School security systems
Grappling with risks prompted by COVID-19 and escalating violence, Americans prefer modern, touchless security screening systems over legacy metal detectors. They expect their schools, workplaces and ticketed venues to ensure social distancing and would abandon their plans rather than enter a facility with crowded security lines. These and other insights were released by Evolv Technology based on a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll. The survey was conducted online with more than 1,500 Ame...
Combining artificial intelligence (AI) with cloud video creates systems that are smarter, safer and more cost-effective. Furthermore, adding AI capabilities can widen the advantage gap of cloud video systems compared to on-premise systems, especially for cost-conscious end users. “We strongly believe the total cost of ownership (TCO) for cloud systems is more affordable,” says Ken Francis, President of cloud video surveillance company Eagle Eye Networks. “And introducing reall...
Integrated Design Limited (IDL) has developed a new cost-effective and rapidly deployable entrance control solution that can help business owners adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and help keep staff and customers safe. Based on existing, proven technology, the Integrated Design Limited’s customised Door Detective Compact entrance control solution has been adapted to enable robust and straightforward population monitoring and control at single entrance doorways. Door Detect...
RS2 Technologies, a provider of access control systems, announces the availability of free mobile credentials for its innovation-rich platforms, such as Access It! Universal.NET, through its partnership with WaveLynx Technologies. The partnership allows RS2 to provide its customers with safe and secure access via mobile phone to doors in office buildings, government facilities, healthcare institutions, schools, residences and a growing number of enterprises. Access control system Available on...
Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, announces that Security Centre Omnicast™, its video management system (VMS), has received the UL 2900-2-3 Level 3 cybersecurity certification for the second year in a row. Genetec is currently the only VMS vendor in the world to have achieved this certification. The UL Cybersecurity Assurance Program (UL CAP) is a robust certification program that evaluates the security...
ACRE, a globally renowned provider of security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets, has announced that the ACRE brands – RS2, Vanderbilt and Open Options – will launch ACT ID, a new cloud-based mobile credential application that enables organisations to utilise both iOS and Android smartphones with existing WaveLynx multi-technology readers for secure access to doors in office buildings, government facilities, healthc...
Vanderbilt, a renowned provider of state-of-the-art video, access control and intrusion security systems, announced the introduction of Vanderbilt Mobile ACT ID, featuring zero-touch, cloud-issued credentials for seamless integration into its access control solutions. The result is the ability to easily issue new credentials, as well as instantly grant and restrict access for office buildings, government facilities, healthcare institutions, schools, residences and a growing variety of enterprises. Powered by WaveLynx Technologies, Vanderbilt Mobile ID communicates directly to each platform for authentication to help streamline access across the Vanderbilt U.S. platforms, including lite blue, bright blue, ACT365 and Vanderbilt Security Management System (SMS). The free credentials are supported on NFC for Android and Bluetooth Low Energy for iOS, and features fully authenticated issuance from a secure cloud credential authority. Access control system The application does not require any subscriptions or fees, making it an extremely flexible and affordable solution that allows organisations to transition to mobile access at their own pace. “The addition of mobile credential functionality is critical in today’s threat landscape as more users demand touch-free flexibility and a streamlined approach to visitor management and access control,” said Lynn Wood, Product Portfolio Manager, Vanderbilt. “Now, more than ever, we’re seeing demand for technology that is easy to use, simple to navigate and offers the added benefit of mobility for users. Vanderbilt Mobile ID brings all of this to customers at no additional cost.”
Visitor management is the smartest way to welcome those who are permitted in a school and vet those who don't. Visitor Management is the school's first line of defence. The schools are the heart of a thriving community. It is more important now than ever that they can welcome everyone who belongs in the school - from staff and students to visitors, volunteers and vendors - while vetting those individuals who should not be allowed entry. What is a visitor management process missing? Discover how modern, smart visitor management technology increases security and empowers staff to manage the complexities of the front office while welcoming those who belong in the building. The company’s new eBook provides their customers with insights on how to ensure their visitor management: Integrates with the user’s school's full suite of emergency preparedness solutions Considers adaptability for future processes, visibility and scalability Maintains a safe and welcoming environment for staff and students
Navigate360 invites everyone to welcome P3 Global Intel to the Navigate360 team. As they continue to focus on extending value to their customers, P3 brings a wealth of expertise along with state-of-the-art tip acquisition and management technology. The P3 solution is the renowned choice of Crime Stoppers Programs, Law Enforcement Agencies, Campus Safety Programs, and Federal Agency Initiatives in the US. Its proven technology is used in over 35,000 schools and districts across the country, where it has helped school leadership bring mental health needs to light, avert tragedies and save lives. Threat assessment manager “When it comes to safety, solving problems before they arise through thoughtful prevention planning is undoubtedly the best way to keep schools and communities safe,” said JP Guilbault, CEO of Navigate360. “Our engagement with P3 Global represents another milestone for Navigate360 in our earnest and methodical approach to bring a complete set of safety solutions to communities nationwide.” P3 is unique because it allows students and school faculty to report tips and engage in a fully anonymous dialogue through a mobile app, a web browser, or the telephone. On its own, this technology is powerful and the synergy that the company’s customers will realise when paired with solutions such as Behavioral Threat Assessment Manager and BTA Training will be significant. It is a natural and critical extension of the work they are doing to help communities create cultures of safety. Build essential tools Anonymous reporting is especially critical for students who so often witness the struggles of their peers" The small, yet mighty team from P3 is joining the Navigate360 staff and will share their expertise, experience and deep insights. Having decades of combined experience in the public and private sectors, they will serve key roles in the assimilation of tip acquisition and management solutions into their holistic offerings. “Having spent close to 30 years working with the public and private sectors to build essential tools for critical communications, I’ve seen firsthand how a tip from a concerned student or parent can save a life,” said Kevin Anderson, Founder and Creator of P3. Safety solution plans “Anonymous reporting is especially critical for students who so often witness the struggles of their peers but are afraid to come forward. By coming together with Navigate360, we will make schools safer, as well as businesses, by enabling them to integrate our technology into their larger safety solution plans in a seamless, easy to use way.” Safety is a journey, not a destination. Navigate360’s goal is to support their customers’ journey with the tools, resources and expertise necessary to build safer tomorrows. Bringing this important technology to empower people to report concerns and prevent tragedies is another step in the right direction.
At the official launch of CyberCenturion Vll, Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive, UK, Europe and Middle East, Northrop Grumman announced that the 2020/21 focus of the competition will be on encouraging greater diversity in the cyber security sector. CyberCenturion VII is open to all secondary school students in the UK, UK Crown Dependencies and UK Overseas Territories and starts in October 2020 with the national finals due to take place in April 2021. CyberCenturion is the UK edition of the global CyberPatriot programme, sponsored and led by Northrop Grumman, designed by the U.S. Air Force Association and delivered in the UK in partnership with the Cyber Security Challenge UK. Cyber security teams “Our mission at Northrop Grumman is to recruit, develop and retain the most talented employees, and that means having access to the most diverse talent pool to ensure that our cyber security teams retain a vigour and dynamism that matches the challenges in our sector,” Chaffey said at the virtual launch. “We believe that continuing to create a work force and a workplace that is diverse and values diversity and fosters inclusion is both the right thing to do and pivotal to delivering innovation. It will take time for CyberCenturion to reach every school in every neighbourhood, but we are asking for your support to achieve this important aim.” Crack cyber crime If COVID-19 restrictions prevent a face-to-face final in 2021, the final will take place as a virtual event CyberCenturion is a UK-wide competition which gives secondary school pupils the opportunity to develop and bring a myriad of skills into play to crack cyber crime. The multi-round event, for which there is no fee to participate, culminates in a national final for the highest scoring teams. If COVID-19 restrictions prevent a face-to-face final in 2021, in line with qualifying rounds, the final will take place as a virtual event. CyberCenturion VII is adopting the theme of space, to highlight the unlimited opportunity that young people from all backgrounds in cyber security have, linked to the pioneering work Northrop Grumman does in space. This ranges from the historic Lunar Module, the vehicle that landed men on the moon, to the Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) and James Webb Space Telescope. Inspirational people Nitya Sri Adapala is a past winner of CyberCenturion: “It opened my eyes and those of my teammates to a whole world of inspirational people that we could talk to and learn from. As a direct result of entering CyberCenturion, the enrolment onto Computer Sciences at our school went from 3 people to 18 - it’s been fantastic and I do feel proud of myself and my teammates for encouraging girls into the industry.”
