School security systems
Hikvision’s PanoVu products are essential components of solutions in retail, hospitality, transportation and education Hikvision USA Inc., global supplier of security equipment and solutions, will provide training and demos of its multi-sensor camera technology at ISC East 2018, slated to take place at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on Nov. 14 and 15. Product showcase and training session Hikvision will exhibit from Booth 324 on the show floor on both the days. In addition to...
Schools are continuing to upgrade security measures for pupil safety. However, on top of all the fundamental challenges schools face, implementing well-rounded and effective security solutions can seem a great difficulty. Andrew Shaw, architectural consultant for Allegion UK, discusses the advantages of electro-mechanical solutions. Schools can equate to some of the most complex security challenges for architects, specifiers and school officials alike. This is because choosing the right solutio...
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...
ASSA ABLOY UK Specification has issued a whitepaper to provide a guide to the specification of doorsets and associated hardware in nurseries, schools and universities. Entitled, ‘Specification considerations for education buildings: doors and ironmongery’ the whitepaper outlines the various relevant standards when specifying doors and ironmongery for education projects, including those relating to accessibility and usability. The paper also covers whole life costing implications and...
Honeywell will showcase Connected Buildings technologies that aim to minimise response times and eliminate human delays in critical situations at the Global Exchange Security Conference and Expo (GSX) in Las Vegas 2018. The company will demonstrate products that help commercial buildings detect threats early, respond to incidents faster, centralise decision making, and allow management from anywhere. These solutions are part of Honeywell’s Connected Buildings portfolio designed to turn bui...
This week sees Nedap Security Management launch its new brand tagline, ‘Security for Life’. The words are new but the future-facing, people-first approach that it communicates is what drove the development of AEOS, the access control system by Nedap. And it’s what continues to drive the brand’s initiatives such as recent AEOS performance optimisation and its Global Client Programme. AEOS access control system Nedap invests in continuous research and development to ensur...
Sielox LLC, a provider of layered security solutions, is featuring its award-winning Sielox CLASS (Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System) Emergency Notification and Response Solution here at GSX 2018 in booth #3914. CLASS dramatically improves emergency notification and response capabilities, saving time and potentially saving lives. Initially designed for the education market, CLASS is also proving to be a highly effective resource for corporate campuses, hospitals and large facilities across a range of markets to manage all hazards, including threatening situations, inclement weather and more. “Sielox has purpose-designed CLASS to provide instant notification of emergency situations with communications between occupants and first responders. Additionally, CLASS provides scalability for future expansion, and the ability to integrate with access control as an integral component in a layered security solution,” said Karen Evans, CEO and President, Sielox. “These capabilities alone put CLASS in a class by itself.” Five programmable colour-coded alert levels CLASS can issue messages with response instructions specific to each alert level via email or text, and override any PC on the network to ensure the highest visibility of alert status CLASS provides vital emergency status details to responders so they can best manage events. Administrators or any designated initiator can issue an emergency alert to notify responders of conditions in real time while communicating status via one of five programmable colour-coded alert levels. Occupants within the facility can then report status at their specific location enabling responders to view detailed facility maps with compiled room-by-room, colour-coded conditions that update in real time as the situation evolves. A chat feature enables two-way communications between occupants and first responders to exchange detailed information or instructions. CLASS can also issue messages with response instructions specific to each alert level via email or text, and override any PC on the network to ensure the highest visibility of alert status. Providing additional ability to responders A browser-based application that functions across LAN, Wi-Fi, WAN or high-speed cellular service for maximum accessibility, CLASS is designed for stand-alone or integrated system operation. CLASS can integrate with any system or device with an IP address providing authorised responders with the additional ability to view live cameras, change access control permissions, lock doors, and more. CLASS also provides for event archiving, with chronological event sequences that can capture who/what/when/where information, providing an audit trail to support event re-creation and review if needed. Because CLASS is an embedded appliance, there are no annual hosting fees – further contributing to the solution’s low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Issuing medical alerts in case of emergencies CLASS is being utilised to issue medical alerts on school playgrounds in the event a child is injured during recess to quickly dispatch emergency personnel to the site Sielox CLASS has been successfully deployed in school districts across the U.S. One example is at the Catoosa County Public Schools in Georgia, where CLASS is being used to fulfil several different safety and security objectives. Here, CLASS is being utilised to issue medical alerts on school playgrounds in the event a child is injured during recess to quickly dispatch emergency personnel to the site. CLASS is also being used by teachers for morning check-in to let administrators know that they and their students are in the building. Each classroom is represented by a different colour and a different square on CLASS, so school administrators know the status of every connected classroom. In the event of an incident, a chat box will pop up for all CLASS users where communication can take place. CLASS also gives first responders and administrators at Catoosa County Public Schools a clear picture of where students and teachers are at any given moment. For example, if teachers leave the building or take students off campus, they use CLASS to let school administrators know that they are no longer on the premises, which is critical information in the event of an emergency.The Catoosa County Public School district utilises CLASS as part of its layered security and safety Integration with video surveillance systems The Catoosa County Public School district also utilises CLASS as part of its layered security and safety system through integration with the schools’ video surveillance systems. The district’s integrated camera systems employs motion detection with a video window pop-up that appears in CLASS to help alert and notify first responders and administrators of an intruder’s location in a lockdown situation. In the event of a lockdown, teachers receive notification and receive a bullet list of instructions on what to do with two camera views of the hallway outside their classroom. This allows teachers to see if there’s any danger outside the doorway so they can better decide if it’s safe to exit the area. The Catoosa County Public Schools district plans to have CLASS deployed at all 17 schools by the end of the 2018/2019 school year.
