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Genetec’s surveillance software improves school security for Paramus Public Schools

Published on 5 October, 2010

Genetec’s unified CCTV software assists Paramus Public Schools in school surveillance
Genetec's Security Center provides one interface for both video surveillance and access control
Genetec, a pioneer in the physical security industry and a provider of world-class IP security solutions, announced that New Jersey's Paramus Public Schools has installed Genetec's unified security platform, the Security Center, at all eight of its school campuses. It was important to Paramus to select an all-in-one system like Genetec's Security Center, which provides one interface for both video surveillance and access control. Using an IP system was also ideal, as it has allowed security data to be shared between campuses over the network, and has saved Paramus considerable cabling costs.

Paramus preserved a few previously existing analogue cameras using IP encoders, and purchased over 100 new Panasonic IP cameras to complete the system. A Dell server was provided to each school, allowing video and security data to be stored locally to maximise network efficiency. Currently, Omnicast video surveillance and Synergis access control data can be viewed by authorised personnel located at each of the eight campuses.

Additionally, Paramus recently rebuilt the entrance to the high school, incorporating a new security control room for the entire district. Staffed security guards will manage the unified security platform spanning all eight campuses from this central location. The Security Center will also allow direct access to police and emergency services to allow for a quick response should the need ever arise.

For now, Paramus uses the video surveillance system of the Security Center, Omnicast, mainly as an investigative tool. They can pull archived video to discover who committed an act of vandalism or theft; definitively prove "who started what" to parents, and more. Paramus also uses Omnicast to enhance emergency procedures and crowd control, evaluating the possibility of a fire code violation by monitoring the number of people at an event.

Paramus uses the video surveillance system, Omnicast, mainly as an investigative tool

The access control system of the Security Center, Synergis, allows the schools to programme doors to remain unlocked on schedule while students are arriving, and to be locked down once classes have begun. Paramus was also able to use Synergis to configure cardholder groups including everything from full access cards for emergency responders, to cards provided to PTA members which only work during meeting times. Paramus is even able to provide non-access cards to community members who use the campus track recreationally. This helps Paramus monitor access to each campus, keeping cardholder information and pictures on file.

The Security Center is a highly flexible platform, and Paramus chose it in part because it is a solution that can evolve with their needs. They are currently in the process of implementing a backup system on a ninth server, and are also actively working on providing the police department with full access to their network so that officers can aide in remote monitoring. Further down the road, providing access cards to students will enable eventual integration with the library card system and cafeteria POS system for lunch purchases.

Robert Autorino, Director of Buildings and Grounds, said: "It was important to use a company that was established and reliable. Genetec's Security Center has been fantastic. Where my previous system had upgrade glitches that caused downtime, Genetec's system has had seamless upgrades and no downtime. Now I have people from other districts coming to look at the system because they are interested in switching over as well."

Richard Adams, Consultant at Let's Think Wireless, the Genetec certified integrator for this project, said: "I have the opportunity to do business with almost any company, but I choose Genetec. They are constantly working to improve their products, they have a great support staff, and in general, we rarely have service issues with Genetec products - the systems work, they perform."

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