Aiphone, the international manufacturer of intercom and security communication products, announces that 14 of its most popular IX Series IP video intercom stations and components have received certification from UL, an independent global safety science company that tests and certifies products. The IX Series IP video intercom stations and components which received UL certification were tested under UL standard, 62368-1, for audio/video, information, and communication technology equipment. A UL Standard certification is only granted through comprehensive procedures and guidelines, ensuring that Aiphone is offering quality products to its customers. IX Series “Aiphone recognizes it is critical our products are both reliable and meet the highest safety standards set forth by the industry,” said Brad Kamcheff, Aiphone Marketing Manager “By investing in the UL certification process, more than a dozen of our IX Series products now have the UL stamp of approval, ensuring we deliver on our goal of quality products that increase opportunities for our dealers and integrators.” The IX Series features the power of an enterprise platform with the simplicity of a single system—offering scalable enterprise security. The IX Series solution is ideal for commercial sites, industrial facilities, schools, campuses, parking garages, retail, emergency call, and correctional applications. Fourteen of Aiphone’s most deployed products from the IX Series have received the UL Standard certification. They include a wide variety of IP stations, such as hands-free video master stations, handset video master stations, and a variety of other audio and video components.
Door entry and access control manufacturer Videx has introduced a new handle for its range of MiAccess proximity readers. The HL1000-MF provides an ideal access control solution for small to mid-sized installations including offices, guest houses, industrial units and schools. The Mifare proximity handle can be used as a standalone unit or as part of a system including MiAccess readers and other accessories, such as the AL500-MF handle. Sian Luxton, Key Accounts Manager at Videx, said: “The HL1000-MF is an extremely versatile door handle and lock that can provide access to an unlimited number of users, access to one or more doors, and can restrict access whenever it is required therefore making it ideal for different access control solutions." Programming information Fobs are also available in a range of colours to further simplify the management of the system "It’s very easy to install and use too; all you need is the handle, a PC and a USB desk reader for programming alongside the user’s cards or fobs. User cards and fobs are programmed at the PC and then issued to the users without the need to visit the site or development to programme anything further; saving time and cost because no wiring connections or power supply are required.” Fobs are also available in a range of colours to further simplify the management of the system. It is compatible with both the PROA MS and PROH MS MiAccess software, where programming, configuration settings and event logs of the built-in reader can be transferred between the PC and the reader. This is carried out via the micro-USB or with programming cards where the programming information is transferred from the card to the reader. Key override facility User cards can be created via the software with the PROX-USB desktop enrolment reader where access rights can be registered directly onto each corresponding card. Sian added: “The battery powered handle can be used internally or externally and has a robust stainless-steel body and handle. It also includes a dead lock with a key override facility to the secure side and thumb turn release for the inside." "Two override keys are included. It can be used on up to a maximum of 80 doors, has an unlimited user capacity and up to 3,500 events can be logged. There are four variants of the handle which can be used for inward or outward opening doors and doors which open to the right or the left.” The handle is powered by 4x standard AA batteries giving on average 60,000 opening cycles.
Schools play a key role in shaping our future. Following the reopening of classrooms up and down the country, young minds are returning to some normality. Once again they're being inspired, learning useful skills, and forging new interests to ensure our country's continued prosperity. Schools need a comprehensive security infrastructure to protect the children who attend them. Most notably, secure perimeters that keep unwanted people out, but also ensure visitors, parents, and students alike can access their shared community space without feeling segregated or unwelcome. Robust boundary fencing However, although safety is often the primary concern of parents, with tighter budgetary constraints and funds prioritised to make schools COVID safe, it can be all too easy to let important perimeter replacement or improvement programmes slip. The purpose of boundary fencing is to restrict unauthorised entry and exit The purpose of boundary fencing is to restrict unauthorised entry and exit from school grounds, and should be specifically designed to be fit for purpose. Opting for fencing with a welded pale-through-rail construction and concealed anti-tamper connectors between fence panels and posts delivers a robust boundary that's virtually impossible to break through. This style of fencing also gives a better finish with no visible joints or unsightly bolts. Attractive and practical solutions Unlike generic riveted palisade fencing, this solution is both attractive and practical, more so now that LPS 1175 SR1 certified and Secured by Design versions are available. The style of fencing should meet a school's desired security and safety requirements, simultaneously, it should not compromise on aesthetic considerations. As part of the public face of the school, it should be attractive as well as functional, helping overcome any concerns of creating a prison-like environment and promote a sense of well-being. It's recommended that perimeter fencing should be: a minimum of two metres high, vandal-resistant and sturdy, grounded on a hard surface, challenging to scale, and have an anti-climb topping, much the same as a high-security option. Access all areas Each educational site must consider the number of necessary entrances A perimeter fence requires secure access points and gates. Each educational site must consider the number of necessary entrances. These should be kept to a minimum, to make it easier to maintain control of visitor movement. However, in larger schools this is not always possible and additional entrances may be required to prevent potentially dangerous congestion at the start and end of the school day. Furthermore, separate gates must be installed for vehicles and pedestrians to ensure they are kept at a safe distance, and avoid unnecessary openings of large, double leaf gates. All access points should be locked during the day to keep students on-site and prevent intruders from gaining access to school grounds. Gates should ideally be matched in design, height and construction to the fencing, to prevent creating vulnerable areas and compromising security. Automatic vs manual While automatic gates offer more control, manual gates shouldn't be overlooked. Not only are they easier to install and usually cheaper than automated gates, but they also don't rely on power, so if your site's supply is cut off, they provide a hassle-free exit. Furthermore, gates that are only used at the start and end of the day can be easily locked manually by staff. However, automated gates do offer welcome flexibility, as they include access control devices such as remote controls, keypads and card readers, which will also increase the school's security. They're also robust and heavy, meaning it's incredibly difficult to force them open. Electric gates offer additional versatility with a choice of either full automation, or a hybrid of manned and automatic security, with staff able to allow visitors access via intercom or video system. Securing outdoor facilities It’s also essential to consider outdoor areas when it comes to specifying security options for educational environments. Specialist security fencing should be specified where recreational areas double up as the school’s boundary fencing. The security of the site's sports facilities will also need to be considered. Commonly known as MUGAs (Multi-Use Games Areas), enclosures can be designed with specialist mesh systems to allow multiple sports to be played in the same location while providing safety to participants, spectators and buildings. When it comes to play areas in nurseries and junior schools, installing RoSPA approved and BS EN 1176 compliant fencing and gates is recommended. These are available in both timber and steel options and tested for their ability to provide a safe fencing and gate solution - designed to reduce the risk of limb entrapment. Acoustic fencing is also worth considering for these environments, particularly in urban areas or where housing is close to school play areas. It can help reduce incoming ambient noise from neighbouring busy roads, railway lines, or construction sites, and contain the school noise within its boundary. Offering sufficient protection Focus on learning unimpeded by threat The current generation of children deserve an environment where they can focus on learning unimpeded by threat. Schools need robust perimeter solutions that welcome pupils, offer peace of mind to parents, and provide them with sufficient protection against intruders. Ultimately, it's the responsibility of the head teachers to engage in dialogue with knowledgeable security professionals to get the most appropriate and effective security solutions for their school, staff and students.