The easy-to-manage SMARTair system is now available to professional security installers from ASSA ABLOY Access Control, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY, the global provider of door opening solutions. SMARTair is an effective, fully-scalable access control system that can be installed quickly and easily by security installers. Available in offline and wireless online versions, SMARTair is a flexible, end-to-end, battery-operated system. This makes it the perfect solution for a variety of installations. Key management & control issues SMARTair uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader technology to provide a secure access solution to areas with diverse ranges and frequencies of foot traffic. The RFID reader and locking mechanism are all housed in one device, meaning SMARTair is suitable for nearly all types of interior and exterior doors, as well as turnstiles, barriers, elevators and more. SMARTair devices eliminate key management and control issues in favour of a card-based access solution As an energy-efficient technology, SMARTair devices need minimal maintenance, with battery changes only required after approximately 70,000 cycles. It also eliminates key management and control issues in favour of a card-based access solution, in which cards can be issued, invalidated and updated in real time for maximum security. Smart door access solution SMARTair is well-suited to the education sector, as it gives relevant stakeholders the ability to lock, unlock and grant door access permissions at allotted times and dates. The level of control is further strengthened with the audit trail function, which allows SMARTair to provide detailed attendance records for security and administrative purposes. These features showcase SMARTair as a secure and flexible access control system that balances student safety with the adaptability an educational environment requires. The ability to audit trail makes SMARTair an invaluable security solution for care home owners and operators The ability to audit trail also makes SMARTair an invaluable security solution for care home owners and operators. Because it can provide access control information 24/7 in real-time and audit trails can be provided to see who is accessing sensitive or restricted areas, SMARTair can give stakeholders peace of mind and allow them to better fulfil their duty of care, as well as their health and safety obligations. Tried & tested access control solution Alan Kent, Access Control Manager and SMARTair specialist said: “SMARTair is an access control solution that has been tried and tested over many years, and we are very excited to make this versatile system available through ASSA ABLOY Access Control. Its adaptability makes it ideal for a number of sectors, including education and healthcare.” “Security Installers can take advantage of the adaptability offered by SMARTair, as well as UK-based technical training and support, marketing and expert back up from the ASSA ABLOY Access Control team.”
GSX 2018 is both a new event for the security industry and the continuation of a 63-year tradition. Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual seminar and exhibits, which have been held since 1955. In recent years, the ASIS event has joined forces with other organisations to expand its scope and to appeal to a broader audience. Partners include ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) and Infragard, a public-private partnership between U.S. businesses and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The expansion is continuing this year with the addition of 30 supporting organisations representing industry verticals and reflecting ASIS’s intent to unite the full spectrum of security. Improving the state of cyber security Held September 23-27 at the Las Vegas convention Center, GSX 2018 seeks to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and 550 exhibitors. The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most Other elements will further expand the 2018 event’s scope. The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most. Top government, industry and academic thought leaders will engage in a dialogue to improve the state of cyber security. The 2018 Security Cares Program will address school violence prevention and response in a free education program. Topics will include pre-violence indicators, target hardening, and best practices to involve the entire community of school administrators, law enforcement, security professionals and mental health providers. Experts to deliver keynote speeches Keynote speakers including CNN host Fareed Zakaria will bestow celebrity appeal. Air Force Major General Bradley D. Spacy will share details about the new AFWERX innovation and tech hub in Las Vegas and how the U.S. Air Force is collaborating with the private sector to bring new security product ideas to market. Spacy’s keynote on Sept. 26 will kick off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Also, K.T. McFarland, former Trump Administration Deputy National Security Advisor, will share an insider’s perspective on critical foreign policy and defence industries. Attendees to ASIS International’s annual gathering typically list networking and education as big benefits of the event. Historically, the trade show aspect has existed separately from the educational program, and foot traffic to the exhibits has sometimes suffered from the competition. Beginning last year, and continuing in 2018, ASIS International has pursued innovative approaches to integrate the trade show more closely into the overall attendee experience. “The integration of programming and exhibits is truly seamless,” says one observer of the new approach. Held Sept. 23-27 at the Las Vegas convention Center, GSX 2018 seeks to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and 550 exhibitors X Learning Theatres GSX has sought to transform the exhibit hall into a ‘learning lab environment’ that features thousands of security products, technologies and service solutions (provided by the exhibitors), in addition to ‘immersive learning opportunities to connect the current and emerging threat landscape with solutions available in the marketplace’. There are several ‘X Learning Theatres’, including one (‘X-Stage’) focussed on leading-edge technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, drones, and robotics. There is also an ‘Xcelerated Exchange Stage’ to facilitate discussions among security practitioners and solution providers. The ‘Xperience Stage’ showcases case studies and best practices. Also attracting more attendees to the Exhibit Hall will be ‘Career HQ’, a free career fair and enhanced career centre. ‘D3 Xperience’ (Drones, Droids Defence) will focus on unmanned systems with education and demos. The ‘Innovative Product Awards (IPAs) Showcase’ will highlight winners of an awards program. Focussing on security practices GSX is not as much about sales leads as about making connections and contributing to a larger conversation about how to protect people, facilities and assets ASIS International (now GSX 2018) is often compared to ISC West, the U.S. industry’s largest show held in Las Vegas in the spring. GSX 2018 this year may face even more scrutiny based on the changes, rebranding, and location (also in Las Vegas). However, GSX is a completely different show than ISC West, which focuses on the business of security. In contrast, GSX is much more about the practice of security than business. The international network of ASIS International members attend the yearly conference to make new connections, to learn and to benefit from the experiences of other security professionals around the world. The successful trade show exhibitors are the ones that approach the show with that understanding. GSX is not as much about sales leads as about making connections and contributing to a larger conversation about how to protect people, facilities and assets. ASIS International deserves credit for their efforts to integrate the trade show element into the larger goal of the event. Hopefully their new approach will enhance the overall experience for both attendees and exhibitors – and help to make the world a safer place as a consequence.
