Marian University is a school with a mission. Having transitioned from a liberal arts college to a comprehensive university in 2009, it has become one of the private education institutions in Indiana. And that’s not all: the university has ambitious goals to grow its programs and broaden its mandate even further.
Currently, the school has over 500 staff members and more than 3,500 students from across the United States and around the world. And by 2025, it aims to double its number of annual graduates. Located just ten minutes away from downtown Indianapolis, Marian University’s close proximity to a major centre of American business, finance and culture is a major selling point.
Managing increased traffic
The city is also experiencing an influx of technology companies, making it the fifth-fastest growing municipality in the country for high-tech jobs. However, as in many booming regions, economic success isn’t evenly distributed. While some areas have experienced revitalisation, others have seen social unrest and rising crime rates.
As such, while Marian University’s campus has the privilege of sitting near a bustling city, these challenges aren’t far away. That fact — along with the increasing number of staff and students on the premises — motivated the university to upgrade their security systems to help keep both its people and the wider community safe. Marian University’s previous security system wasn’t up to the task of monitoring the premises, staff and students — so how would it manage increased traffic and additional properties as the school met its growth targets?
High definition cameras
ACC™ software is much more than a centralised source from which to review recorded video
The ongoing maintenance and licensing costs were also prohibitive. Administrators were at a loss of what to do until the security integrator they were working with suggested Avigilon. With high definition cameras and built-in analytics that seamlessly integrated with Avigilon Control Centre (ACC) video management software, it offered a comprehensive, intelligent and scalable solution.
Additionally, the licensing fee was a one-time cost, saving the school both time and money. As the security team at Marian University found out, ACC™ software is much more than a centralised source from which to review recorded video. Not only can security operators analyse the video by zooming in and rewinding in real-time, but Avigilon Appearance Search™ technology leverages AI technology to help them instantly locate specific individuals and vehicles of interest.
Advanced video analytics
Furthermore, Unusual Motion Detection (UMD) technology uses advanced video analytics to flag events that may require further investigation and filter them in the recorded video timeline, allowing security operators to find and review these instances faster. All of this was made possible with the installation of intelligent Avigilon cameras and network video recorders (NVR) across the campus.
“The organisation is tremendous to work with,” says Ray Stanley, CIO/Vice President of Marian University. “I have never worked with a security company where I've been able to pick up the phone and have someone to help solve issues and make sure we are using the product the right way so that we see good value for our money. This was true not just in the beginning, their support exists right to this day.”
Intelligent security system
Avigilon coordinates with local third-party integrators to make sure the system is functioning
Instead of sending Marian University setup instructions and leaving the security and IT teams to figure it out for themselves, Avigilon coordinates with local third-party integrators to make sure the system is functioning and actively helps operators learn how to utilise it to its full potential. Personnel will come onsite to work with staff and guarantee they know how to get the most from their various video analytics platforms and solutions.
The main buildings at Marian University may be surrounded by quiet woodlands and wetlands, but the campus isn’t as isolated as it appears. Being a mere ten minutes away from the middle of Indianapolis, the school’s property borders several roadways, businesses and residential neighbourhoods that all benefit from having an intelligent security system in the vicinity.
Keeping the community safe
“The great quality video has helped keep the community safe, without a doubt,” says Ray Stanley, CIO/Vice President of Marian University. “In one case, local police were able to identify a suspect involved in an incident at a nearby gas station because of our Avigilon system. Being able to help our surrounding community stay safe is absolutely an added benefit for us.”
With its Avigilon solution, the Marian University campus has become an extra set of eyes for law enforcement. UMD and Avigilon Appearance Search technologies mean that criminals who make the mistake of moving across campus have a much higher chance of being detected by the authorities who can then quickly track their route to see where they have been and where they are headed.
It enables security personnel to spot and deter any potentially-dangerous behaviour on a daily basis
With its user-friendly interface and high-quality video, the security installation not only helps with police work and prosecution, but it enables security personnel to spot and deter any potentially-dangerous behaviour on a daily basis, creating a safer environment for students and staff.
"For example, we were able to see a suspect driving at a high rate of speed across campus, and with Appearance Search, we were able to see where the vehicle went and identify the suspect,” says Chief Richard Robertson, Marian University Police Department. “That helped us to save a lot of trouble and potential injuries.”
Protecting local communities
In the United States, Indianapolis looms large not only as the crossroads of the country — two-thirds of Americans can drive to the city in ten hours or less — but also as a hub of innovation and investment. However, safety continues to be a top-of-mind issue as crime increases in certain sections of the city.
This is why Marian University chose Avigilon: as the school aims to provide a safe space for students and prepare them for the many opportunities Indianapolis has to offer, there’s also a deep-seated obligation to help protect local communities and public spaces. Avigilon allows it to do both — and even better, the solution will be able to scale with the university as it evolves and expands in the years ahead.