The statistics are staggering. The death tolls are rising. And those who now fear environments that were once thought to be safe zones like school campuses, factories, commercial businesses and government facilities, find themselves having to add the routine of active-shooter drills into their traditional fire drill protocols. The latest active shooter statistics released by the FBI earlier this year in their annual active-shooter report designated 27 events as active shooter incidents in 2018. The report reveals that 16 of the 27 incidents occurred in areas of commerce, seven incidents occurred in business environments, and five incidents occurred in education environments. Deadly active-shooter events Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years Six of the 12 deadliest shootings in the country have taken place in the past five years, including Sutherland Springs church, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the San Bernardino regional center, the Walmart in El Paso and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which have all occurred since 2015. Although these incidents occurred in facilities with designated entry points common to churches, schools and businesses, the two most deadly active-shooter events since 2015 were the Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and the Pulse nightclub killings in Orlando where 49 perished. As Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in San Antonio, Texas, said during a news conference following the August 31 mass shooting in Odessa, Texas that claimed seven lives: “We are now at almost every two weeks seeing an active shooter in this country." Active shooter incidents Between December 2000 and December 2018, the FBI’s distribution of active shooter incidents by location looks like this: Businesses Open to Pedestrian Traffic (74) Businesses Closed to Pedestrian Traffic (43) K-12 Schools (39) Institutions of Higher Learning (16) Non-Military Government Properties (28) Military Properties—Restricted (5) Healthcare Facilities (11) Houses of Worship (10) Private Properties (12) Malls (6) What the majority of these venues have in common is they all have a front entrance or chokepoint for anyone entering the facilities, which is why any active-shooter plan must include a strategy to secure that entry point. Situational awareness in perimeter and door security Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal" According to Paul Franco, an A&E with more than 28 years of experience as a consultant and systems integrator focusing on schools, healthcare and large public and private facilities, that while active shooter incidents continue to rise, the residual effect has been an increase in situational awareness in perimeter and door security. “Certainly, protecting people and assets is the number one goal of all our clients. There are multiple considerations in facilities like K-12 and Healthcare. Preventing people with the wrong intentions from entering the space is the goal. But a critical consideration to emphasise to your client is getting that person out of your facility and not creating a more dangerous situation by locking the person in your facility,” says Franco. High-security turnstiles “Schools today are creating a space for vetting visitors prior to allowing access into the main facility. Using technology properly like high-security turnstiles offer great benefits in existing schools where space constraints and renovation costs can be impractical.” What steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe As a consultant/integrator, when discussions are had with a client that has a facility in a public space like a corporate building, government centre or industrial facility, what steps should they be taken when recommending the proper door security to ensure the building is safe and can protect its people and assets? For Frank Pisciotta, President and CEO of Business Protection Specialists, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, a fundamental element of his security strategy is making appropriate recommendations that are broad-based and proactive. Properly identifying the adversaries “As a consultant, my recommendations must include properly identifying the adversaries who may show up at a client’s door, the likelihood of that event occurring, the consequences of that event occurring, determining if there are tripwires that can be set so an organisation can move their line of defence away from the door, educating employees to report potential threats and creating real-time actionable plans to respond to threats. A more reactionary posture might include such thing as target hardening such as ballistic resistant materials at entry access points to a facility,” Pisciotta says. Veteran consultant David Aggleton of Aggleton & Associates of Mission Viejo, California recommends that clients compartmentalise their higher security areas for limited access by adding multiple credential controls (card + keypad + biometric), along with ‘positive’ access systems that inhibit tailgating/piggybacking such as secure turnstiles, revolving door and mantrap if your entrances and security needs meet the required space and access throughput rates. Integrated solution of electronic access control Defining a single point of entry in some public facilities is becoming the new standard of care according to many A&Es and security consultants, especially in a school environment. This approach allows a concerted effort when it comes to staffing, visitor monitoring and an integrated technology solution. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach A proactive stance to securing a door entryway will use an integrated solution of electronic access control, turnstiles, revolving doors and mantraps that can substantially improve a facility’s security profile. The bottom line remains: most buildings are vulnerable to a security breach, so it’s not a matter of if there will be a next active shooter tragedy, it’s only a matter of where. Enhancing access control assurance “There is no easy answer to this question,” says Pisciotta referring to how a secured entrance can deter an active shooter. “There have been at least two high-profile incidents of adversaries shooting their way into a facility through access control barriers. So, if the threat so dictates, a ballistic resistant might be required.” He concludes: “There is obviously no question that turnstiles, revolving doors and man traps enhance access control assurance. Electronic access control is easy to integrate with these devices and providing that credentials are secure, approval processes are in place, change management is properly managed and the appropriate auditing measures in place, access control objectives can be met.”
