends. Video, IT and security data is critical to organizations of all types and they need to ensure their investment in capturing this data is protected. From a security standpoint, users rely on video to validate whether something did or did not happen. If that video data isn’t protected, they lose a very valuable investigative tool. That isn’t an option in today’s complex environment. That’s is why it is paramount to understand how new technologies can help expand current capabilities and evolve security operations. This can’t be left to chance.
After a lot of studying and getting ready for what seems like an endless stream of exams, teachers and students alike will enjoy having some much-needed time off — whether it’s just for a weekend, a break during the school year or the long summer holidays. Schools that are left empty for a sustained amount of time obviously increases the risk of arson attacks, thefts and vandalism. Staff members at an establishment should therefore work through this checklist before they leave the classroom on the last day of term — as well as throughout the new school year heading into weekends: Checks Around The School’s Perimeter Before looking at the school itself, there are a few aspects that should be checked around the perimeter of the education establishment. Report any large or overgrown trees or shrubbery both inside the school grounds and around the perimeter. These can make access to the grounds easier, as well as lead to unnecessary blind spots of CCTV coverage. Ensure all locks have also been checked to make sure they are still fit for purpose, as well as that the access control features on gates are functioning properly so that trespassers cannot gain easy access to a school’s grounds. It is wise to have a look that all of the fencing around a school is fully intact too, with no damage or footholds that allow for simple access into the grounds. Security Measures To Be Checked It is important to review a school’s maintenance programs to ensure everything is in working order before leaving an establishment empty. This will ensure that fire alarms, intruder alarms and sprinkler systems are all operating properly. Cloud CCTV means that a space can be monitored without the requirement of being on site at all times Are there any areas around the school which are in need of additional alarms or security? Look out for areas that do not have adequate surveillance currently but house many pieces of expensive equipment and technology. Cloud CCTV should also be considered when enhancing security, as it means that a space can be monitored without the requirement of being on site at all times. If set up in a school, make sure that security shutters and grills are operating correctly. Damage to the fixtures or bulbs of any external lights should be reported as soon as the issue is seen. So that they cannot be used as an accessory to gain access to a school, make sure that bins and skips are also stored within a secure part of the grounds and at least eight metres away from any building. Checks Inside The Classroom Before leaving a classroom at the beginning of a weekend or a school break, check to make sure that all windows have been closed and locked, and that all electronics have been switched off at the mains. Ensure all valuable equipment has been kept out of view, by locking it away in a secure place. Throughout the term, any breakage or deterioration to doors, windows, roofs, wall cladding, ceiling tiles, alarms and locks need to be reported upon being discovered. That way, there should be enough time to get them repaired before the weekend or holidays begin.
Increasing the quality of illumination with LED can help deter crime and improve the accuracy of video analytics One of the greatest challenges that indoor and outdoor security surveillance solutions face is lack of light. However, obtaining the proper amount of illumination for security goes beyond merely flooding a specific area with light. Without an adequate lighting source, video cameras are ineffective. When capturing only dark, blurry images and video, they can quickly become worthless to security staff or law enforcement personnel. On the other hand, too much of the wrong type of light can create issues like ‘hot spots’ and overheating, which can diminish crucial details and eventually cause irreversible camera damage. Fortunately, there has been a recent global shift that is sending users away from the old incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, and toward LED lighting. Regardless of the type of CCTV application, there are an abundance of reasons to stop using alternative types of illumination. Here are 3 of the most substantial. 1. Better Illumination And Clarity You would think it would be common knowledge by now that cameras need light to see, and well-lit areas provide less cover for criminals to commit crimes. However, it is still somewhat commonplace to have sites where either not enough lighting or the wrong kind of lighting is implemented. Increasing the quality of illumination in an area has the ability to deter crime, make other accompanying safety devices perform better and even improve the accuracy of video analytics. LED lamps are currently the only security lighting option that possesses a multitude of point sources, making it possible to aim your light Integrators need a lighting solution that consistently performs, and when it comes to supplying the best operation, price, and durability; external LED lighting is the only choice. One particular aspect of external LED lighting that makes optimum illumination possible is the strategic uniformity of its design. External LED lamps are currently the only security lighting option that possesses a multitude of point sources, making it possible to literally aim your light by situating individual diodes in a specific angle or position. This type of alignment offers a more consistent and predictable light source than anything else on the market, eliminating much of the uncertainty involved in installation. This allows you to light a larger area more effectively and efficiently with nearly zero effort. 2. Faster Start-up Time Whether you are talking about protecting a utilities facility, school campus or international border, it doesn’t take long for an incident to occur. Unlike traditional HID (high intensity discharge) lights, which can take up to a half an hour to reach full competency, LED’s spark up immediately. The colder the climate of the area, the more difficulty the HID bulbs have getting started and functioning properly. Given that there are many places in the United States alone where temperatures can sit at or below single digits, it seems almost absurd to consider anything else besides LED lighting. This sizable flaw can be especially detrimental if attempting to set up any kind of crime deterring, motion detection solution. One of the most crucial components of a sufficient response system is reaction time. Having a sluggish start up regarding any component is much like having a 15 year-old guard dog laying in your yard. By the time the security lights get up and running, the offender has already committed the crime and vacated the premises. And as dependable as the old boy may have been in the years past, he is now just too darn slow. And with an industry that is quickly moving toward more effective real-time, situational security solutions, a hesitated response is the last thing desired. Unlike traditional HID lights, which can take up to a half an hour to reach full competency, LED’s spark up immediately 3. Increased Life Span And Efficiency Organizations have the opportunity to save thousands of dollars each year in energy costs, while increasing site security by switching to LED based illuminators. LED’s provide the lowest running cost currently available, with less than 100 watts needed for the most powerful of units. Not to mention, the majority of additional wattage needed for other types of lighting units is generally burned off in the form of unwanted heat, decreasing both quality and length of life. How much longer LED’s lasts when compared to the alternative is astounding. For example, the average life span of an incandescent bulb is about 1,000 hours; fluorescent bulbs last for around 10,000 hours, while LED’s can shine bright up an impressive 100,000 hours. That is 100 times longer without changing a bulb. Furthermore, installing LED’s not only saves money in the form of lower energy and running costs, but also provides a very low rate of bulb malfunction or failure. This cuts down on maintenance fees as well as possible down time that could result in vulnerability. Inspections and servicing of lights alone can be very expensive and time consuming. LED’s radiate much less heat, reducing the chance of insect complications and helping prevent hot spot development, again saving you time, money and frustration at every camera site. Enhancing Overall Security Solution As time goes on, the importance of strategic lighting becomes more and more evident for the security industry. The continual growth of technologically advanced video solutions (biometrics, crowd detection, motion tracking, etc.) demands a level of clarity and consistency that can only obtained through proper lighting. LED’s not only yield a lower running cost and better performance, they provide an enhanced level of control. The most important benefit of a security tool is not always how it performs independently, but how it increases the effectiveness of the overall security solution it is a part of.
