Using a smart phone as an access control credential is an idea whose time has come – or has it? The flexible uses of smart phones are transforming our lives in multiple ways, and the devices are replacing everything from our alarm clocks to our wallets to our televisions. However, the transformation from using a card to using a mobile credential for access control is far from a no-brainer for many organisations, which obstacles to a fast or easy transition. We asked this week’s Exper...
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. b...
Inventor and entrepreneur Scott D'Avanzo, CEO of Adrenalin Technologies LLC, wants to improve security response time in the wake of mass shootings. His new patent-pending technology monitors and detects window vibration and breakage in high-rise hotels and other buildings. The system, known as Safe Place, is designed to immediately notify management of the room or suite number in the event of window vibration beyond a certain threshold or breakage. Safe Place technology One of the biggest...
When an active assailant strikes, it’s over fast, and most of the damage happens before help arrives. Responding appropriately can save lives, and it takes training and practice to know what to do as a tragedy unfolds: Where can I hide? Can I get out? Where do I run? If you hear shots or see someone with a knife, your training empowers the best response, and thorough and repetitive training avoids being paralysed by panic. Standards on workplace violence ASIS International is a member of...
One factor aggravating concerns about workplace violence in corporate America is the easy availability of firearms. In many states, citizens, including employees, have the right to carry firearms onto a company’s property even though firearms are prohibited in the workplace. In effect, an employee prone to violence may have a firearm as near as their vehicle in the company parking lot. Currently, 23 states in the U.S. have so-called “parking lot storage” laws, which enable em...
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 Profe...
The widely quoted motto ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ has been held dear and put into years of practice by Dahua Technology, a leading solution provider in the global video surveillance industry. With this in mind, Dahua technology deepens its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program ‘Lighting the Future’, which aims to help children who suffer from sickness or poverty in terms of education. Dahua Technology’s ‘Lighting the Future’ program understands that charity is not only about material donations. Sometimes it also requires very personal participation and care. You have to take the human to human, heart to heart action, or indeed interaction, which itself can be the most precious help. That is very much the case with children with autism. Dahua Technology organized a team of over 20 employees to visit the Carnation Recovery Center for Children Devote their time Behind every child that is suffering from autism, there is usually great stress and struggle for the whole family. The pain stems not only from the financial aspects but more importantly from the mind, the prospect of going on daily and without an easy solution. These are the children who have underwent unimaginable pain in silence, and could most definitely use as much help and from as many people as possible. On the afternoon of December 15th, 2017, Dahua Technology organized a team of over 20 employees to visit the Carnation Recovery Center for Children, a facility that specializes in helping kids with autism. They brought with them, dozens of LeChange Baby Monitors, as well as many carefully picked books and toys as gifts for the children there. More importantly, the employees were prepared to devote their time, love and patience for the children. Complicated limitations They decorated the center to evoke a mood of Christmas and listened and talked to the children while playing Christmas themed games together. Everyone had a great time and felt needed by each other. According to instructors at the center, what these kids need, are not correction, but understanding. When they are not able to adapt to our world, we should try our best to adapt to theirs’. There is still a long way to go but Dahua Technology will keep striving. Children are our future, but not all of them have access to the proper education they deserve. For decades, China’s urbanization, while an indicator of a booming economy, has been tearing traditional rural families apart. With more and more parents becoming migrant workers, children are left behind, where, due to complicated limitations, are not able to enjoy the same educational resources as the children in the cities. These children in rural areas are often in more danger than those in urban environments Lighting the future program Moreover there is the problem of safety. Since no one is watching over these kids except for possibly their grandparents, these children in rural areas are often in more danger than those in urban environments. Long Xiang elementary school, located in the rural area of Bengbu City, Anhui province, is a typical example of a school that is established-for-left-behind-children under harsh predicaments and very limited funding. Dahua Technology decided to reach out with a helping hand via its ‘Lighting the Future’ program. As a leading solution provider in the global video surveillance industry, Dahua is competent and more than happy to provide Long Xiang elementary school with school supplies and security products. Video communication with parents In October of 2017, Dahua Technology donated to Long Xiang Elementary School, an entire set of video surveillance equipment, consisting of 103 items in total, across 20 categories. These include varies types of cameras, monitors as well as hard disks. In May, 2018, Dahua Technology further donated 42 computers and 40 monitors to the school, which could not only be used for an educational curriculum that is in synchronization with schools in big cities, but also for treasured video communication with their working parents far away. Shang Ke, the headmaster of Long Xiang elementary school, after receiving the equipment, expressed his profound gratitude for the long waited systematic protection of students, and explained how the computers will make learning much more efficient. In addition to an official Letter of appreciation, Headmaster Shang also made a private call from his personal WeChat account highlighting how "one should work for such a generous corporation with a strong sense of social responsibility (like Dahua Technology) in the future." Dahua Technology has been trying to deliver a Safer Society and Smarter Living Flame of future Hangzhou Binjiang Binhong School, is also a school that is established for kids of migrant workers, and is located in the Binjiang District of Hangzhou. For this school, Dahua Technology has donated 28 sets of computers. It was hard to describe how delighted we felt, to see the photos sent back, showing the computers placed neatly on desks like lines of mirrors, ready to reflect the happy faces of children, who are due to fill the classroom when the new semester begins. ‘Lighting the Future’ is a charitable program that Dahua Technology plans on keeping running. The flame of future can only be ignited if the children have the proper education, communication and protection that they deserve. For years Dahua Technology has been trying to deliver a Safer Society and Smarter Living, a future that should not leave anyone behind.