As we approach National Safe Schools Week (October 21-27), it is appropriate for a conversation to begin regarding establishing standards for K12 school security. Currently no standards exist for assisting schools navigate the complexity of understanding what they need, how much it will cost and how they will secure their learning environments. Security industry experts The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) is one of the organisations at the forefront of establishing security standards for schools. In 2014, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) formed PASS, which brought together a cross functional group of members including school officials, safe schools’ consultants, law enforcement and security industry experts to collaborate and develop a coordinated approach to protecting K-12 students and staff. School administrators are often contacted repeatedly by organisations with multiple safety and security products PASS has provided valuable insights regarding an ‘All Hazards’ approach to school safety and security. In fact, PASS suggests that school administrators are challenged with two decisions: Determining what they need to do How to prioritise Safe school environment School administrators are experts in running schools and providing education. However, most are not security experts and do not understand the complexity of implementing a comprehensive physical security and safety program across their districts. Still, they are often contacted repeatedly by organisations with multiple safety and security products. School administrators are experts in running schools and providing education, but most are not security experts Some of these organisations recognise their products are just pieces of a safe school environment puzzle and how they fit in, whereas others focus on specific applications and do not understand how their specific solutions may affect life safety codes and Americans with Disabilities Act law. (Note: Many ‘barricade devices’ fall into this latter category and actually introduce liability concerns with the unintended consequences of their use.)Schools incorporate evacuation drills as part of their emergency preparedness plans and practice on a regular basis Even for experts, the plethora of options and disparate systems required to integrate a safety and security approach at schools is daunting. The ongoing challenge is integrating access control, video, mass notification, and/or visitor management products into a single, effective, and appropriate system the owner can understand, utilise, and afford and that meet local codes and ADA laws. In the absence of standards, schools are likely to amass a collection of devices that do not constitute a comprehensive solution. Lack of consensus In years past, the our industry and commercial buildings adhered to legacy codes – like Building Officials and Code Administrators International Inc. (BOCA), Uniform Building Code (UBC), Southern Building Code Congress International Inc. (SBBCI), and International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) – which have traditionally been revised every three years, while local jurisdictions decided what versions to adopt and enforce. Currently, however, there is a move toward the International Building Code (IBC), which is published by the International Code Council (ICC) and includes standards and guidance for commercial buildings on doors, windows, and other openings.A risk assessment is the next step toward developing a comprehensive security plan, and begins with developing a trend analysis Still, despite this migration of codes from a patchwork of local decisions to global guidelines, there remains a lack of consensus around school security. The current fragmented approach causes confusion regarding how new schools are designed and how to retrofit existing school buildings, whose average age is 45+ years. Right protection equipment One can point to the fact that there hasn’t been one student lost in a school fire in over 50 years as testament to standards like NFPA 80 and NFPA 101 being referenced in model building codes. Additionally, schools incorporate evacuation drills as part of their emergency preparedness plans and practice on a regular basis. It’s not just having the right protection equipment in the building, it’s also having a procedural layer in place to make sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities in the event of fire. The stress of the actual event can limit ones’ ability to think clearly. Practice makes perfect. Why would we approach school security any differently? School security is a team effort, and it is important to understand all the areas security impacts and involves School security is a team effort. It is important to understand all the areas security impacts and involves. PASS suggests starting with a basic team consisting of: Security Director Local Law Enforcement School Administrator Integrator Door and Hardware Consultant IT Director Comprehensive security plan Quantifying and mitigating risk are the jobs of security professionals and school administrators A risk assessment is the next step toward developing a comprehensive security plan. This often begins with conducting a trend analysis requiring the collection of data from a variety of public and private sources. The challenge is to pull these pieces into a usable and easily understood format that provides a guide for current and future risk concerns. Risk assessment and mitigation can never eliminate risk. Quantifying and mitigating risk are the jobs of security professionals and school administrators. Data from the following sources can help measure risk: Campus: Review incident report trends for at least the past 36 months. Area and city: Review crime data from local law enforcement for the surrounding neighborhood and city. Screening procedures: How is hiring conducted? Anonymous tip reporting systems: Enabling students, staff members, parents and the community to anonymously alert administrators to perceived and actual threats. Social media monitoring: such monitoring can provide important information that can be used to identify risks. Monitoring social media could help measure risk for school safety Delay adversarial behaviors These assessments can then be incorporated into the best practice approach of Layered Security. Layered security combines best practice components within each layer that effectively deter, detect and delay adversarial behaviors. Layered security works from the outside in. As one layer is bypassed, another layer provides an additional level of protection. The asset being protected is at the center of the layers – students, staff and authorised visitors. PASS defines five layers of Security:As one layer is bypassed, another layer provides an additional level of protection District Wide Property Perimeter Parking Lot Perimeter Building Perimeter Classroom/Interior Perimeter Appropriate Tier target Each layer can be broken down into Tier levels with Tier 1 being basic and Tier 4 being the highest level of security (Figure 1) . It is important to understand that the demographics of individual school buildings varies, even within the same district. Security experts will quickly point out that ‘if you’ve seen one school, you’ve seen one school’. The assessments will determine the appropriate Tier target. Figure 1 Each layer includes essential protective elements, or components, of security. Every layer does not necessarily include all seven of these common components, and a layer may include additional components unique to that particular layer. Safety and security components Policies & Procedures People (roles & training) Architectural Communication Access Control Video Surveillance Detection and Alarms While components are not listed in a priority order, three components included in all layers are policies and procedures, the roles and training of people, and communication. These components often perform a function in every layer and every tier in each layer. Three tools come together in the PASS approach as outlined in the new 4th Edition of the PASS Guidelines (Figure 2) - the Layers are established and defined, a Checklist/Assessment breaks down each layer into tiered best practices which then tie into the guidelines where a narrative explains each best practice in more detail. Figure 2 Schools need not reinvent the wheel when it comes to school security planning. Following the best practices of Risk Assessments and Layered Security will ensure that every school building in a district will have a unique and comprehensive plan that is tailored to their individual needs.
Many venues are using access control, video surveillance systems, sensors, and additional hardware solutions as part of a broader security strategy. By utilising so many disparate systems, corporate security teams are left with information “silos” that create inefficiencies and hamper communication. This abundance of hardware has left teams with too much data or too many tools, to manage effectively. Armored Things offers a software solution. The company’s “spatial intelligence platform” currently collects more data than other security intelligence solutions, utilising a broader range of sources and fusing data together rather than integrating it. The platform currently focuses on taking in data from WiFi, access control, and video surveillance systems and applying machine learning to deliver customers features such as real-time predictive analytics to prevent incidents like bottlenecks or overcrowding. Spatial Intelligence is an approach to physical security that enables users to collect, manage, and interpret data in a single platform. Combine machine learning with data The term can best be used to describe how digital transformation has affected physical security. Spatial Intelligence in its infancy looked like video surveillance data combined with machine learning to produce video analytics. The spatial intelligence solutions of today can combine machine learning with data of any source, type, and size to deliver value across a large organisation, not just the security team, says the company. Armored Things’ Spatial Intelligence platform unifies data from information silos to support data-driven decisions around operations and security. By fusing data from multiple sources, we can produce more consistent and useful insights for our customers” A suite of analytics, reporting and visualisation tools helps customers gain a real-time understanding of people and flow in their space. By removing the guesswork of everyday decisions, the product enables customers to make data-driven decisions at a moment’s notice, according to the company. Armored Things is more than a data management tool. “By fusing data from multiple sources (rather than only cameras or only WiFi), we can produce more consistent, accurate, and useful insights for our customers,” says Kevin Davis, Chief Security Officer at Armored Things. "Being able to collect the data is the first step, but turning it into actionable intelligence is where Armored Things excels.” IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices The range of data sources includes IP cameras and other IoT-enabled devices and even outside data sources like bus schedules and weather reports. Armored Things has built a team of public safety and technical experts with the mission to keep people safe where they live, work, and play. By leveraging emerging technology to enhance physical security, the company built the software-centric Spatial Intelligence Platform for large organisations to enhance the safety and operations of their space. Schools and education facilities are among the customers that can benefit. The leadership at Armored Things cares deeply about school safety, so the recent epidemic of campus violence has definitely been a large topic of conversation, according to the company. “By delivering our products to a greater number of customers, Armored Things hopes to continue making schools a safe place to learn and gather,” says Davis. Recently, there was a significant bottleneck lasting nearly 30 minutes at the Syracuse-Clemson football game. Unifying data into one platform Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” Using Armored Things technology and providing real-time data to security and operations personnel could have identified the bottleneck as it began to form. This would have notified relevant personnel, who could have taken steps to mitigate the problem before it turned into a security risk. Keeping the security infrastructure simple is imperative to success. Integrating a software solution into the security strategy shouldn’t complicate existing operations, says the company. “Armored Things Spatial Intelligence Platform can bring your security and operations into focus by unifying all of your data into one platform for ease of use,” says Davis. For this reason, the team chose to integrate not only with customers’ existing security infrastructure but with non-traditional data sources (e.g. WiFi, event schedules, ticketing) as well. “By combining and analysing a more diverse dataset, Armored Things can help our customers make better decisions with deeper data-driven insights,” says Davis. "Digital transformation is disrupting the way our customers think about physical security,” says Davis. “As a team, our aim is to help our customers adapt to the digital age, as they transition from hardware to software-centric security solutions. Fostering organisational change is difficult, and our team hopes to make the transition process easier for our customers.”
