Coffeyville USD is committed to delivering a safe learning environment for staff and students. To this end, the school district deployed the Avigilon HD surveillance system in both the high school and middle school to strengthen security and overall student safety.
HD surveillance system
Coffeyville USD installed 40 new high-resolution surveillance cameras across their high school, middle school, and administration buildings on eleven high-resolution Avigilon analogue video encoders. They were also able to integrate the school district’s existing 32 analogue cameras into the Avigilon platform by simply replacing the existing DVRs with high-resolution Avigilon analogue video encoders. Coffeyville USD installed several of the new cameras inside the buildings to cover blind spots and mounted the remaining Avigilon cameras on the exterior of the buildings to monitor the parking lots and entrances. Using Avigilon Control Centre network video management software with HD Stream Management, users seamlessly and easily manage the integrated surveillance system and store over one month of footage on a single, centralised server located in the administration building.
Integrating analogue cameras
Using Avigilon Control Centre network video management software, Coffeyville USD was able to easily and cost-effectively integrate existing analogue-based cameras, leveraging its initial investment and reducing the cost of deployment. In addition, the Avigilon HD surveillance solution was 30 percent less expensive than a solution from its previous vendor. Due to Avigilon’s ease-of-use and advanced functionality, users spend 70 percent less time using the system and have reduced investigation times to improve overall school security. Coffeyville USD now has an effective surveillance system in place that can expand easily and cost-effectively to meet growing needs. Additional benefits include:
- 30% cost savings
- Preserved legacy investments
- Increased campus safety
- 70% less operation time
Providing a safe learning environment
The Coffeyville Unified School District (USD) in Coffeyville, Kansas, is committed to preparing students for life-long learning by providing the required resources and a safe learning environment to facilitate academic achievement and responsible citizenship. To support the implementation of its high academic standards, Coffeyville USD has taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety and overall protection of staff and students by deploying an Avigilon High Definition surveillance system.
“We spend most of our time viewing recorded footage, so we need to be able to access it quickly to find what we are looking for—Avigilon allows us to do that"
Listed as the top priority in their strategic plan, administrators at Coffeyville USD believe that all individuals need a safe environment to learn. With this in mind, Coffeyville USD chose to deploy a surveillance system at Field Kindley High School and Roosevelt Middle School to demonstrate its commitment to safety and protect the more than 900 students combined. “The goal of the surveillance system is not to manage and monitor student behaviour 24x7, but to better understand the cause of an incident, assign student responsibility, and find ways to ensure that the situation doesn’t occur again,” explains Bryan Kinnamon, Network Administrator at Coffeyville USD.
Both the high school and middle school are large buildings with multiple floors, making surveillance a challenge. “We installed our first set of surveillance cameras two years ago, but realised we were missing some key areas within the buildings, as well as most of the perimeter,” notes Kinnamon. To improve security, Coffeyville USD identified key criteria for the new surveillance solution, including prompt service and support, web access, and price. “We also wanted a system that would integrate with our existing cameras.”
After looking at options from its existing vendor, a standalone system, and Avigilon, the decision was obvious. “Digi Surveillance systems, a local provider of surveillance solutions, demonstrated the power of the Avigilon HD surveillance system and showed us how easily it integrates with our existing system,” explains Kinnamon. “We were quickly sold on the benefits of the Avigilon system and were reassured by Digi Surveillance System’s confidence in the Avigilon solution.”
Avigilon Control Centre
With the help of Digi Surveillance Systems, Coffeyville USD installed a total of 40 new high-resolution cameras at the high school and middle school and also integrated the school’s existing 32 analogue cameras utilising high-resolution Avigilon analogue video encoders. Coffeyville USD installed several new cameras inside the buildings to cover blind spots and mounted the remaining cameras on the exterior of the buildings to monitor the parking lots and entrances. Kinnamon also integrated four standalone surveillance cameras located at the board office using a single Avigilon analogue video encoder.
Five administrators, including the schools’ principals, vice-principals, and Kinnamon can view surveillance footage on their desktops simultaneously and seamlessly manage the integrated surveillance system using Avigilon Control Centre software with HD Stream Management. With four terabytes of available storage on its Windows 2003 server located at the board office, Coffeyville USD stores 32 days of continuous footage.