Pelco by Schneider Electric, a global provider of video surveillance solutions made two announcements that improve the user experience for video surveillance operators by enhancing visibility of events and enabling faster response. Feature-packed VideoXpert Software Release with Enhanced Panomersive Viewing Pelco’s VideoXpert Video Management System, version 2.5 (VX v2.5), is packed with numerous new capabilities including enhanced ‘Panomersive’ immersive context viewing when using Pelco’s Optera camera with Pelco Camera-Link technology and a Pelco ‘Enhanced’ series Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) camera. This new feature allows system users to automatically and seamlessly shift from the panoramic view of Optera to a targeted subject or object within the same view using a nearby Pelco PTZ camera. The operator simply clicks on the panoramic view in Optera, and the PTZ instantly moves to the same spot" Combining immersive context viewing with PTZ cameras “Combining immersive cameras with PTZs has been attempted by competitors in the past, but our ability to easily link separate Optera and PTZ cameras provides security directors with a great deal of flexibility in how they design their system while potentially saving money by using previously deployed cameras,” said Robert Beliles, Pelco Chief Marketing Officer. “The operator simply clicks on the panoramic view in Optera, and the PTZ instantly moves to the same spot. This combination of immersive context viewing combined with PTZ detail and tracking at distance allows operators to spend less time locating the object or person of interest, and more time recording their movements.” Flexible Monitor Wall enhancement VideoXpert v2.5 is one of the larger releases in terms of long sought-after features in a video management system (VMS). VX v2.5 delivers a new Rules Engine User Interface and a new flexible Monitor Wall enhancement to make the creation of any size monitor wall and the ability to send events to any specific monitor quickly and easily. The Evolution 180 camera provides a dewarped view without blind spots to capture the areas of greatest interest Beliles concluded, “Several features in the VX v2.5 release significantly advance Pelco’s efforts to drive relevant and contextual video where and when it's needed, enabling impactful responses as well as effective automation. New analytics overlays in the VX v2.5 Ops Center Client allows operators to easily view and then export relevant video footage with the same analytics overlays to law enforcement far more efficiently than what is available in the market today.” Fisheye Evolution 180 panoramic camera Pelco also announced the release of a new camera, the Evolution 180, which provides a dewarped view without blind spots to capture the areas of greatest interest, making it ideal for crowded areas like banks, hotels, malls, schools and eateries, as well as hospital and clinic waiting rooms. Typically, ceiling-mounted fisheye cameras present less detail on faces and objects that are situated at the periphery of the camera’s field of view, or captures the tops of subjects’ heads when located directly below the camera. Available in indoor and outdoor versions, the wall-mounted Pelco Evolution 180 with true day and night capability is built by Oncam and is specifically designed to deliver a high-definition panoramic view, including a detailed eye-level view of people and vehicles. The Evolution 180 focusses on areas of interest while providing 12 percent more pixels per foot and minimising storage and bandwidth requirements" Minimising storage and bandwidth requirements “In contrast to conventional fisheye panoramic cameras that waste pixels on low interest views of ceilings and floors, the Evolution 180 focusses on areas of interest while providing 12 percent more pixels per foot and minimising storage and bandwidth requirements. Thus, the Evolution 180 is an affordable solution that further helps price-sensitive customers,” said Kevin Saldanha, Principal Product Manager for the Evolution 180. Both the Pelco Evolution 180 and VideoXpert v2.5 are available now.