The beginning of the school year and upcoming seasonal changes remind us that demand for security systems, like almost everything else, is seasonal to some extent. Making improvements to educational facilities during the summer months – including installation of security systems – is the most obvious example of seasonal demand, but there are others. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which vertical markets for security are impacted by seasonal changes in demand?
In real life people usually don’t want to get into the drama of being seen as someone other than themselves. The misrecognition problem is not only time consuming, dignity compromising but also, in lots of cases, life threatening, if certain dangerous people are not correctly identified in time. This mistake is no longer affordable in today’s context, whether for an individual, a group or society as a whole. Fortunately, the facial recognition technology has matured, and the security solution based on the said technology is being widely used across the world. Dahua Technology, a premier solution provider in the global surveillance industry, is especially good in this realm as has been proved by multiple championship and new records in major international challenges, including Multiple Object Tracking Challenge, the KITTI 2D Object Detection Evaluation 2012, KITTI Flow Benchmark, Task [Word Recognition] of Incidental Scene Text Challenge and Born-Digital Image Challenge. A Smart AI algorithm optimises the image captured in multiple angles or blurred in motion and translates the face feature into a digital model Dahua facial recognition It is necessary to explain some basic rules concerning how facial recognition works before the tour to see how Dahua Technology’s products & solutions are applied in various daily scenes. Simply put, big data is useless if the accuracy and efficiency of facial recognition has not been improved to a certain level. The face detection, whether from a snapshot or from a stream of video, requires not only a high-quality camera but more importantly, a smart AI algorithm that optimises the image captured in multiple angles or blurred in motion and translates the face feature into a digital model which can be crosschecked in the database. The whole process, from taking the picture to comparison, takes as short as 300ms. Suppose there's Tom, a middle level manager in his mid-30s. Let’s follow Tom for a day and see how Dahua Technology’s facial recognition solution plays its role in his perfectly ordinary life. Building security system Tom hurried to his company on the 30th floor of a class A office building, the kind with additional barriers in the lobby between the front gate and elevators. There were long lines in front of the access control machines. Tom reached into his pocket and found unfortunately his access card wasn't there. But Tom should worry no more because the building had just updated the security system with Dahua’s facial recognition solution, which overcame various shortcomings of traditional ways of card or fingerprint scanning, including low efficiency and inadequate security. Compared to a card, apparently it is much less likely for one to lose/replicate/borrow a face. And the access control was no longer a gamble if one's fingerprint works. The powerful cameras with deep learning AI, detect the faces and digitalise the features and compare them purely through numbers Deep learning AI detection Here’s exactly how Dahua’s facial recognition solution works in this scene. The powerful cameras blessed with deep learning AI, detect the faces and digitalise the features and compare them purely through numbers with the ones in the database which takes less than 1 second. The beauty of the solution goes both ways since the company no longer needs to make a card or import finger prints for the newly employed but simply upload their photos into the database that contains up to 10,000 faces. Besides offices, this solution can also be applied to any place that has a high standard for access control, like customs, schools, residential communities, etc. Smart access solution Tom stepped into a bank. On behalf of his company, Tom had some serious business to discuss with the bank, which, at this hour, was full of people. And before Tom started to worry about the time to be spent waiting and if he could make it to the next meeting on time, he heard his last name called and was led into the VIP room. Now how did the bank manage do that? Not by human efforts for sure. No clerk could remember each and every face and match it with a particular name and particular business without making any mistake. That’s why a facial recognition solution is essential to the business. The immediate detection of a VIP face could be easily matched with the white list in the database. No delay or misidentification and all VIP treatment. This goes not only for banks. Hotels, hospitals and casinos alike will also benefit from this solution that secures the proper respect those exceptional customers deserve. Preventing unauthorised access Tom went to the vault of the bank for the first time in his life. He was happy that now he was trusted by the company with such important mission. He walked fast and went in front of the escort. But before he could raise his hand to touch the door of the vault, a warning siren was triggered. The escort, with a reassuring smile, caught up and patted on Tom's shoulder and explained the whole situation to him. No unauthorised personnel could intrude the sensitive areas blessed with Dahua’s facial recognition solution No unauthorised personnel, be it Tom or Jerry, could intrude the sensitive areas blessed with Dahua’s facial recognition solution. The face captured and automatically optimised by the camera would be put into real time comparison with the authorised faces in the data base and the low percentage of similarity, from a pure mathematical point of view, would immediately trigger the alarm. Other limited access areas like labs and archives will also enjoy better protection with this facial recognition solution. Security identification management After a long day’s work, Tom went to see a football game with a friend. The show began even before they entered the stadium because they saw an infamous football hooligan got rejected and taken away outside the entrance gate. Tom, who had been through plenty of adventures during the day, kind of figured out what happened. And Tom’s friend, who happened to be an employee of Dahua Technology, took the chance to explain how Dahua’s facial recognition solution informed the security force to deal with any persona non grata on the black list as soon as they showed their faces. Of course, this solution could be widely applied to other areas like airports, train stations, or in other words, city management. So, this was a day in Tom’s life, which was endowed with some dramatic coincidence but totally realistic in every scene. These examples were far from exhaustion of all the possible applications of Dahua facial recognition solution that fully activates big data gathered and thus spawns a great many creative applications in terms of security and business, resulting indeed into a Safer Society and Smarter Living, as has always been envisioned by Dahua Technology.