A gunshot localization solution can turn a video camera system into a real-time safety system in the event of an active shooter. Called ShotPoint, the system is completely automated. Working with a video management system (VMS), it can enable a video image of an active shooter to be provided in seconds based on the location of a gunshot. “For responders, the police department doesn’t have to manage cameras, but has the instant availability of a camera feed,” says Kathleen Griggs, President of Databuoy, which supplies ShotPoint. “All the cameras are available and cued only in an emergency.” ShotPoint is a network of sensors which can be mounted on walls, ceilings, street light poles or other indoor or outdoor locations. Using a “sensor mesh approach,” ShotPoint reliably detects and localizes the source of gunfire; ranging from small handguns to high caliber rifles. The system can cover large indoor or outdoor areas such as schools, office buildings, retail centers, campuses, and parks. Localizing Gunshots Through Acoustic Channels Each sensor has an array of four acoustic channels (microphones) that can locate the source of a gunshot sound, the time of arrival and the time distance of arrival. ‘Hearing’ shots from several vantage points (using multiple sensors) enables the system to take into account the angle and time of the sound, which vary in different environments, thus accurately providing the location of the gunshot. A ‘fusion processor’ box (at the edge) listens to the various sensor nodes and computes the location of the gunshot, relative to a floorplan and/or based on global positioning system (GPS) location. In an outdoor location, additional information may also be inferred, such as the trajectory of the gunshot and/or the caliber of the firearm. An event might cue an integrated video management system to provide a picture of the shooter to police and first responders Real-time Computer Analytics Unlike other gunshot detection systems, ShotPoint does not require human confirmation of the gunshot, and the alarm is provided instantaneously (in real time and automatically) based on computer analytics operating at the edge. Keeping analytics simple and focusing on one type of event (gunshot) allows computations to be done quickly. “It may not be a real-time system if it takes time to classify many types of sounds,” says Griggs. If a gunshot is detected, the ShotPoint system pushes a ‘shot report’ (including location and a time stamp) to a database in the cloud that sends the result instantly to any ‘subscriber,’ which could be a video system, a lock system, or an emergency notification app that provides a pre-configured message. For example, an event might cue an integrated video management system to provide a picture of the shooter immediately to police and first responders, thus providing vital situational awareness when time is critical. “The more severe the active shooter event, and the longer it takes to clear the victims, the more victims there are likely to be,” says Griggs. “Time equals lives and the sooner they can solve the problem, the more lives can be saved.” ShotPoint can also be used to cue an automatic lockdown system that controls wireless locks. ShotPoint Applications Databuoy, which began as a contractor funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), developed the acoustic sensor technology for military applications, but then realized that it is more useful in static locations than in the on-the-move environment of the military. Looking to commercialize the technology, the company turned to applications in stationary sites such as office buildings or schools. A test installation of ShotPoint at Sandcreek Middle School in Ammon, Idaho, was recognized and awarded $75,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice. The system combines ShotPoint hardware with the school's existing camera systems to provide a live video feed to first responders in real time, thus enabling a fast, effective and coordinated response. ShotPoint reliably detects and localizes the source of gunfire; ranging from small handguns to rifles A technology such as ShotPoint is also a tool to enable police instant access to an independent video system (such as one at a school or business) only in case of an emergency. If police has constant access to video from a private system, that video is subject to provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which in effect provides public access to the video. Sharing video only in emergency situations is not subject to FOIA requirements. Smart City Security In addition to applications in schools and other institutions, ShotPoint is a useful option for security and public safety in a smart city environment; the sensors could be attached to street lighting in various neighborhoods. If there is a gunshot, the system would record it. “Gun activity in some areas is not currently being reported,” says Griggs. “If you integrate it with cameras, you have evidence right there to solve the case and catch the criminals.” She acknowledges the scenario is currently theoretical. ShotPoint has received Safety Act Designation Protections by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The DHS assumes liability for a terrorist event at a location that uses specified anti-terrorism systems; in effect, the DHS has vetted the system and provides an incentive for its use (in the form of lower insurance costs). Griggs says the push notification system has a ReSTful API and is easy to integrate and install, incorporating network protocols. Infographic: How To Prevent Active Shooter Incidents