School shootings, especially in the United States, present an ongoing tragedy and a challenge to the security industry. We like to think we have solutions that can help, if not “solve”, the problem: but how effective are they at the end of the day? The sad answer – even after dozens of school shootings and even in the wrenching aftermath of the latest one – is that we don’t know. There is a gaping lack of knowledge and research when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of preventative measures as they relate to school shootings. A 2016 study by the Rand Corp. points to the problem: Lack of data and research on what works and what doesn’t. “Despite growth in the school safety-technology sector, rigorous research about the effectiveness of these technologies is virtually non-existent,” according to Rand (as reported in Education Week). “The field is in desperate need of more evidence on what works, and schools want this information presented to them in vetted, digestible ways to help them with procurement.” Role of early detection Early detection of weapons in the school environment can minimise the impact of school violence Early detection of weapons – and their users – in the school environment can minimise the impact of school violence. For example, ZeroEyes is an intelligent video analytics platform, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to detect weapons and recognise faces in real time. The company’s goal is to provide school administrators and decision-makers with a simple, intuitive situational awareness platform that gives first responders a tactical advantage. Data capture form to appear here! An emerging tool in campus security is audio analytics: Aggression and gunshot detection are some of the best security tools in the campus security market when it comes to detection, intervention and deterrence. Aggression detectors are capable of accurately recognising duress in a person’s voice. The software automatically and objectively detects the presence of rising human aggression, anger or fear, and subsequently warns staff by a visual alert or alarm trigger. A gunshot detector recognises firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software accurately classifies and triggers an immediate notification. Emergency response technology CLASS [Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System] by Sielox is an incident and crisis management solution Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role. For example, physical security company Sielox has adapted the idea of using a colour scheme to characterise 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 colours 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". Colours are displayed on a schematic of the building, and new colours 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 colours that are configurable to denote a wide variety of emergency or non-emergency situations (such as maintenance or homeroom check-in status). Emergency response in also important, and technology can play a role Non-lethal methods to suppress active shooters in schools are also emerging. For example, one remotely deployed threat suppression system drenches a perpetrator with a repulsive water-based solution, thus impairing their ability to enact violence. The solution irritates eyes, throat, lungs and skin, but does not cause permanent injury. Cleanup is easy using water and detergent. The solution is manually deployed in predetermined zones, which limits the affected areas in a building. Touch-screen control enables rapid deployment, which can also be integrated with Threat Alert buttons and/or gunshot detection. ShotSpotter gunfire tracking Gun violence is also an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located Beyond the schools themselves, gun violence is an issue in the neighborhoods where schools are located. ShotSpotter, Inc. released data tracking gunfire in and around public K-12 school communities within ShotSpotter coverage areas during 2017. The data revealed more than 4,800 gunfire incidents occurred during school hours within a one-half mile radius of public K-12 schools and within the coverage area. There are 2,320 public K-12 schools and over 1,079,700 students within ShotSpotter coverage areas in 77 cities in the United States. The ShotSpotter study tracked and analysed data on the number of gunfire incidents that occurred at or near those schools across the time period from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. local time, Monday – Friday, including summer and holidays. On a positive note, awareness of high-profile school violence has prompted action. Schools and universities are most certainly safer than ever before. High-profile incidents, especially active shooters tragedies, have increased collective security awareness. Heightened awareness leads to safer practices, improved emergency preparedness and security technology innovations. Collaborative efforts that involve stakeholder groups, such as administrators, responders and students, are the key to a safer learning environment. Investing in technology advances in 1) access control (e.g. electronic access, visitor management) and 2) communications (e.g. duress capabilities, mass notification) is the most effective way to protect people.
Video surveillance cannot address all the security challenges in education, but it is a valuable tool and among the least obtrusive options available. And the list of security challenges that video can address grows every day. Video systems can provide real-time monitoring of school premises and facilitate rapid response to incidents. New advances such as video analytics are currently underutilised in the education arena. Historically, video has been used as a forensic tool in the education market, providing critical information about an incident after the fact. But that generalisation is changing. Today, networking enables video images to be shared throughout a school system, travelling over existing networks, empowering a more centralised security management structure, and making video more valuable. In particular, higher education institutions are more likely to view live video, given the larger campuses, greater number of buildings, and more public areas where staff and students congregate. Challenges for securing a school environment Multiple challenges in the education market for security goods and services (from a video perspective) include wide open spaces that make securing schools with video surveillance cameras difficult since the vast amount of coverage required can be cost-prohibitive. Second, state and federal regulations must be taken into account and balanced with the need to protect student privacy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between 4 and 5 PTZ cameras Finally, schools and colleges face dwindling budgets, which means security solutions must deliver more coverage and functionality, while also being cost-effective to deploy. Panoramic cameras are one tool to address these challenges, as a single 360-degree camera can replace between four and five traditional pan-tilt-zoom cameras, resulting in fewer cameras and more coverage – all at a lower cost for hardware and licensing. Data capture form to appear here! Intelligent cameras with video analytics Video surveillance with video analytics can be deployed to monitor areas at certain times of day. For example, once school starts, there shouldn’t be a lot of activity in the parking lot or in particular areas around the school. For these situations, intelligent cameras with video analytics can be used to detect activity in those areas of interest to alert school security that something may need their attention. Radar detection is ideal for perimeters, where a device can be set up unobtrusively to alert when someone enters a particular area. ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search The goal in a potentially dangerous situation is to speed up response times. The faster you’re able to detect something using technology, the faster you’re able to respond. Therefore, being able to identify something happening in a parking lot and alert school resource officers could provide 30 seconds or a minute head start for response, which can get the school into a lockdown situation and get first responders on site more quickly. Video cameras with low-light capability It’s been shown that using lighting at night can deter crime. However, it can be expensive to keep a building and grounds illuminated all night, every night. To mitigate these concerns and potential costs, there are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability that allows them to see in near-dark or in some cases complete darkness. This allows a school to save money by turning lights off while achieving a level of surveillance performance similar to daytime deployments. There are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability to see in near-dark or complete darkness Facing above-average student incident rates and student disciplinary concerns at some schools, a school system in the United States sought to upgrade its video surveillance system to allow better local and remote monitoring in important areas. Avigilon high-definition cameras with self-learning video analytics and access control solutions were installed in 101 schools, and ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology provides advanced video analytics search. A deep learning artificial intelligence search engine can sort through hours of footage and allow operators to click on a button and search for all instances of a person or vehicle across all cameras on a site, quickly and efficiently.
ZeroEyes, the only AI-based platform focused solely on weapons detection, has been selected by the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) of Wisconsin to help improve security on its campuses. ZeroEyes proprietary solution ZeroEyes’ proprietary solution will identify visible guns if present and send alerts to school administrators and security personnel within three to five seconds, helping to stop violent threats before they occur. KUSD is the third-largest school district in Wisconsin, with over 21,000 students and 4,200 employees in 23 elementary schools, five middle schools, five high schools and five charter schools. Integration with IP security cameras ZeroEyes currently integrates with KUSD’s IP security cameras to help detect visible weapons and serve as a proactive measure to prevent any violent threats on campus. When ZeroEyes positively detects a weapon, the platform sends a notification to school administrators, school resource officers and local 911 dispatch, ensuring the school can enact security protocols and give first responders real-time information to help prevent active shooting tragedies and save lives. Enhancing staff and students’ security “It’s a grim reality that active shootings happen in schools across the country, and we’ve needed to understand and implement the solutions that can keep our students, staff and visitors safe,” said Kevin Christoun, Maintenance, Environmental and Safety Manager at KUSD. Kevin adds, “At KUSD, we have a multi-layered security approach that includes the most effective and innovative technologies and resources, and ZeroEyes’ platform clearly supports our strategy.” Weapons detection solution ZeroEyes proprietary and comprehensive datasets focus exclusively on weapons detection Founded by a group of former Navy SEALs and military veterans, ZeroEyes proprietary and comprehensive datasets focus exclusively on weapons detection, to actively monitor and detect for visible weapons. ZeroEyes also trains and collaborates with customers and local first responders to conduct extensive pilots before its solution is fully implemented. In the future, KUSD plans to roll out additional installations to remaining schools in the district. Effectively countering active shooting incidents “ZeroEyes was founded upon the realisation that a proactive solution was needed to help keep people safe, with real-time information to adequately address violent threats and prevent mass shooting tragedies,” said Dustin Brooks, Vice President of Education at ZeroEyes. Dustin adds, “KUSD focuses on providing a safe and productive learning environment to its students and faculty, and we’re honoured to provide a 24/7 solution that supports their goals.”