School Dangers Organization (SDO) has named Jonathan Schweiger as their new Director of Strategic Partnerships. School Dangers is a 501(c)3 organisation which strives to improve school security nationwide through advocacy, education and application of technology. Schweiger will work closely with the board of directors. His key objective is to identify and sign companies who have an interest in school safety. Opportunities to partner with SDO include sponsoring the Certified School Security Professional (CSSP) training and certification program, participating in the SDO donor program, and creating triangular relationships with like-minded organisations. Schweiger is joined by the SDO Board of Directors in these efforts. The board includes current members President Connie Moorhead, CEO of The CMOOR Group; Secretary Maria Cambria, Vice President, Technical Center of Excellence with FLIR Systems; and Treasurer Gregory Bernardo, physical security expert with more than 20 years’ experience. Schweiger is an experienced executive who has raised funds for various business ventures during his 27 year career Family protection & school security “We are very excited to have Jonathan join our team. He holds a keen interest in the safety of schools from the perspective of a parent and security professional. We are thrilled to have his energy and dedication as part of the growing SDO ranks.” said Moorhead. “I look forward to continuing to advance our mission with the leadership and support of Jonathan.” Schweiger is an experienced executive who has raised funds for various business ventures during his 27 year career. Currently, Mr. Schweiger is President and CEO of SmartTek Systems, one of his technology companies focusing on an App based mPERS Solution for the security industry, specifically Family Protection & School Security, something he’s very passionate about. Access control & CCTV solutions Mr. Schweiger, a 17 year security industry veteran, began his career in security at Fire Burglary Instruments (FBII), a family owned manufacturer of burglar & fire alarm systems. He is a former Founder and President of Eye-On Alarms of New York, Inc., a provider of security, access control, and CCTV installations. As President, Mr. Schweiger was responsible for securing multiple Brink’s Home Security franchises throughout the United States before moving into the Electronic Tolling Industry. In 2002, Mr. Schweiger cofounded Highway Toll Administration, LLC, an electronic tolling company. From conception to implementation, Jonathan helped HTA become the largest supplier of electronic tolling solutions for the rental car industry before moving into the Smartphone Application Sector in 2009. HTA was recently acquired by Platinum Equity Investment Firm in March 2018.School Dangers Organization works to help school officials, parents and students understand the changes in school securiy Safety training & communication Mr. Schweiger is a family rights advocate who volunteers his time to several non-profit organisations and is very passionate about both his family & his children. “I’m very excited about my new affiliation with School Dangers Organization, I firmly believe that protecting our teachers, protects our children” said Jonathan. He added “I look forward to working closely with the SDO board of directors and brining many new partner opportunities to SDO.” School Dangers Organization works to help school officials, parents and students understand the changes in school security today, encourage discussion and overall make it easier for schools to improve the safety and security of our nation’s children. They support their goals by educating the public, fostering an environment for open discussion, and by delivering services for training, planning, regulatory compliance, and improved communication between students, parents and school officials.
Located roughly 30 miles southwest of Los Angeles, Torrance Unified School District hosts roughly 24,000 students from kindergarten through high school. Torrance USD has 34 school sites encompassing elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. They’re joined by three preschool, continuation and community day schools. Violent crime and other offenses are an inescapable reality for US schools and their students. During the 2013–14 school year, 65 percent of public schools [Source: U.S. Department of Education] recorded one or more violent incidents occurring, representing an estimated total of 757,000 incidents. This figure translates to a rate of approximately 15 crimes per 1,000 students enrolled in 2013–14. Outstanding service “Visibility of what happens on campus gives us the upper hand with all forms of crime that may be committed. School safety is our number one concern and being able to see what’s happening and identify those involved is paramount. Sony cameras definitely give us that advantage. Their reliability, imaging quality and technology – combined with outstanding service – made Sony the best choice for us.” Gil Mara, Chief Ed Tech and Information Services Officer, Torrance Unified School District While Torrance consistently ranks among the safest cities in Los Angeles County, its schools face the same challenges as other academic institutions. In common with all school systems, TUSD has an obligation to maintain the safety, security and wellbeing of students as well as staff and campus visitors. Alongside violent assault, other key concerns include theft, break-ins, vandalism and graffiti – together with the need to maintain a visible deterrent against criminal activity. Sub-standard image quality Torrance Unified School District had relied on some ad-hoc installations at a few schools that were both poorly planned and had no consistent standards To date, Torrance Unified School District had relied on some ad-hoc installations at a few schools that were both poorly planned and had no consistent standards in place. The cameras poor positioning and sub-standard image quality – particularly in low light conditions – meant that perpetrators were frequently not identified successfully. This severely limited schools’ ability to resolve incidents and serve as an effective deterrent against further incidents. In addition to physical attacks and theft, schools in the district routinely reported instances of vandalism to the cameras themselves. As a further challenge, the heat and dust of the Southern Californian climate placed even more strenuous demands on the reliable performance of Torrance Unified School District’s existing analogue cameras. Security camera strategy To benefit from significantly improved round the clock image quality – as well as greater reliability and reduced ownership costs – Torrance Unified School District elected to re-think its security camera strategy. In total, the district has installed roughly 1,100 Sony video security cameras across 34 school sites. All cameras have been supplied and installed by integrator NIC, together with a networked video management solution provided by OpenEye. The majority of cameras are Sony SNC-EM632RC and SNC-VB632D ruggedised minidome model and bullet cameras, offering superb Full HD image quality in all weather and lighting conditions. “Torrance police have access to our security camera system and it affords them visibility on our campuses, as was the case just recently where a vehicle burglary suspect was identified and apprehended thanks to our Sony Video Security system.” Will Boxley – Network Analyst, EDU Tech and Information Services. Measurable effect on student safety Reliable cameras are deployed extensively around all outdoor areas of each school campus, including social and sports areas as well as parking lots The cameras’ highly sensitive Exmor CMOS image sensor and powerful IPELA ENGINE EX processing engine can even cope with harshly backlit conditions, where extremes of light and shade in the same scene often pose problems for other cameras. As an additional benefit, built-in IR (infrared) illumination gives a clear picture of people and suspicious incidents in conditions of total darkness. The rugged, reliable cameras are deployed extensively around all outdoor areas of each school campus, including social and sports areas as well as parking lots. Since initial installation in 2015, the Sony cameras have performed flawlessly, with no operational issues reported by IT and security staff. The cameras’ installation has had an immediate and measurable effect on student safety. Suspensions due to violence and assaults have been reduced considerably, while the incidence of weapons on campus has been reduced by more than 40%. What’s more, the cameras’ presence serves to reassure students and staff, while acting as a powerful deterrent against criminal activity.