Amid all the discussion of security integration and end-to-end solutions on the first day of IFSEC 2016 was an undercurrent of uncertainty. The international trade show opened at ExCel London just days before the historic "Brexit" vote, when Britons will decide whether to remain a part of the European union or to exit the politico-economic fusion of 28 member states. With the Brexit referendum this week, the polls are neck-and-neck, so the vote could go either way, hence the uncertainty. If "leave" wins the vote, what might it mean for business, including the security and video surveillance companies exhibiting at IFSEC? Brexit implications on security market For example, if Great Britain leaves the EU, might it increase costs of goods flowing throughout the larger European market? Would a distributor in Germany face new costs and/or more complex processes when sending equipment to Britain? EU laws would still apply during a two-year negotiation period if the UK votes to leave. Therefore, changes are unlikely to be immediate; however, long-term uncertainty can be bad for any market, whether it's the stock market, the currency market, or the security market. "Once you exit the EU, there may be different rules related to larger contracts," says Ivo Drent, Arecont Vision's Vice President of European Sales. "Suddenly a UK company quoting jobs in the EU will face a different climate." Manufacturers from other countries, including the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, would eventually need to renegotiate export contracts with the newly independent United Kingdom. Given a skilled labour shortage in the UK integrator market, might a "leave" vote also complicate the ability of companies to recruit candidates from neighbouring countries, and thus aggravate the problem? Dominant security themes at IFSEC Although Brexit was a topic of discussion at several IFSEC stands, there were plenty of other aspects of the security market to consider, too. Manufacturers here are enthusiastic and quick to tout their new products, although many of them were shown previously in the United States last spring at ISC West. However, they're new to the international visitors to IFSEC. Also, the themes of integration, end-to-end systems, and technology partnerships dominated discussions. New products at IFSEC 2016 If "leave" wins the vote, what might it mean for business, including the security and video surveillance companies exhibiting at IFSEC? Arecont Vision was among the companies introducing actual new products here, including the new SurroundVideo Omni Mini IP Dome Camera, a 2-, 6- or 10-megapixel all-in-one camera with two sensors that are remotely user-configurable and provide true day/night video suitable for indoor/outdoor use. The low-profile camera is useful in schools, retail and banking (ATM) applications. Its small size makes it less noticeable and unobtrusive, even in environments that are sensitive to aesthetics. It replicates many of the benefits of Arecont Vision's four-sensor SurroundVideo cameras in a smaller form factor and at lower cost. "It can replace multiple single-sensor cameras or pan-tilt-zooms (PTZs), and give coverage exactly where you want it," says Jeff Whitney, VP Marketing, Arecont Vision. "If you cover a wide area, you never lose situational awareness." An emphasis on solutions rather than single products is another theme you hear repeatedly this year at IFSEC. For example, the sensor company Optex is promoting its REDSCAN mini RLS-2020I, an indoor laser scan detector that provides a 20x20-meter vertical or horizontal detection area, as an adjunct to video analytics. The sensor helps to protect assets and equipment by creating an invisible laser wall that detects any intrusion. Combined with a video analytics system, the hardware can increase reliability and eliminate false alarms. Leveraging the two technologies creates a result that is greater than the sum of the parts. A demonstration at the stand involves a display of drink glasses and spirits (as might be seen at a bar after closing). A "laser wall" protects the display: Anyone who tries to touch a glass triggers an alarm. The alarm trigger is faster and more accurate than a video analytics approach - there is no delay as pixels are processed. The detection zone can be divided into four sections, with each linked to a PTZ preset that directs camera coverage where it is needed. Technology partnerships Technology partnerships are also making news. Milestone opened the show with a press conference announcing an agreement with Dell to introduce a range of "plug and play" solutions for the surveillance market. The solutions can support 8, 16, 26 and 48 cameras and come complete with Milestone Xprotect and Microsoft Embedded licenses. There will be more to see on the second day of the show, and possibly more Brexit discussion, too. The vote is on Thursday, the last day of the show.
