With a history dating back to the 1850s, the Sioux City Public Museum has evolved from its original focus on natural science to a broader emphasis on preserving the area’s heritage, offering a variety of educational programmes, events, and historical exhibitions valued at more than $2 million. Having outgrown its former location in a prominent Victorian-era mansion, the museum moved to a new downtown site in April 2011—a modern, open-concept building that has become known as one of the premier cultural destinations in Siouxland and beyond.

With more than 5,000 visitors each month, the Sioux City Public Museum has made public safety and asset protection top priorities. Chosen for its advanced management features, ease-of-use, and exceptional image clarity, the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system has played a key role in helping the museum meet its security goals.The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system is used to deter criminal behaviour and to safeguard valuable artefacts

Crime mitigation

Located in the heart of downtown, the Sioux City Public Museum is a 55,000 square foot facility with an outdoor plaza, loading dock at the rear, and skyway connected to public parking. “Because of the size of the building, as well as its location in an area known for attracting a transient crowd, we wanted an advanced, high-definition surveillance system to monitor people coming and going from our facility around the clock,” explained Steven Hansen, museum director at the Sioux City Public Museum. “We use the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system to deter criminal behaviour and to safeguard our valuable artefacts.”

Based on research and a strong recommendation from the City of Sioux City facilities manager, Hansen chose to work with Electric Innovations, a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and service who installed the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system to monitor the entrances, permanent exhibition area, temporary exhibition area, and loading dock. “We needed an advanced, high-definition surveillance system that would provide broad coverage, overcome architectural challenges in our open-concept building, and remain unobtrusive,” explained Hansen. “Providing excellent local support, Electric Innovations has installed the best quality surveillance solution possible to deliver optimal system performance.”Each user can select relevant camera views from their own desktop

Live monitoring and broad coverage

Administrators and exhibition staff at the Sioux City Public Museum manage the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system using the Avigilon Control Center network video management software (NVMS) monitoring the system live throughout the day from their desktop computers. A permanent monitor has been set up in the main reception area to monitor visitors as they enter and exit the permanent exhibit space. The museum installed 15 Avigilon 1 MP and 2 MP cameras in the main exhibit areas as well as in hallways, key entry points, and at the loading dock, and store 29 days of continuous surveillance footage on an Avigilon network video recorder (NVR).

Without a permanent security staff, the museum’s administrators are responsible for the facility’s security in addition to all other operational responsibilities, so ease-of-use was a key requirement for the new system. “The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system is very simple to use, providing each of us with a variety of camera views right from our desktop, making it much easier and less time-consuming to monitor throughout the day,” said Deanna Mayo, administrative assistant at the Sioux City Public Museum. “Because each user can select relevant camera views from their own desktop, we can ensure broader coverage of the museum at all times.”Avigilon’s image quality makes it much easier to identify events with greater accuracy

Effective surveillance

While our needs are pretty basic, we can quickly and easily identify people and events because of Avigilon’s simple and intuitive user interface,” confirmed Mayo. Avigilon Control Center provides full control over surveillance video playback, making it easy for users to quickly retrieve evidence and speed up response times. “Avigilon Control Center software is 1,000 percent more effective than our previous analogue-based system,” added Hansen.

Hansen and Mayo have also been very impressed with Avigilon’s image quality, which makes it much easier to identify events with greater accuracy than before. “I recently spoke with the captain of the police force who is very pleased that we have invested in the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system,” noted Hansen. “We are located in an area that has caused concern for the police, and we have noticed a marked reduction in trespassing since deploying the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system.”Sioux City Public Museum will be able to reduce its insurance costs and protect itself against the threat of false liability claims

Safe educational experience

The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system has played a critical role in helping the museum ensure public safety and protect its assets worth more than $2 million. “I am confident that the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system will deliver a lower total cost of ownership than other solutions because it offers greater image quality and reliability, requires less maintenance, and will free up our time for other important tasks,” explained Hansen. By installing such an advanced surveillance system, Sioux City Public Museum will also be able to reduce its insurance costs and can more effectively protect itself against the threat of false liability claims. “Most traveling exhibits stipulate strict security guidelines before they can be displayed in a new location,” commented Mayo. “With the Avigilon system in place, we are in a much better position to host new exhibits and share the latest collections to attract new audiences,” said Mayo.

With the knowledge that activity is being accurately captured around the clock by the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, Sioux City Public Museum administrators and patrons alike can enjoy a greater sense of security as they experience the region’s past at this leading cultural institution. “Avigilon has delivered the quality, reliability, and ease-of-use we need to help us deliver a safe, enjoyable, and educational experience,” concluded Hansen. “We have invested in the best quality and most reliable products in the industry.”

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