St. Mary Catholic School in Newton, KS has installed the SafeDefend Active Shooter Response System. Responding to recent school shooting tragedies, Principal Philip Stutey and his safety team had vetted numerous approaches to increase the security of their students and staff. After much review, the decision to adopt the SafeDefend system was an easy one. The SafeDefend Active Shooter Response System was developed by a former elementary principal. As a father of three and with 475 students under his watch, Jeff Green realized that schools were not addressing the four critical areas needed to protect students and staff. Those four priorities were: Reducing law enforcement response time Ensuring law enforcement and staff had real-time crisis information Providing the ability for staff to effectively manage the crisis until help arrives Realising the biggest threat to our schools is already inside the building Staff can utilise the tools to escape and evade, provide protection and respond to trauma SafeDefend utilises multiple ways of communication in a crisis. Police and staff are immediately notified of the location of the crisis through text and email, a 911 call is placed, sirens notify all staff and visitors and staff are provided with tools and training to survive the crisis until help arrives. Staff can utilise the tools to escape and evade, provide protection and respond to trauma. SafeDefend is protecting students and staff in school districts across the country. Security needed in today's world "Traditional methods for protecting our students and staff fail us. Current and former students are the most likely threats and will be in the building. Law enforcement and staff need critical, accurate information to perform effectively." said Jeff Green, Founder and President of SafeDefend. Mr. Philip Stutey concurs: "SafeDefend supports our mission statement of meeting the needs of our school community spiritually, academically, emotionally and physically by providing the security needed in today's world. Schools have safeguards against fire and weather issues but have been behind in protecting against an active intruder. No other company or product that we found offers the protection, law enforcement compatibility, empowerment of staff and peace of mind to our community like SafeDefend."
It began with a desire to help students fit in. Officials in Maine School Administrative District (MSAD) 58 introduced uniform bar-coded plastic ID cards to replace their existing colour-coded punch cards so that students eligible for free lunches would not easily be identified by their friends. “In the past, students used punch cards to buy their lunches,” said Angel Allen, Technology Director for both MSAD 58 and neighboring district, MSAD 9. “The different colors identified their economic status for other students to see. It was not a good thing.” Some students chose not to eat rather than be embarrassed by the color of their card. The issue is a significant one. Between 40 and 60 percent of students in MSAD 58 qualify for a reduced lunch program, according to Allen. The district, which sits in a rural area of Franklin County, Maine, covers 500 square miles and serves 1,000 students through five schools. Using ID cards was not new to the Maine school administrators. Sister district, MSAD 9, had been using ID cards as visual identity for its staff for a long time, according to Allen, but “the old system was a beast.” Direct-to-Card Printer/Encoder MSAD 58 began using ID cards printed on a new Fargo DTC300 Direct-to-Card Printer/Encoder for the hot lunch program in the fall of 2005, with the lunch director printing the cards. A second printer was purchased in 2006 and is operating out of the superintendent’s office to create staff ID and lunch cards. MSAD 58 continues to expand its use of ID cards: It created a debit system in which parents can apply money to the card so their children can charge against it rather than carrying money to school. ID cards without photos are used for substitute teachers, volunteers and parents who enter the schools. Students and faculty can check out library materials using their ID cards. Students without drivers’ licenses have even used their school ID cards for identification on school trips. In 2006, thanks to her experience in MSAD 58, Allen added a Fargo DTC400 printer to MSAD 9 Building access solutions “We also use the ID cards as medical emergency cards,” said Allen. “They are particularly useful on field trips to identify students with allergies, diabetes or asthma and to provide emergency contact numbers.” In 2006, thanks to her experience in MSAD 58, Allen added a Fargo DTC400 printer to MSAD 9. The district is printing RFID cards for staff ID and building access. There is also a DTC300 for the student lunch program. “My experience in MSAD 58 introduced me to Fargo,” said Allen. MSAD 9 includes nine schools and serves 2,500 students. Here, the ability to print on two sides of a card was important, as administrators wanted a bar code on the back to work with the district’s time card system and door access program. In addition, the district is initiating a new lunch program, and a library program is in the works. Software integration “In MSAD 58, we began printing small, key chain ID cards from perforated card stock,” said Allen. “Each includes the student’s name and a bar code. Being able to carry their ID card on a key chain helps prevent students from losing their cards.” Nevertheless, a $1 replacement fee is charged each lost card, although the fee was never meant to build revenue. “It’s just enough to aggravate the students,” Allen said. TAll students carry the same plastic ID card. Information on their lunch status is contained in a bar code on the back of the card. “Now, everyone has the same card,” said Allen. “The bar code number is scanned into the cafeteria software, and only the computer can distinguish who is eligible for a reduced lunch from those who are not.” Fargo printers are well known for their ability to print bar codes with the level of clarity to be read by scanners Student ID cards “The big thing with schools is technology,” said Jennifer Clancy, ID Wholesaler Marketing Manager (www.idwholesaler.com), who sold Allen the printers. “In Angel’s case, she is creating a system where the student ID is a stored-value card for the lunch program using a bar code. Fargo printers are well known for their ability to print bar codes with the level of clarity to be read by scanners. Schools nationwide are instituting policies where a visible ID is required of students, faculty and staff at all times. With a visible ID, there is no excuse for a person to be somewhere he or she is not supposed to be. Individuals can be better identified and dealt with by the existing school protocols.” Requirements for the ID cards differ between high school and elementary school students. High school students are required to carry their ID cards at all times. In the elementary schools, students grab their ID cards from a rack on the wall outside the lunch room each day before lunch. Cards are scanned by the cashier and put back in a basket, so someone can replace them in the rack after lunch. “Younger kids can’t be responsible for remembering to bring their card every day,” Allen said. School security system Employees, especially those with multi-school assignments, such as administrators, supervisors, plant operations, maintenance, food service and transportation personnel are required to display their identification card at all times when performing duties for the school system. “Schools that have a student photo ID program in place are starting to expand the use of the cards to applications such as library checkout, lunch program management, equipment checkout, access to computers, student activity passes and bus access,” said Clancy. “More advanced schools are moving to cashless vending, lunchroom use or activity attendance.” Allen, who is responsible for the technology in both MSAD 58 and MSAD 9, envisions expansion of the ID card program, especially the RFID technology component for access control. “We try things in one place and then take them beyond,” she said. “That’s the cooperative nature of our districts.” But for now, simply using ID cards to help students fit in during lunch is a huge step forward.