In a school security lockdown, teachers typically display red or green cards on the doors or in the windows of their classrooms. The manual procedure uses red cards to alert to a crisis condition; green cards designate that everything is safe inside the classroom or office. Color-Coded Crisis Management System 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). The system has provided an opportunity for Sielox to expand into the education market, where daily news headlines remind us of the potential for violence. The Sielox system also helps education end users manage more day-to-day situations, such as a possible medical emergency, or bullying, fighting, or other incidents. The system integrates easily with a school's various existing systems, using Internet URLs to make connections without additional cabling, and can provide email alerts, screen pop-ups, text messaging and communication with first responders. The system can also access video feeds directly from an IP camera (no license or hosting fees). It can integrate with access control, response plans, intercoms and other systems. "They don’t have to change their system.Our product goes in as a quarterback,and everything they have in place can stayintact – whatever their procedures are,we can enhance them." Instant Alerts For First Responders The CLASS system can drastically reduce the response time in an emergency, says Karen Evans, Sielox president and CEO, and the difference between a four-minute response time and one-second alert can be the difference between life and death. Also, knowing where within a building an emergency is occurring – using the system’s dynamic floorplan – can provide more information to enable first responders to act faster. “You get instant notification, a condition status, and you know where it is on the map, and the situation is qualified by texting and chatting back and forth,” says Evans. “Our core market is still access control, and we still play in every vertical market,” adds Evans. “But as a smaller player, we are sometimes lost in the shuffle or perceived as a ‘me-too’ player. But this capability has given new life to the business.” Sielox filed for a patent on the technology in November 2012, coincidentally a month or so before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting incident in Newtown, Massachusetts, which raised awareness of school security vulnerabilities. Since Sandy Hook and other violent incidents that have dominated headlines in recent years, a variety of new panic alert systems, two-way chat functions and similar products and features have emerged onto the education security market. “Our system has about 10 different features, and any of the competitors might have two or three or four, but nobody has put the entire solution together like we have,” says Evans. Cost-Effective Security Enhancement Evans points out that the sales cycle in the education market can be long – budgets may be set up to a year before any work is contracted. There are also more stakeholders involved in the decision-making, whether it’s a school principal, or superintendent, or SRO (school resource officer), or the IT department. Local first responders can also help to influence the purchase decision once they see how the system can make it easier for them to respond to an emergency, Evans notes. “When I am educating my business partners, I tell them if they can get an audience with anyone at a school, they should also engage someone from the local police, fire or EMS (Emergency Medical Services) into the meeting,” says Evans. “First responders absolutely love what we’re doing, and they let the schools know.” Law enforcement has even influenced development of the product – their suggestions have been integrated to make CLASS more user friendly for the first responder community. "Everybody thinks that systems aredesigned for extreme situations suchas Sandy Hook or Columbine, butschools can use the system every day. If situations are handled quickly,the severity of the injury is reduced" School consultants also favour the product because it enhances a school’s operating procedures rather than forcing them to change, says Evans. The system can also be employed cost-effectively. The Onslow County (North Carolina) School District installed the system in 37 schools for a total cost of less than $250,000. It’s a one-time deployment with no monthly licensing or hosting fees, and the system uses existing communication media and IT networks. “We’re not telling them to change anything unless their procedures need to be enhanced,” says Evans. “They don’t have to change their system. Our product goes in as a quarterback, and everything they have in place can stay intact. Whether there’s a threat in the community, they need to lock the perimeter, lock down internally, or if it’s a weather or bomb threat – whatever their procedures are, we can enhance them.” Other Industry Applications Too often stakeholders tend to think that video cameras are sufficient for school security. However, camera systems do little to promote faster response in an emergency. And the CLASS system is also helpful in the day-to-day operation of a school. “Everybody thinks that systems are designed for extreme situations such as Sandy Hook or Columbine,” Evans comments. “But schools can use the system every day. There are more injuries from bullying and fights, or a medical situation that wasn’t attended to correctly. If situations are handled quickly, the severity of the injury is reduced.” Sielox is actively looking for new integrator business partners seeking to expand in the school market. Evans emphasises the need to understand the crisis management component of security. CLASS has also caught the attention of a new population of dealer/installers for Sielox – those that sell sound and paging systems into the healthcare and education markets. The CLASS system also has applications in other markets. In the commercial/industrial sector, for example, CLASS can provide a more cost-effective and informative panic alarm system and communicate information such as weather threats, chemical evacuations, medical conditions or even a “suspicious individual.” The government market is also a possibility. And workplace violence incidents are in the news as often as school shootings.
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has taken delivery of a new CCTV enforcement vehicle from Videalert, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of intelligent traffic enforcement and management solutions. The new Mobile Enforcement Vehicle (MEV) has an unattended operating capability and will be used to enforce school locations where illegal parking on the yellow ‘keep clears’ has been identified as putting children’s lives in danger. School And Students’ Safety Councillor Bob Norton, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth & Highways, said: “We know that measures to tackle parking are often controversial and seen by some as a ‘cash grab’ but that is simply not the case. This is all about safety! Three accidents involving school children in one year is three too many and we won’t allow this continuing risk to the safety of children in our schools. Our message is clear: Don’t want to get fined? Then don’t put people at risk when you park.” Videalert ANPR Cameras Videalert has supplied a white Renault Kadjar equipped with two roof-mounted ANPR cameras and two color cameras to capture contextual video evidence Videalert has supplied a white Renault Kadjar equipped with two roof-mounted ANPR cameras and two color cameras to capture contextual video evidence. Used in conjunction with the latest video analytics, the system delivers the highest productivity at the lowest operating cost even in the highest density traffic environments. The on-board systems are controlled by the operator manning the vehicle using a dashboard-mounted touchscreen. All contravention evidence data is transferred to Videalert’s Digital Video Platform in the parking office at the end of each shift. The Videalert system automates the construction of video evidence packs which are reviewed by trained council operatives prior to sending confirmed offences to the back-office processing system for the issuance of PCNs. Mobile Enforcement Vehicle (MEV) Redcar and Cleveland’s new mobile enforcement vehicle is also equipped with a complete suite of Videalert software applications enabling it to be used for a wide range of traffic and parking management applications in the future as required. “In recent benchmarking trials, our MEVs equipped with four cameras have proved to deliver industry-leading capture rates while consistently outperforming vehicles from other suppliers. This new generation of multi-purpose MEVs will give councils greater flexibility in the enforcement of a wide range of moving traffic and parking contraventions,” added Tim Daniels, Sales and Marketing Director at Videalert.