Redlands Unified School District, located in San Bernardino Country, California, hosts more than 21,000 students across its 16 elementary schools, four middle schools and four high schools. School security is paramount for the district. It’s taken extra precautions, including a focus on lockdown procedures across its locations and the district office. K-12 school security can be challenging, especially with the uniqueness of Redlands High School. It’s an older facility that was constructed more than 100 years ago. Additionally, students must walk outside to pass from building to building, and there’s a street that cuts through campus. A crosswalk is needed to get from one end to the other. The district needed to take all of this into account when assessing their security plan. Securing every layer The district’s security team took into consideration each physical layer that needed protection The district’s security team took into consideration each physical layer that needed protection at Redlands High School, from the district level to the classroom and many openings in between. Yet, there was a common area that needed addressed. There’s a fence around the campus to protect the property perimeter. And Redlands High School is extending that fence to include the cross walk, which will help funnel guests into a single point of entry, the main office. Schlage AD Series electronic locks This opening, as well as many other perimeter openings that lead into offices, gyms, auditoriums, libraries and hallways in the school feature Schlage AD Series electronic locks that are connected to the district’s access control system. At the classroom layer, each door has mechanical hardware that can be locked from the inside. Redlands School District has started district-wide implementation of a full-feature enterprise access control system through Vanderbilt, which is capable of operating across different schools, campuses and other locations. RedRock Security and Cabling, Inc. (RedRock Technologies) had implemented and continue to support the solution. Electronic access control “When these systems are managed district-wide, schools have the ability to lock down a door at a time, a school at a time or an entire district at a time,” said Jennifer Martin, Director of System Sales at Vanderbilt, adding “It’s all about protecting the students.” With electronic access control on main points of entry and many assembly areas, plus secure mechanical locks on classroom doors, Redlands High School had most of the layers prepared in the event of a lockdown event. However, the school’s cafeteria, Terrier Hall, was a vulnerable space. “Hundreds of students use Terrier Hall,” said James Fotia, Director of Maintenance, Operations and Transportation at Redlands Unified School District, adding “In a lockdown situation, that’s a place where we would secure the kids and keep them safe by clustering them into that area and having it locked down. But it was secured by one AD-400 lock on a pair of double doors. That was incomplete.” Von Duprin RU retrofit option Allegion representatives recommended a new K-12 security solution from Von Duprin To demonstrate how the school could affordably secure big banks of doors without having a reader on each opening, Allegion representatives recommended a new K-12 security solution from Von Duprin. The Von Duprin RU retrofit option is a cost-effective solution for openings with existing exit devices that enables remote locking, or un-dogging, for centralised lock down. This enables staff to initiate an immediate campus-wide lockdown from a secured location instead of putting themselves in harm’s way to manually undog exit-device doors throughout the building. Integrated request to exit (RX), latch bolt (LX) and door position switch (DPS) signals are included to provide real-time remote monitoring and confirmation of the security status of the door. Wireless connectivity to ENGAGE Gateway There’s also a ‘dog on next exit’ feature, which is a scheduled function sent to the device to allow the door to remain unlocked the first time someone depresses the push pad of the exit device to leave that space. The door is secured in the evening, and with ‘dog on next exit’ enabled at a specific time in the morning, staff simply depresses the push pad to unlock the door. This makes unlocking the door simple for scheduled events and daily lock-up easy by reducing the need to distribute keys to staff. Additionally, the RU option connects wirelessly via Bluetooth Low Energy to Allegion’s ENGAGE Gateway which provides real-time, bi-directional communication to the access control software. RU is a modular battery powered kit that can be added on to existing Von Duprin 98/99 and 33A/35A Series devices. Enhanced door security “The Von Duprin RU option fits into special applications that haven’t been addressed in the past,” said Russell Gamble, End User Consultant at Allegion, adding “There are several openings that will benefit from this secure lockdown solution.” At Redlands High School, the Von Duprin solution is installed on five doors that surround the cafeteria area. There are main entry doors where students enter, plug in their lunch numbers and go through the buffet line. From there, they enter the multi-purpose space, where there are four additional doors, which are secured with the RU options. Access control solution with lockdown capabilities There was also interest in implementing the security solution at the district office There was also interest in implementing the security solution at the district office. The school wanted to pilot the solution there to experience the product and its features, especially the lockdown capabilities. And being that the building is so unique, it has a need for enhanced security. “The district office is a converted warehouse, so it was never really meant for meetings and offices,” said Fotia, adding “Having the Von Duprin RU has been a wonderful fit in providing security in a not so ideal building.” Integration with Vanderbilt solution The main building is built U-shaped and the loading dock is in the middle. In the middle there is a courtyard area with four portable offices. The Von Duprin RU is on each portable door. At both locations, the Von Duprin RU options are integrated into the Vanderbilt solution and part of the broader lockdown solution. “The greatest thing about this solution is schools now have a way to electronically add control to doors that used to be manually monitored,” said Jennifer Martin. Remote lockdown and door access control She adds, “With the Von Duprin 99 Series, doors allow for free egress, but they aren’t usually monitored by access-controlled systems. If someone has it dogged so the doors are unlocked or propped open, someone has to manually go around and lock each door.” This solution ensures staff is alerted if a door is propped open and enables the ability to lock down the door remotely, even if it was previously mechanically unlocked. Enhanced lockdown capabilities for peace of mind Redlands Unified School District is pleased with the addition of the Von Duprin RU Redlands Unified School District is pleased with the addition of the Von Duprin RU to its school security plan. Integrating the solution with the Vanderbilt system, along with the Schlage electronic locks on campus has improved lockdown. According to the district’s Coordinator of Operations and Facility Planning, Ken Morse, it’s also improved peace of mind because there are less errors and more control over these areas. In the cafeteria, Terrier Hall, they’re able to secure doors that used to be manually controlled. This eliminates human error and the risk of manually locking doors in an emergency. Fotia said the school also likes the budget-savings aspect since it was able to simply upgrade the hardware it already had in place versus purchasing entirely new equipment. He’s excited to see other areas where the Von Duprin RU might be a fit. “The security measures and the lockdown capabilities are the main reasons we wanted the Von Duprin product,” said Morse, adding “Putting something on a schedule is also a great bonus because of how many common-use facilities we have. We’ve found that scheduling it is relatively easy. The doors are open only when they need to be. We have everything scheduled at the district office so it’s open during our hours, which has been a huge benefit.”