Fazakerley High School, a co-educational secondary school in Liverpool, moved into new buildings in 2003 and embarked on a successful transformation programme to raise standards. The school, which is in a challenging catchment area, established a new reputation as a nurturing, well run learning environment. But fifteen years later senior staff found themselves struggling with an outdated video surveillance system that was no longer fit for purpose. Analogue video surveillance The introduction of video surveillance at the time of the move to new buildings was a key step in setting high standards of personal behaviour and protecting students and staff. However, the old analogue video system had become almost impossible to use, with blurred and grainy images, no easy search facility and failing cameras. A recent attempt to upgrade the system also proved disappointing, explains Matt Fleming of Apex Network Solutions: the replacement technology turned out to be difficult to maintain and use, and the user interface was too complex. Apex was asked to re-design the system from scratch and challenged to recommend a solution that was affordable and easy for staff to use as well as delivering high quality images. Internal dome and IR fisheye dome cameras Apex recommended IDIS technology to deliver significantly upgraded video coverage of corridors and key internal areas Apex recommended IDIS technology to deliver significantly upgraded video coverage of corridors and key internal areas. Forty-three full HD vandal-resistant DC-D3233RX-N internal domes were installed to record activity across the site. Easy to install they capture high quality images in all lighting conditions. Four 12MP IR Fisheye domes (model DC-Y3C14WRX) were installed in the dining hall to provide a complete view of the area. With various viewing composition options, and six de-warping view modes, these fisheye units ensure image quality that allow individuals to be easily identified. Video is recorded on two IDIS DR-6332PS-S NVRs and all the cameras can now be viewed in real time by staff using PC monitors and/or tablets, with the system simple to use thanks to the free IDIS Center VMS video management system. IDIS video security solution The IDIS video solution is a significant step up from both the original analogue system, and the more recent upgrade, says the schools network manager Derek Harmston. Image quality is outstanding and by allowing staff to view real-time video on convenient devices, such as tablets, incidents involving groups of pupils are now quickly dealt with before they escalate. Recordings are now easily searchable with time/date stamped footage and the high definition images provide evidence that can be shown to pupils, parents and, if necessary, the police.
Dayton Public Schools (DPS) covers about 53 square miles in Dayton, Ohio. The school system is comprised of 30 school buildings and special centers with approximately 15,000 students in pre-kindergarten through high school. An urban district, DPS brings innovative students and teachers together to develop productive citizens ready to serve their communities. Core to achieving their mission is ensuring first, that students arrive at their school and at their classes, on time and ready to learn. DPS had a wide variety of, and in some cases a lack of, ID system capabilities throughout the district. This made it difficult to implement standard process improvements that would speed the creation of new IDs at the beginning of each school year. Additionally, DPS needed to expedite the check-in of tardy students thus allowing them to arrive at their classes faster. For managing tardy students, the schools traditionally used manual processes with handwritten passes which were inefficient and caused unnecessary delays if multiple students came to school late. Seeking to streamline processes, the school district realised that it needed to institute a universal, mandatory student ID system that allowed them to improve student attendance across the district while enhancing the security of its students and visitors. PlascoID card-based management system PlascoID showed DPS HID’s FARGO desktop card printers and their automated student management system, PlascoTrac, as a possible solution to the challenges the school system was facingWhile attending the Ohio eTech conference in early 2011, DPS learned about PlascoID, an authorised HID Global FARGO integrator and global provider of card-based ID systems. PlascoID showed DPS HID’s FARGO desktop card printers and their automated student management system, PlascoTrac, as a possible solution to the challenges the school system was facing. Because the printers and software integrated seamlessly with eSchoolPlus, the school system’s existing Web-based student-information system, DPS selected PlascoID to help streamline its attendance processes. Genuine HID products including the DTC4500 card printer/encoder, non-technology cards and Asure ID Enterprise card personalisation software were recommended by PlascoID to support the creation of efficient, multipurpose IDs. HID Global’s Asure ID software would enable the school system to create customised student ID cards while the DTC4500 printers would allow campus officials at each school location to instantly issue all student IDs. The printer’s modular design and small footprint were also ideal features for the school environment where space is at a premium. Asure ID enterprise software Prior to the start of the 2012 school year DPS implemented the solution over the course of just two weeks, installing the PlascoTrac system with 31 DTC4500 printers and Asure ID Enterprise software so it could be used on the first day of the new academic year. With the new DTC4500 printers and Asure ID software, DPS can now: Print a high volume of cards at fast print speeds: Every year, 15,000 IDs are needed by DPS in just the first week of school. The DTC4500 meets this challenge by quickly and reliably producing large quantities of cards with high-quality images. Able to withstand the day-to-day wear and tear by students these new IDs are now also uniform in image quality, design and durability. Save money and training time: The modestly priced DTC4500 has an intuitive set up and is easy to use. Already optimised for organisations like DPS, the printer is a high-security, high-performance ID issuance system that doesn’t require large capital investments or extensive training by system operators. Prepare for future ID card needs: The DTC4500 is field upgradeable. As their student ID system changes and evolves, DPS can modify their printers to fit new requirements. Achieve multiple uses with a single software application: With Asure ID Enterprise software, DPS is able to easily design card templates, enter student data and create photo ID badges. Additionally, Asure