Located roughly 30 miles southwest of Los Angeles, Torrance Unified School District hosts roughly 24,000 students from kindergarten through high school. Torrance USD has 34 school sites encompassing elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. They’re joined by three preschool, continuation and community day schools. Violent crime and other offenses are an inescapable reality for US schools and their students. During the 2013–14 school year, 65 percent of public schools [Source: U.S. Department of Education] recorded one or more violent incidents occurring, representing an estimated total of 757,000 incidents. This figure translates to a rate of approximately 15 crimes per 1,000 students enrolled in 2013–14. Outstanding Service “Visibility of what happens on campus gives us the upper hand with all forms of crime that may be committed. School safety is our number one concern and being able to see what’s happening and identify those involved is paramount. Sony cameras definitely give us that advantage. Their reliability, imaging quality and technology – combined with outstanding service – made Sony the best choice for us.” Gil Mara, Chief Ed Tech and Information Services Officer, Torrance Unified School District While Torrance consistently ranks among the safest cities in Los Angeles County, its schools face the same challenges as other academic institutions. In common with all school systems, TUSD has an obligation to maintain the safety, security and wellbeing of students as well as staff and campus visitors. Alongside violent assault, other key concerns include theft, break-ins, vandalism and graffiti – together with the need to maintain a visible deterrent against criminal activity. Sub-Standard Image Quality Torrance Unified School District had relied on some ad-hoc installations at a few schools that were both poorly planned and had no consistent standards To date, Torrance Unified School District had relied on some ad-hoc installations at a few schools that were both poorly planned and had no consistent standards in place. The cameras poor positioning and sub-standard image quality – particularly in low light conditions – meant that perpetrators were frequently not identified successfully. This severely limited schools’ ability to resolve incidents and serve as an effective deterrent against further incidents. In addition to physical attacks and theft, schools in the district routinely reported instances of vandalism to the cameras themselves. As a further challenge, the heat and dust of the Southern Californian climate placed even more strenuous demands on the reliable performance of Torrance Unified School District’s existing analog cameras. Security Camera Strategy To benefit from significantly improved round the clock image quality – as well as greater reliability and reduced ownership costs – Torrance Unified School District elected to re-think its security camera strategy. In total, the district has installed roughly 1,100 Sony video security cameras across 34 school sites. All cameras have been supplied and installed by integrator NIC, together with a networked video management solution provided by OpenEye. The majority of cameras are Sony SNC-EM632RC and SNC-VB632D ruggedised minidome model and bullet cameras, offering superb Full HD image quality in all weather and lighting conditions. “Torrance police have access to our security camera system and it affords them visibility on our campuses, as was the case just recently where a vehicle burglary suspect was identified and apprehended thanks to our Sony Video Security system.” Will Boxley – Network Analyst, EDU Tech and Information Services. Measurable Effect On Student Safety Reliable cameras are deployed extensively around all outdoor areas of each school campus, including social and sports areas as well as parking lots The cameras’ highly sensitive Exmor CMOS image sensor and powerful IPELA ENGINE EX processing engine can even cope with harshly backlit conditions, where extremes of light and shade in the same scene often pose problems for other cameras. As an additional benefit, built-in IR (infrared) illumination gives a clear picture of people and suspicious incidents in conditions of total darkness. The rugged, reliable cameras are deployed extensively around all outdoor areas of each school campus, including social and sports areas as well as parking lots. Since initial installation in 2015, the Sony cameras have performed flawlessly, with no operational issues reported by IT and security staff. The cameras’ installation has had an immediate and measurable effect on student safety. Suspensions due to violence and assaults have been reduced considerably, while the incidence of weapons on campus has been reduced by more than 40%. What’s more, the cameras’ presence serves to reassure students and staff, while acting as a powerful deterrent against criminal activity.
Fazakerley High School, a co-educational secondary school in Liverpool, moved into new buildings in 2003 and embarked on a successful transformation program to raise standards. The school, which is in a challenging catchment area, established a new reputation as a nurturing, well run learning environment. But fifteen years later senior staff found themselves struggling with an outdated video surveillance system that was no longer fit for purpose. Analog Video Surveillance The introduction of video surveillance at the time of the move to new buildings was a key step in setting high standards of personal behavior and protecting students and staff. However, the old analog video system had become almost impossible to use, with blurred and grainy images, no easy search facility and failing cameras. A recent attempt to upgrade the system also proved disappointing, explains Matt Fleming of Apex Network Solutions: the replacement technology turned out to be difficult to maintain and use, and the user interface was too complex. Apex was asked to re-design the system from scratch and challenged to recommend a solution that was affordable and easy for staff to use as well as delivering high quality images. Internal Dome and IR Fisheye Dome Cameras Apex recommended IDIS technology to deliver significantly upgraded video coverage of corridors and key internal areas Apex recommended IDIS technology to deliver significantly upgraded video coverage of corridors and key internal areas. Forty-three full HD vandal-resistant DC-D3233RX-N internal domes were installed to record activity across the site. Easy to install they capture high quality images in all lighting conditions. Four 12MP IR Fisheye domes (model DC-Y3C14WRX) were installed in the dining hall to provide a complete view of the area. With various viewing composition options, and six de-warping view modes, these fisheye units ensure image quality that allow individuals to be easily identified. Video is recorded on two IDIS DR-6332PS-S NVRs and all the cameras can now be viewed in real time by staff using PC monitors and/or tablets, with the system simple to use thanks to the free IDIS Center VMS video management system. IDIS Video Security Solution The IDIS video solution is a significant step up from both the original analog system, and the more recent upgrade, says the schools network manager Derek Harmston. Image quality is outstanding and by allowing staff to view real-time video on convenient devices, such as tablets, incidents involving groups of pupils are now quickly dealt with before they escalate. Recordings are now easily searchable with time/date stamped footage and the high definition images provide evidence that can be shown to pupils, parents and, if necessary, the police.