ZeroEyes, a renowned provider of artificial intelligence weapons detection solution, announced that it will provide its technology to the South Side Area School District in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. ZeroEyes’ platform is purpose-built to detect visible weapons in real-time, identifying guns before any violent threats can occur. ZeroEyes’ software integrates with an organisation’s existing camera systems and video analytics to detect weapons in real time. As soon as a visible weapon is detected, an alert with the image of the weapon goes to the ZeroEyes monitoring team. Once confirmed, an alert is sent to a local emergency dispatch, onsite security staff, police and school administrators via mobile and desktop. South Side Area School District operates three schools: an elementary school, middle school, and high school, with approximately 980 students. Weapons detection solution The school has invested in a number of different technologies focused on keeping staff, students and visitors safe, taking a pioneering stance in prioritising school safety. ZeroEyes is the first weapons detection solution installed on premises. ZeroEyes’ AI weapons detection platform allows security personnel to quickly enact security protocols “As a rural public school district, it’s absolutely crucial for us to take the steps needed to ensure the safety of everyone who sets foot on campus,” said Alan Fritz, Superintendent at South Side Area School District. “ZeroEyes has consistently demonstrated their steadfast focus and commitment to public safety, and we believe that their weapons detection solution will play a critical component in our overall security approach.” Active shooter threats ZeroEyes partners with its customers as well as local first responders to ensure that organisations - including schools, commercial and government buildings - have an additional layer of security to identify and stop threats. ZeroEyes’ AI weapons detection platform allows security personnel to quickly enact security protocols, or direct first responders to a threat. “ZeroEyes was founded with the core focus to help mitigate school shootings, and we’re excited to partner with a school district that is taking proactive measures against active shooter threats,” said Dustin Brooks, Vice President of K-12 Education at ZeroEyes. “We look forward to the partnership with the South Side Area School District and forging a strong relationship built upon deeply caring about protecting students and faculty.” Prevent mass shootings Founded by former Navy SEALs and military veterans with over 50 years of collective military experience, ZeroEyes’ mission is to detect weapons before shots are fired, enable faster response times for first responders and security personnel, and ultimately prevent mass shootings.
Hanwha Techwin America, a global supplier of IP and analogue video surveillance solutions, has announced that Army and Navy Academy, a college preparatory military boarding school in California, has upgraded its security infrastructure with Hanwha security cameras. Located on a 23-acre beach-front property, the Army and Navy Academy is home to more than 300 students and employs more than 140 faculty and staff members. Two-fold surveillance upgrade According to Jeffrey Gibson, a system with analytics to keep a close watch on the campus could act as a force multiplier With a commitment to continuously adapt and improve, the Academy developed a strategic plan that focused on supporting the long-term success of their cadets. When the school began building and renovating facilities, they included an upgrade to their technology and physical security system. With a two-fold approach, the school first needed to replace their existing, out-of-date analogue camera system. Second, they needed a system that could keep up with current technology. According to Jeffrey Gibson, Assistant Commandant, Operations, Safety, and Security at the Academy, a system with analytics to keep a close watch on the campus could act as a force multiplier. Hanwha security cameras with Wisenet WAVE deployed After an extensive vetting process, the school deployed a video surveillance solution comprised of Hanwha cameras integrated with Wisenet WAVE, a highly customisable and reliable IP-based video management system (VMS). Integrating the Hanwha security cameras using the Wisenet WAVE IP-based VMS made it possible to create a video surveillance solution that was exclusively tailored to the campus’ specific needs. The Academy was able to quickly train security personnel as required, considering the WAVE video management system (VMS) is extremely intuitive and easy to use. Multi-sensor, multi-directional PTZ cameras installed The Army and Navy Academy now has a total of 141 cameras, including PNM-9081VQ multi-sensor, multi-directional cameras for covering wide areas, which allows them to use fewer cameras while seeing more. They have also installed PNM-9320VQP multi-sensor, multi-directional PTZ cameras for zooming in and for covering long distances. Additionally, to be able to effectively monitor between buildings and cover their coastline, the Academy chose PNM-9020V multi-sensor 180° cameras. In-camera and VMS analytics features By taking advantage of the in-camera and VMS analytics available in their new system, the security teams at the Academy can now monitor internal and external areas with high precision and efficiency. The primary cameras installed focus on higher priority, greater risk areas, while the VMS analytics keeps track of the rest of the areas in the campus. Perimeter protection with line crossing analytics With the surveillance system upgrade, most of the campus perimeter is now protected using line crossing analytics As a result of the surveillance system upgrade, most of the campus perimeter is now protected using line crossing analytics. With Hanwha cameras installed above the fence, the system sends an alert to the Security Operations Centre (SOC), if it detects something crossing the fence in either direction. Once the system pulls up the camera feeds, operators can see if it’s a false alarm and then decide whether or not to dispatch a security team or call local police. Enhanced students, faculty and staff safety The security team has developed a strategy for inside the fence as well that allows them to focus on specific areas that have higher traffic at specific times of the day. The in-camera analytics looks at the low-traffic areas. If the camera detects movement, the Security Operations Centre is alerted and can then determine whether or not to send personnel. Because the new Hanwha security system provides both coverage and analytics, the Army and Navy Academy’s security team is able to focus on what matters most, the safety of students, faculty and staff.
iSpace Environments, a Minneapolis-based commercial furniture and technology dealership, is now using Carousel Digital Signage software to promote its services and amplify its message throughout its showroom as part of a technology upgrade and renovation. A longtime Carousel Digital Signage reseller, iSpace provides furnishing and technology design and integration services to clients in the corporate, higher education, healthcare, and automobile retail sectors. As organisations re-open following the COVID-19 pandemic, iSpace is helping clients reconfigure their workspaces to comply with the new health and safety regulations. Their interior transformation adheres to these compliance standards and demonstrates how furniture and technology can create safe, comfortable work environments. Content creation and management Showing the technology creates awareness of what AV technology offers for workplace design" iSpace is now using Carousel Cloud software to communicate health and safety guidelines, welcome messaging, visitor information, and examples of how clients can apply digital signage to their own environments. All visual messaging is distributed to flat panel televisions and video walls throughout the building, leveraging Carousel Cloud’s interoperability with Apple TV devices to simplify and centralise media playout. iSpace’s AV experts demonstrate the software’s capabilities during tours, including multi-display support, Apple TV interoperability, and ease of use including simplified content creation and management. Communicate competitive advantage “Showing the technology creates awareness of what AV technology offers for workplace design,” said Nate Pesch, Technology Sales Manager at iSpace Environments. “Our customers aren’t always aware of our technology-related products and services, and Carousel Cloud helps us communicate our competitive advantage.” Pesch confirms that the digital signage content they show to visitors often opens the conversation to broader possibilities. “The Carousel content always looks visually impressive and provides an opportunity to share our expertise around technology integration,” he said. “We have many examples of becoming a one-stop shop for customers.” Standalone server infrastructure Those conversations then lead to Carousel Cloud’s benefit in workspace communications. Carousel Cloud gives users the flexibility of being able to update content at any time and from anywhere - a benefit that Pesch says is increasingly critical during as business operations continue to change. He also points to the cost-reducing benefits of Carousel Cloud, which eliminates the traditional expense of a standalone server infrastructure. Instead, Carousel Cloud software is deployed on the organisation’s existing IT infrastructure and can use common Apple TV devices or BrightSign media players (including the BSN.cloud platform) on the playout side. Use built-in templates One organisation’s safety protocol may different from another, but everybody wants to feel safe" “Carousel software is easy to learn, so an organisation lacking in-house design resources can use built-in templates to create content,” said Pesch. “That’s important these days as many content managers are working from home. With Carousel Cloud, content managers can make changes remotely. We can also show how easy it is to use these templates across different aspect ratios, as we display the content on portrait screens, landscape screens, and video walls in our showroom and meeting spaces. It’s very powerful.” iSpace Environments, which has remained open through the pandemic as an essential business, is seeing an increase in traffic as organisations consider how life in the workplace will change. With organisations across the globe updating facilities in accordance with new regulations, many customers are aiming to create environments that communicate how safety is their top priority. Organisation’s safety protocol “We’re helping people get back to business any way we can, whether it’s with screen dividers on desks, furniture reconfigurations, or digital signage to communicate the proper safety measures,” said Pesch. “Businesses and schools need to show that they’re thinking about safety, and digital signage is one way to communicate that they’re doing something about it. One organisation’s safety protocol may different from another, but everybody wants to feel safe. Digital signage is one of the most effective ways to communicate these messages.”