ID’s LiveLink capability enables the schools to sync student ID badge data with attendance data in PlascoTrac, and with student records in eSchoolPLUS. PlascoTrac card ID system The newly designed DPS student ID is a white card featuring the district’s logo and mission statement With this combined solution from PlascoID and HID Global, DPS can now easily and quickly provide all students with IDs during the first week of the new school year. And when a student loses his or her badge, or is newly enrolled in school, a new ID can be created and issued that same day. The newly designed DPS student ID is a white card featuring the district’s logo and mission statement. New visual security elements include a large color photo of the student and his/her name printed in large font on the front of the card, so school personnel can easily identify individuals. Additionally, the ID now includes a barcode that is used in conjunction with the PlascoTrac system. So, when a student arrives late to school or is tardy to a class, they are scanned into PlascoTrac and a tardy pass is printed automatically. HID's Plasco ID cards With this brand-new student ID system, processing tardy students now takes 25 to 35 percent less time than before, enabling DPS students to spend more time in class while reducing the administrative burden of its staff. Some schools have even tied the new ID cards to their media centre In addition to addressing their original challenges, DPS has now found that the new HID and Plasco ID card solution gives them even greater functionality and versatility. Some schools have even tied the new ID cards to their media centre for checking out books or documenting lunches purchased in the cafeteria. Elementary schools are even exploring ways to use the IDs to encourage positive reinforcement of good behaviors. HID Global card issuance/PlascoTrac solution “We are extremely satisfied with how adaptable the solution is on a per-school basis,” said Richard Melson, director of The Office of Information Technology at Dayton Public Schools. “Initially the principals had one vision of how things were going to work and now that they have the technology in their possession, they each use it a little differently based on specific needs of their school.” In the near future, DPS expects to expand its use of the HID Global card issuance/PlascoTrac solution to keep track of visitors. Currently the district provides printed temporary ID passes, but it plans to eventually incorporate scanning of government IDs, such as a driver’s license, before granting visitors entry.
With increased security a priority for school districts across the country, administrators are taking a close look at their technology to ensure it can deliver in an emergency. Concerns over active shooters and other violent scenarios have districts paying attention and putting heightened security measures in place. Christopher Lordi, Director of Administrative Services at Delaware Valley School District in rural, northeast Pennsylvania, knew it was time to upgrade his district’s surveillance technology, so he turned to the integration expertise of Guyette Communications to get the job done. Analogue DVR system The outdoor PTZ cameras that panned back and forth were causing them to miss a lot of activity The DVR system that covered Delaware Valley’s seven schools and nine buildings was state-of-the-art when it was installed a decade ago, but it was no longer meeting the district’s needs. Administrators complained that is was difficult to view and manage video from all of the cameras as a unified system. The analogue video made it hard to identify faces and see other important details. And the outdoor PTZ cameras that panned back and forth were causing them to miss a lot of activity. “We had a lot of blind spots,” says Chris. Guyette Communications, of Plymouth, PA, has worked with the district for over a decade supporting its technology needs, so Chris looked to them for guidance. Scott Surochak and Rick Scalzo, both of Guyette, recommended a new-to-market VMS, Vicon’s Valerus, that they felt would provide all the features and performance the district sought in a very cost-effective manner. They also recommended that the district abandon their analogue cameras and standardise district-wide on higher performance, megapixel IP models. Valerus VMS The significant expense of replacing not just the VMS system, but hundreds of cameras district-wide, required buy-in from the school board. Rick and Scott, along with Vicon’s regional sales manager, Doug Stadler, provided an in-depth demonstration of the capabilities of Vicon’s new Valerus VMS, along with its line of IQeye Alliance cameras, to the school board. The new system would allow them to clearly identify the faces of visitors, read license plates within the school parking lots, eliminate current blind spots throughout the campuses, and easily search video to quickly find evidence of crime or vandalism. Convinced of the long-term value of the investment, the school board gave a green light to proceed. Vicon Fixed and Cruiser cameras Approximately 400 cameras were installed throughout the district’s nine buildings, almost all of which are Vicon 3MP IQeye Alliance fixed domes Installation began in March 2017 and continued throughout the summer. Approximately 400 cameras were installed throughout the district’s nine buildings, almost all of which are Vicon 3MP IQeye Alliance fixed domes. These provide coverage of all entrances to buildings, busy hallways, and spaces like lunchrooms, auditoriums, playgrounds, parking lots and athletic fields. In addition, Vicon Cruiser domes with 30X optical zoom were installed in each parking lot to capture license plates. To support so many high-resolution cameras transmitting at full frame rates, Guyette installed a dedicated security network capable of handling the bandwidth. All cameras are hard wired with new CAT-6 cabling, which feeds back to CISCO switches and a fiber backbone that runs through each building. Installing security network To minimise bandwidth transmission between buildings, Guyette recommended that each school locally record video from its respective cameras. The five lower schools have each been equipped with a single Valerus server that both runs VMS application software and performs as an NVR. The middle school and high school, which share a building, have an application server plus four NVRs to support the higher number of cameras. Because the Valerus VMS software makes exclusive use of a thin-client, there was no need to install software on any workstations. Complete user and administrative functionality is available through a standard web browser interface. Rick says that “Installation went very smoothly. The system works well and it’s easy to navigate and program. I’m used to systems where we