Dayton Public Schools (DPS) covers about 53 square miles in Dayton, Ohio. The school system is comprised of 30 school buildings and special centers with approximately 15,000 students in pre-kindergarten through high school. An urban district, DPS brings innovative students and teachers together to develop productive citizens ready to serve their communities. Core to achieving their mission is ensuring first, that students arrive at their school and at their classes, on time and ready to learn. DPS had a wide variety of, and in some cases a lack of, ID system capabilities throughout the district. This made it difficult to implement standard process improvements that would speed the creation of new IDs at the beginning of each school year. Additionally, DPS needed to expedite the check-in of tardy students thus allowing them to arrive at their classes faster. For managing tardy students, the schools traditionally used manual processes with handwritten passes which were inefficient and caused unnecessary delays if multiple students came to school late. Seeking to streamline processes, the school district realised that it needed to institute a universal, mandatory student ID system that allowed them to improve student attendance across the district while enhancing the security of its students and visitors. PlascoID Card-based Management System PlascoID showed DPS HID’s FARGO desktop card printers and their automated student management system, PlascoTrac, as a possible solution to the challenges the school system was facing While attending the Ohio eTech conference in early 2011, DPS learned about PlascoID, an authorized HID Global FARGO integrator and global provider of card-based ID systems. PlascoID showed DPS HID’s FARGO desktop card printers and their automated student management system, PlascoTrac, as a possible solution to the challenges the school system was facing. Because the printers and software integrated seamlessly with eSchoolPlus, the school system’s existing Web-based student-information system, DPS selected PlascoID to help streamline its attendance processes. Genuine HID products including the DTC4500 card printer/encoder, non-technology cards and Asure ID Enterprise card personalisation software were recommended by PlascoID to support the creation of efficient, multipurpose IDs. HID Global’s Asure ID software would enable the school system to create customized student ID cards while the DTC4500 printers would allow campus officials at each school location to instantly issue all student IDs. The printer’s modular design and small footprint were also ideal features for the school environment where space is at a premium. Asure ID Enterprise Software Prior to the start of the 2012 school year DPS implemented the solution over the course of just two weeks, installing the PlascoTrac system with 31 DTC4500 printers and Asure ID Enterprise software so it could be used on the first day of the new academic year. With the new DTC4500 printers and Asure ID software, DPS can now: Print a high volume of cards at fast print speeds: Every year, 15,000 IDs are needed by DPS in just the first week of school. The DTC4500 meets this challenge by quickly and reliably producing large quantities of cards with high-quality images. Able to withstand the day-to-day wear and tear by students these new IDs are now also uniform in image quality, design and durability. Save money and training time: The modestly priced DTC4500 has an intuitive set up and is easy to use. Already optimized for organizations like DPS, the printer is a high-security, high-performance ID issuance system that doesn’t require large capital investments or extensive training by system operators. Prepare for future ID card needs: The DTC4500 is field upgradeable. As their student ID system changes and evolves, DPS can modify their printers to fit new requirements. Achieve multiple uses with a single software application: With Asure ID Enterprise software, DPS is able to easily design card templates, enter student data and create photo ID badges. Additionally, Asure ID’s LiveLink capability enables the schools to sync student ID badge data with attendance data in PlascoTrac, and with student records in eSchoolPLUS. PlascoTrac Card ID System The newly designed DPS student ID is a white card featuring the district’s logo and mission statement With this combined solution from PlascoID and HID Global, DPS can now easily and quickly provide all students with IDs during the first week of the new school year. And when a student loses his or her badge, or is newly enrolled in school, a new ID can be created and issued that same day. The newly designed DPS student ID is a white card featuring the district’s logo and mission statement. New visual security elements include a large color photo of the student and his/her name printed in large font on the front of the card, so school personnel can easily identify individuals. Additionally, the ID now includes a barcode that is used in conjunction with the PlascoTrac system. So, when a student arrives late to school or is tardy to a class, they are scanned into PlascoTrac and a tardy pass is printed automatically. HID's Plasco ID Cards With this brand-new student ID system, processing tardy students now takes 25 to 35 percent less time than before, enabling DPS students to spend more time in class while reducing the administrative burden of its staff. Some schools have even tied the new ID cards to their media center In addition to addressing their original challenges, DPS has now found that the new HID and Plasco ID card solution gives them even greater functionality and versatility. Some schools have even tied the new ID cards to their media center for checking out books or documenting lunches purchased in the cafeteria. Elementary schools are even exploring ways to use the IDs to encourage positive reinforcement of good behaviors. HID Global Card Issuance/PlascoTrac Solution “We are extremely satisfied with how adaptable the solution is on a per-school basis,” said Richard Melson, director of The Office of Information Technology at Dayton Public Schools. “Initially the principals had one vision of how things were going to work and now that they have the technology in their possession, they each use it a little differently based on specific needs of their school.” In the near future, DPS expects to expand its use of the HID Global card issuance/PlascoTrac solution to keep track of visitors. Currently the district provides printed temporary ID passes, but it plans to eventually incorporate scanning of government IDs, such as a driver’s license, before granting visitors entry.