Edgeworx, the edge computing company, has launched a new AI-powered camera called Darcy to help protect workplaces of every size. In addition to detecting signs of fever, Darcy’s AI engine identifies whether individuals are wearing a face mask, tracks self-reported symptoms and delivers a quick, comfortable screening experience ideal for high-traffic environments. Organisations currently face an impossible choice between affordable, but ineffective, temperature readers (such as point and click devices or tablets) on the one hand, and cost-prohibitive medical-grade thermal cameras on the other. Affordable and accurate thermal camera Darcy ends this dilemma by offering the accuracy of a precision thermal camera at a fraction of the price. Darcy costs less than a fifth of the price of competing FDA-compliant thermal cameras, putting it within reach of schools and small businesses as well as enterprises and large retail outlets. To further ensure screening is accessible to all, Edgeworx is offering the first camera free to all public schools. The solution is already being piloted in Bay Area and New York schools. Despite their five-figure price tags, precision thermal cameras are slow, ungainly, inaccurate and hard to operate. Some take as much as an hour to warm up and need regular recalibration. By contrast, Darcy uses artificial intelligence and smart-room sensors to do the work of expensive hardware. Real-time alerts Safety checks will become a feature of daily life as we return to our schools and workplaces" Darcy logs self-reported symptoms via a mobile app, and checks for temperatures in less than a second, keeping lines moving and avoiding dangerous congestion at entry points. It provides real-time alerts and data reports so organisations can spot outbreaks early, take appropriate action and demonstrate compliance with public health mandates. It can be updated with additional features (such as AI for social distance checks) as public health practices evolve, no additional hardware required. Darcy provides peace of mind to businesses, employees, and customers. Schools and workplaces safe re-openings “Safety checks will become a feature of daily life as we return to our schools and workplaces. But many of these checks will be ineffective because organisations can’t afford high-end solutions that cost tens of thousands of dollars so they rely on devices that have been hastily thrown together and are inaccurate. That has to change,” said Farah Papaioannou, President and Co-founder of Edgeworx. “We developed Darcy because we knew we could use our AI, data and edge computing knowledge to really help people struggling with the challenges of re-opening. We’re focused on protecting all workplaces with a solution that’s affordable and accurate today—and is smart enough to adapt as the world’s knowledge of COVID-19 and other viruses evolves in the future.” Darcy secures Manhattan preschool Manhattan preschool program Kids At Work is among the organisations using Darcy to create a reliable and reassuring screening experience for children and staff. "We were searching for a health check solution that would give families peace of mind and be non-intrusive for our student population, from infants to five-year-olds,” said Julie. Darcy reads temperatures with a margin of error of 0.5 degrees Centigrade Averill, founder at Kids At Work. “Darcy checked all our boxes with its seamless experience, easy record-keeping and affordability. We're also thrilled with the day-long temperature monitoring feature. As an owner, I feel so much more confident about reopening with Darcy.” Darcy owes its speed, precision and low cost to Edgeworx’s edge computing fabric, which allows Artificial Intelligence (AI) to run on the device rather than in the cloud. Darcy’s AI performs many of the functions that require expensive hardware on other devices. Key benefits include: Accuracy and reliability Darcy reads temperatures with a margin of error of 0.5 degrees Centigrade. It overcomes the traditional challenges of contactless temperature monitoring with several innovations: Using AI, Darcy identifies where on a person’s face the reading should be taken, determines if they are close enough and whether they are wearing anything, such as a headband or sunglasses, that would interfere with an accurate reading, and automatically adjusts to body temperature fluctuations caused by circadian rhythms throughout the day and even the weather outside. To offset the effect of room temperature on a reading, most thermal cameras require an expensive scientific instrument called a blackbody reference unit, which maintains its own temperature and is used to calibrate the reading from the camera. Faster readings and less prone to errors By contrast, Darcy calibrates its readings against inexpensive smart sensors that attach to objects around the room, read the temperature of those objects and report it continuously and wirelessly to the camera. Not only is this significantly less expensive, but also less prone to failure, requires no maintenance and means the camera can be moved without triggering a lengthy recalibration process. Darcy takes readings in less than 100 milliseconds and uses data processing to identify any anomalies. As a result, by the time a person has approached the camera, Darcy may have 10 to 40 readings and can ensure that only a reliable one is recorded. Traditional cameras take only one reading, whether reliable or not, increasing the chances that a person with fever is not detected. Check mask usage and symptoms Darcy goes beyond temperature scanning to help organisations identify high-risk individuals who may not have a fever. Its AI identifies whether the individual is wearing a mask and allows organisations to conduct efficient wellness checks: Visitors complete a symptom survey from their home or phone via an app, which generates a unique QR code to be scanned by Darcy at entry. Additional features can be easily deployed so these devices can adapt as new practices come into play, without costly hardware changes. Avoid long lines and unsafe crowding at entry pointsBecause all the processing happens locally on the camera rather than in the cloud, performance is dramatically improved, avoiding the need for delays while a person’s temperature is checked. Beautifully designed, unobtrusive and with a friendly interface, Darcy makes screening quick, easy and unintimidating. By installing additional cameras in pass-by mode, schools and businesses can continue to monitor temperature and mask usage throughout the day—and throughout the building—without interrupting schedules. Get real-time alerts and compliance reports Darcy provides warnings via SMS, email, app or desktop notification so organisations can get early warnings of facilities where symptoms are trending and create a complete audit trail for compliance with public health mandates. Armed with data, organisations can make informed decisions and implement targeted measures rather than resorting to broad closures. Built-in privacy and securityBecause Darcy handles storage and AI processing locally, it never sends images or sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) to the cloud. Subscription Organisations can choose from two subscription packages and schedule a demo - Monthly subscription - Yearly subscription Until the end of 2020, Edgeworx is donating a free camera to any public school that purchases a subscription. To apply for a free camera, one may contact Edgeworx.
Round table discussion
School shootings are a high-profile reminder of the need for the highest levels of security at our schools and education facilities. Increasingly, a remedy to boost the security at schools is to use more technology. However, no technology is a panacea, and ongoing violence and other threats at our schools suggest some level of failure. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have security solutions failed our schools and what is the solution?
The new school year is a good time to reflect on the role of security in protecting our schools. From video to access control to some newer technologies, our Expert Panel Roundtable found plenty to talk about when we asked this week’s question: How does security technology make our schools safer?
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 Expert Panel Roundtable to reflect on instances when the industry may fall short: Which segments of the physical security industry are most under-served and why?