have to do everything manually, but with Valerus, it does a lot of things for you. For example, you can copy programming to multiple cameras. Setting up one camera and then copying it to 50 others is a huge time saver.” “The system is also really easy to update,” he says. “Two new Valerus versions were released during the months we were doing the installation, and we just had to download it once each time to an application server, and then it was automatically pushed out to all the other servers on the network.” Efficient crime detection Two new Valerus versions were released during the months we were doing the installation, and we just had to download it once each time to an application server" There isn’t a lot of criminal activity in the Delaware Valley School District, thanks to outreach programs that create a collaborative relationship between the school police force, administrators, students and parents. However, sometimes issues do occur, and Valerus has already helped the district solve a theft. Chris describes an incident that occurred while the system was still being installed in the spring of 2017. “There was a theft from one of the administrative offices. The employee thought the office had been locked, but our surveillance video was able to show that it was not and displayed the comings and goings of everyone who entered the office during the time in question. The video quality was so clear that the thief’s face could be identified. The footage was turned over to the local police who were able to apprehend the thief and recover the stolen property. With our old VMS system, the video wouldn’t have provided enough detail for us to identify the culprit.” High-end video surveillance Chris says he’d love to say that Valerus’ “museum search” made it possible to find the incriminating video in minutes. However, because the system was just getting installed, not all features were operational yet and his police force had to manually look through hours of video. “The officers are really looking forward to being able to use the search function in the future, now that we’re all up and running. They love how you can draw a box over an area of the video where you know something has happened, and Valerus will do all the work for you,” he says. In speaking about response to crimes and emergencies, Rick adds that because Valerus uses a thin client, the school district has the luxury of easily providing outside law enforcement with access to their system. If they ever needed help from local or state police, like in an active shooter situation, administrators can provide them with a link to the district’s network so that they can better coordinate a response. This would have been impossible with their old system. Ensuring Valerus system’s functionality The VMS thin-client interface allows the officers to view video from anywhere, including on their phones or tablets Unusual for a district of its size, Delaware Valley has its own, full-time, six-person police force. Among other responsibilities, this force is tasked with monitoring the new Valerus system. Each officer has been equipped with his or her own workstation from which they can monitor the cameras physically located at their assigned schools. Administrators at each building also have access to view local cameras. In addition, a centrally located, district-wide monitoring station has been set up to make it easy for officers and school officials to keep an eye on the district as a whole. Rick Scalzo explains that while the VMS thin-client interface allows the officers to view video from anywhere, including on their phones or tablets, his team recommended the purchase of high-performance, manufacturer-certified PC workstations for each officer’s monitoring station. This was to ensure that these computers would have the necessary processing power to display large numbers of high-resolution camera feeds simultaneously. These workstations are hard wired to the network to provide the fastest and most reliable connectivity to the application server. Chris Lordi says that the district has also provided all officers with iPhone 6s, which they use regularly to monitor what’s happening at their buildings. License plate recognition and PTZ cameras One of the capabilities that the district required of the new system is the ability to read license plates of vehicles entering or exiting school grounds. Officers are able to take control of the PTZ cameras in each parking lot and zoom in on the plates of any vehicles of interest. This can even be done via the iPhone interface. Chris explains that it has not been necessary to integrate Valerus with any special license plate recognition (LPR) software because his team of police officers has immediate access to databases where they can look up plates as needed. However, this integration is currently available for Valerus customers and can help automate the process for those who need it. Intruder detection They want top-notch safety, and Valerus delivers that" Chris says that “Our school board takes safety and security very seriously, so for them, this significant investment was justified as soon as we showed them what it can do. They want top-notch safety, and Valerus delivers that. Buy-in from teachers, and the union, who have expressed reservations over the placement of many new cameras that didn’t previously exist, has required additional communication and education. Both Chris and Rick have made it very clear that the upgraded system is not for the purpose of intimidating or keeping closer watch on employees as they perform their daily jobs. Our main concern is thwarting security threats and keeping everybody safe. The additional cameras and new software might help us break up a fight or address bullying issues, but it’s also important for much more serious situations, like dealing with an active shooter or act of terrorism. Now we can use cameras to follow an intruder throughout our buildings, and that can help us keep everyone safe while we apprehend him.” Chris says that “When we put it like that, everyone gets on board.” Counter Terror Chris is extremely appreciative of the support Guyette Communications has provided throughout this project, including individually training each school principal as their building was completed. “I can’t stress how well Guyette has delivered for us. They’re flexible, reliable and compassionate, and they’ve been a true partner at every step of the way. I’d recommend Guyette to anybody.” With school back in session, and the district’s police force busy implementing its many safety programs, Chris looks forward to another school year without any major security incidents. However, with a new Valerus system and high-resolution cameras in place, he knows he now has not only the right people but the right technology to handle any crisis.