3xLOGIC, Inc., a provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, and a three-time Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winner, announced that Frederick Douglass High School (FDHS) has deployed a highly-successful video surveillance installation that helps ensure two points of alarm verification to sharply reduce false alarms. In the summer of 2017, Sonitrol of Lexington and Bates Security completed one of the companies’ most innovative installations. The project includes verified audio detection, verified video, and an advanced access control system. FDHS, located in Lexington, KY, comprises 350,000+ sq. ft. with over 90 staff and hundreds of students. The video surveillance system utilizes 192 3xLOGIC HD and IP camera models with analytics software for verification and network health monitoring WDR HD And IP Cameras For Clear Pictures The video surveillance system utilizes 192 3xLOGIC HD and IP camera models with analytics software for verification and network health monitoring. Sixty cameras are deployed outside the building and 130+ are located inside throughout the facility. The system features wide dynamic range cameras that automatically adjust to environmental lighting and allow the end user to see clearly out of a sun-lit window or in pitch-black darkness. The cameras record to six 3xLOGIC V7300 servers. “Every door has a strike and motion detection, every lower level room has an audio sensor,” explained Sean Moberly, Sonitrol of Lexington Project Manager, who designed the system. “Every entry has a sensor and panic buttons, and we have Sonitrol access control for 12-15 doors. We concealed the door readers with built-in pockets, so the reader is not exposed but still effectively reads cards. We have video verification at every entry door.” Easily Accessible Security System Moberly continued, “School staff and Law Enforcement are extremely pleased with 3xLOGIC and the technology the company offers. They love the image clarity and the range of coverage it provides with the zoom feature. They appreciate the ability for easy access with cell phones and laptop computers and told us how user friendly the system is. Upon receiving an audio detection alarm at the central station, the Sonitrol operator also receives video footage for every camera connected to that alarm point “This technology allows the user to conduct faster, more efficient searches, and it enables staff to narrow searches to one area, such as a specific door, and find out quickly what you need to know. The school is so pleased they are considering migrating from their current VMS software to 3xLOGIC VIGIL. In fact, we’re talking to multiple schools who are interested in moving to VIGIL for their existing VMS.” Double Verification With Audio And Video Detection The installation features verified audio detection operating in conjunction with the verified video system. Upon receiving an audio detection alarm at the central station, the Sonitrol operator also receives video footage for every camera connected to that alarm point. This ensures double verification before alerting police dispatch and provides responding officers with up-to-the-minute intelligence on what they’ll face upon arriving at the high school. Law enforcement and the administration stated that they use it all the time to recover property from thefts or for situations where an item was lost or mislaid. FDHS administration reported that they once used the camera system to help figure out what staff propped a door open over one weekend so they could address the issue directly with that person. The ability for Sonitrol to monitor the system in real time helps ensure there will be fewer incidents of cameras and recorders being down for any length of time VIGIL Central Management Monitoring Software Another unique and valuable service Sonitrol of Lexington provides the high school is 3xLOGIC’s VIGIL Central Management (VCM) or health-check monitoring software. Before the client is even aware, Sonitrol of Lexington can detect and repair camera failures, as well as server and hard drive issues without even going on site. The ability for Sonitrol to monitor the system in real time helps ensure there will be fewer incidents of cameras and recorders being down for any length of time. In the long term, VCM keeps the facility much safer and reduces repair costs. The system eliminates troublesome, costly false alarms with its two points of verification. The entire system can be conveniently managed by any device with internet access or via the 3xLOGIC mobile app, View Lite II. Bates Security and Sonitrol of Lexington recently received a SAMMY Installation of the Year award for this powerful, highly-effective security system.
With increased security a priority for school districts across the country, administrators are taking a close look at their technology to ensure it can deliver in an emergency. Concerns over active shooters and other violent scenarios have districts paying attention and putting heightened security measures in place. Christopher Lordi, Director of Administrative Services at Delaware Valley School District in rural, northeast Pennsylvania, knew it was time to upgrade his district’s surveillance technology, so he turned to the integration expertise of Guyette Communications to get the job done. Analog DVR System The outdoor PTZ cameras that panned back and forth were causing them to miss a lot of activity The DVR system that covered Delaware Valley’s seven schools and nine buildings was state-of-the-art when it was installed a decade ago, but it was no longer meeting the district’s needs. Administrators complained that is was difficult to view and manage video from all of the cameras as a unified system. The analog video made it hard to identify faces and see other important details. And the outdoor PTZ cameras that panned back and forth were causing them to miss a lot of activity. “We had a lot of blind spots,” says Chris. Guyette Communications, of Plymouth, PA, has worked with the district for over a decade supporting its technology needs, so Chris looked to them for guidance. Scott Surochak and Rick Scalzo, both of Guyette, recommended a new-to-market VMS, Vicon’s Valerus, that they felt would provide all the features and performance the district sought in a very cost-effective manner. They also recommended that the district abandon their analog cameras and standardize district-wide on higher performance, megapixel IP models. Valerus VMS The significant expense of replacing not just the VMS system, but hundreds of cameras district-wide, required buy-in from the school board. Rick and Scott, along with Vicon’s regional sales manager, Doug Stadler, provided an in-depth demonstration of the capabilities of Vicon’s new Valerus VMS, along with its line of IQeye Alliance cameras, to the school board. The new system would allow them to clearly identify the faces of visitors, read license plates within the school parking lots, eliminate current blind spots throughout the campuses, and easily search video to quickly find evidence of crime or vandalism. Convinced of the long-term value of the investment, the school board gave a green light to proceed. Vicon Fixed And Cruiser Cameras Approximately 400 cameras were installed throughout the district’s nine buildings, almost all of which are Vicon 3MP IQeye Alliance fixed domes Installation began in March 2017 and continued throughout the summer. Approximately 400 cameras were installed throughout the district’s nine buildings, almost all of which are Vicon 3MP IQeye Alliance fixed domes. These provide coverage of all entrances to buildings, busy hallways, and spaces like lunchrooms, auditoriums, playgrounds, parking lots and athletic fields. In addition, Vicon Cruiser domes with 30X optical zoom were installed in each parking lot to capture license plates. To support so many high-resolution cameras