According to Kinnamon, integrating the existing analogue-based surveillance cameras into the Avigilon HD surveillance system was simple, not only facilitating deployment and therefore reducing costs, but also improving the performance of existing cameras. “Using Avigilon analogue video encoders, we have been able to achieve improved image clarity of our legacy cameras,” notes Kinnamon.
“With the Avigilon system, we eliminate the cost and time of running more cable and adding new servers to support additional cameras—a substantial saving”
With its previous solution, cameras on each floor were connected by cable to a server located on the first floor of each building. If the school district wanted to add more of cameras, it would have to invest in additional computer hardware to support them. With the Avigilon HD surveillance system, cameras are plugged into an Avigilon analogue video encoder, which is sitting beside a switch located on each floor, which then connects to a centralised server at the board office that can easily support the addition of new cameras. “With the Avigilon system, we eliminate the cost and time of running more cable and adding new servers to support additional cameras—a substantial saving,” says Kinnamon.
In addition, now all surveillance footage is sent to and stored on a centrally managed server. With its previous system, Kinnamon would lose all footage if the server went down at one of the schools. If one of the Avigilon analogue video encoders were to go down, we would only lose the footage of the cameras connected to that specific encoder—the other cameras would still be up and running. And because the server is stored in a secure, climate-controlled location with backup capabilities, it is a lot safer than having a computer located onsite at each school.
Once Coffeyville USD had the Avigilon HD surveillance system in place, it wasn’t long before users realised how much easier the system is to manage using the Avigilon Control Centre network video management software compared to its previous system. “Our administrators are not power users, they don’t want to have to learn multiple, complicated steps to operate the surveillance system,” explains Kinnamon. Previously, users would have to stop the system to search for images or change the timeline, then hit play again to restart the system.
Busy with other administrative responsibilities, users don’t typically monitor the cameras live, instead relying on recorded footage for investigative purposes. “We spend most of our time viewing recorded footage, so we need to be able to access it quickly to find what we are looking for—Avigilon allows us to do that,” says Kinnamon. In fact, Kinnamon estimates that users are saving 70 percent of their time since they integrated the legacy system with the Avigilon HD surveillance system.
Administrators also like the fact that they can see multiple views, zoom in on image details, and playback footage easily from their desktop, or even remotely. “I also like the maps feature, which made it easy for me to create a map of each facility to help administrators easily locate the cameras for viewing purposes,” notes Kinnamon.
Effective service and support
A key requirement in its bid for a new surveillance system, Coffeyville wanted a vendor who would commit to providing fast, effective service and support when needed. “We simply could not get our previous vendor to call us back when we had a problem,” says Kinnamon. When Kinnamon had a licensing issue with the server during the initial stage of the Avigilon deployment, Digi Surveillance Systems and Avigilon were on the case within 20 minutes. “An Avigilon engineer began work on our system remotely and quickly identified the problem and developed a patch within 24 hours. I was extremely impressed with the team’s response time and overall support.”
Coffeyville USD has been able to achieve its goal of providing a safe learning environment for staff and students since deploying the Avigilon HD surveillance system. “Due to Avigilon’s ease-of-use, we can now more quickly identify what happened and who was involved in an incident for faster resolution,” notes Kinnamon.
“Due to Avigilon’s ease-of-use, we can now more quickly identify what happened and who was involved in an incident for faster resolution”
The Avigilon HD surveillance system has also helped reduce the main security risk at Coffeyville USD—the destruction of property. “Right after the system was installed outside, we had an incident of vandalism at the high school,” explains Kinnamon. “We didn’t have a camera located at the exact location of the damage, but we were able to see the car drive into the parking lot, stop at the scene, then drive out the exit.” Administrators were able to identify the car and deal with the perpetrator within 30 minutes of viewing the footage.
The Avigilon HD surveillance system not only enabled Coffeyville USD to create a safe school environment, it also helped it do so cost-effectively. “The Avigilon HD surveillance system has improved student safety and allowed us to easily integrate our previous system for dramatic cost savings—particularly important for a budget-driven school district like ours,” notes Kinnamon. “It would have cost 30 percent more to go with a solution from our previous vendor.”
Equally important, the Avigilon HD surveillance system offers Coffeyville USD the possibility of growth, an important consideration for Kinnamon, who would like to deploy the surveillance system at the elementary school within the next couple of years. “We can now extend our surveillance system right across the district at a much lower cost, helping us achieve our goal to provide a safe learning environment for all our staff and students,” concludes Kinnamon.