transmitting at full frame rates, Guyette installed a dedicated security network capable of handling the bandwidth. All cameras are hard wired with new CAT-6 cabling, which feeds back to CISCO switches and a fiber backbone that runs through each building. Installing Security Network To minimize bandwidth transmission between buildings, Guyette recommended that each school locally record video from its respective cameras. The five lower schools have each been equipped with a single Valerus server that both runs VMS application software and performs as an NVR. The middle school and high school, which share a building, have an application server plus four NVRs to support the higher number of cameras. Because the Valerus VMS software makes exclusive use of a thin-client, there was no need to install software on any workstations. Complete user and administrative functionality is available through a standard web browser interface. Rick says that “Installation went very smoothly. The system works well and it’s easy to navigate and program. I’m used to systems where we have to do everything manually, but with Valerus, it does a lot of things for you. For example, you can copy programming to multiple cameras. Setting up one camera and then copying it to 50 others is a huge time saver.” “The system is also really easy to update,” he says. “Two new Valerus versions were released during the months we were doing the installation, and we just had to download it once each time to an application server, and then it was automatically pushed out to all the other servers on the network.” Efficient Crime DetectionTwo new Valerus versions were released during the months we were doing the installation, and we just had to download it once each time to an application server" There isn’t a lot of criminal activity in the Delaware Valley School District, thanks to outreach programs that create a collaborative relationship between the school police force, administrators, students and parents. However, sometimes issues do occur, and Valerus has already helped the district solve a theft. Chris describes an incident that occurred while the system was still being installed in the spring of 2017. “There was a theft from one of the administrative offices. The employee thought the office had been locked, but our surveillance video was able to show that it was not and displayed the comings and goings of everyone who entered the office during the time in question. The video quality was so clear that the thief’s face could be identified. The footage was turned over to the local police who were able to apprehend the thief and recover the stolen property. With our old VMS system, the video wouldn’t have provided enough detail for us to identify the culprit.” High-End Video Surveillance Chris says he’d love to say that Valerus’ “museum search” made it possible to find the incriminating video in minutes. However, because the system was just getting installed, not all features were operational yet and his police force had to manually look through hours of video. “The officers are really looking forward to being able to use the search function in the future, now that we’re all up and running. They love how you can draw a box over an area of the video where you know something has happened, and Valerus will do all the work for you,” he says. In speaking about response to crimes and emergencies, Rick adds that because Valerus uses a thin client, the school district has the luxury of easily providing outside law enforcement with access to their system. If they ever needed help from local or state police, like in an active shooter situation, administrators can provide them with a link to the district’s network so that they can better coordinate a response. This would have been impossible with their old system. Ensuring Valerus System’s Functionality The VMS thin-client interface allows the officers to view video from anywhere, including on their phones or tablets Unusual for a district of its size, Delaware Valley has its own, full-time, six-person police force. Among other responsibilities, this force is tasked with monitoring the new Valerus system. Each officer has been equipped with his or her own workstation from which they can monitor the cameras physically located at their assigned schools. Administrators at each building also have access to view local cameras. In addition, a centrally located, district-wide monitoring station has been set up to make it easy for officers and school officials to keep an eye on the district as a whole. Rick Scalzo explains that while the VMS thin-client interface allows the officers to view video from anywhere, including on their phones or tablets, his team recommended the purchase of high-performance, manufacturer-certified PC workstations for each officer’s monitoring station. This was to ensure that these computers would have the necessary processing power to display large numbers of high-resolution camera feeds simultaneously. These workstations are hard wired to the network to provide the fastest and most reliable connectivity to the application server. Chris Lordi says that the district has also provided all officers with iPhone 6s, which they use regularly to monitor what’s happening at their buildings. License Plate Recognition And PTZ Cameras One of the capabilities that the district required of the new system is the ability to read license plates of vehicles entering or exiting school grounds. Officers are able to take control of the PTZ cameras in each parking lot and zoom in on the plates of any vehicles of interest. This can even be done via the iPhone interface. Chris explains that it has not been necessary to integrate Valerus with any special license plate recognition (LPR) software because his team of police officers has immediate access to databases where they can look up plates as needed. However, this integration is currently available for Valerus customers and can help automate the process for those who need it. Intruder Detection They want top-notch safety, and Valerus delivers that" Chris says that “Our school board takes safety and security very seriously, so for them, this significant investment was justified as soon as we showed them what it can do. They want top-notch safety, and Valerus delivers that. Buy-in from teachers, and the union, who have expressed reservations over the placement of many new cameras that didn’t previously exist, has required additional communication and education. Both Chris and Rick have made it very clear that the upgraded system is not for the purpose of intimidating or keeping closer watch on employees as they perform their daily jobs. Our main concern is thwarting security threats and keeping everybody safe. The additional cameras and new software might help us break up a fight or address bullying issues, but it’s also important for much more serious situations, like dealing with an active shooter or act of terrorism. Now we can use cameras to follow an intruder throughout our buildings, and that can help us keep everyone safe while we apprehend him.” Chris says that “When we put it like that, everyone gets on board.” Counter Terror Chris is extremely appreciative of the support Guyette Communications has provided throughout this project, including individually training each school principal as their building was completed. “I can’t stress how well Guyette has delivered for us. They’re flexible, reliable and compassionate, and they’ve been a true partner at every step of the way. I’d recommend Guyette to anybody.” With school back in session, and the district’s police force busy implementing its many safety programs, Chris looks forward to another school year without any major security incidents. However, with a new Valerus system and high-resolution cameras in place, he knows he now has not only the right people but the right technology to handle any crisis.