Security professionals working to provide the appropriate level of security and safety in schools need not just the right training but also the correct products. To provide the most robust product offerings for schools, ASSA ABLOY has partnered with School Guard Glass to develop complete attack-resistant door openings that comply with the 5-aa10 test standards recommended by the FBI’s Active Shooter Report. These attack-resistant openings are economically designed using hollow metal door and frame construction with accompanying ASSA ABLOY hardware. This ensures maximum security without sacrificing usability or aesthetics. Further, the solution ensures you never sacrifice fire and life safety as a result of implementing dangerous secondary locking devices. Withstands intense physical attack The attack resistant openings are rigorously tested to ensure they can withstand an intense four-minute physical attack with the use of hand tools and after being shot 60 times with 7.62 NATO rounds. While the door or glass may not stop a bullet from penetrating the opening, the attack-resistant door assembly will remain intact so as to prevent an attacker from breaching the opening. "Protecting the students, faculty and staff in our communities across the country is a core commitment we at ASSA ABLOY share with all schools," said Ron Baer, Director of Business Development - K-12 at ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions. "Deploying an opening that can withstand and repel a physical assault is a simple, affordable solution that makes schools safer from the moment they are installed."
A half-day Secure Schools Roundtable was held on Capitol Hill as part of the Security Industry Association (SIA) GovSummit 2018. Legislators, academics, emergency services experts and more discussed the need for enhanced school security in the wake of tragedies in schools across the United States, including the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Student Jake Glacer, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, and his father, Noel Glacer, discussed Jake’s experiences on the day of the shooting and the school’s lack of a standard operating procedure for dealing with an active shooter incident. “We used to live in the Parkland bubble, and now we live under the Parkland cloud,” said Noel. Jake and Noel emphasised the need for better school security solutions, training and drills School security solutions Jake and Noel emphasised the need for better school security solutions, training and drills and encouraged people interested in contributing to Parkland’s school security to visit sosparkland.org. “I’m trying to take a bad situation and do good out of it,” said Jake. “If I could save one life by talking about this, it’s worth it.” Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) – co-chairs of the Congressional School Safety Caucus – also spoke at the roundtable, highlighting the importance of legislation like the STOP School Violence Act and efforts like research on the causes of gun violence to address this important issue. “Kids should be worried about learning, not whether their schools will be the next to fall victim to tragedy,” said Larsen. Secure Schools Roundtable: Opening Remarks Speakers: Tim Eckersley, Senior Vice President and President of the Americas, Allegion Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Co-Chair, Congressional School Safety Caucus Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Co-Chair, Congressional School Safety Caucus Quotes: “Kids not only need tools to learn – they need an environment that allows them to thrive. If kids are worried about the safety in their schools and surviving in school, there’s no way they can succeed.” – Tim Eckersley “It’s our moral obligation as an industry to address this issue.” – Tim Eckersley “While no one law can stop school violence, the STOP School Violence Act has steps Congress can take to save lives and make schools safer.” – Rick Larsen The session highlighted standards and best practices for school security, including research conducted by the Police FoundatBest practices for school security Secure Schools Roundtable: Development of Standards and Best Practices for School Security Speakers: Erroll Southers, Professor of the Practice of Governance, University of Southern California Ben Gorban, Policy Analyst, Police Foundation John Montes, Emergency Services Specialist, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Mark Williams, Steering Committee Director, Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) School facility security standards Summary: This session highlighted standards and best practices for school security, including research conducted by the Police Foundation on state school facility security standards, requirements and guidelines, the NFPA 3000 standard for active shooter incidents and PASS’ work to help schools implement effective school security technologies. Quotes: “I never thought we’d reach a time where I’d be called to respond to school shooting incidents because they exceed homegrown terrorism.” – Dr. Erroll Southers “It shouldn’t take an incident – but when it does, policies like tax reform go out the window and school safety becomes #1. We shouldn’t wait until an incident occurs.” – Ben Gorban “[The impact of a school shooting] doesn’t end when it stops being reported on CNN – it goes on forever.” – John Montes
The upgraded Rave Guardian app now integrates with Rave Alert and allows college communities to easily connect through a custom mobile app. Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), a trusted partner for safety software protecting millions of individuals, revealed updates to its Rave Guardian platform to better equip students and staff to communicate vital campus updates. Rave Guardian, a safety app available for students to stay connected with campus safety officials, faculty and other students, now integrates into Rave Alert, allowing higher education institutions access to both offerings in a single platform. Rave Guardian has been updated to better reach and engage students on mobile devices since they find email and phone calls to be outdated. Students aren't interested in Facebook and Twitter; rather they prefer closed messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp. In fact, Generation Z students are three times more likely to open a chat message through a push notification. However, in a recent survey of higher education institutions, Rave found only 38% of respondents offer a mobile safety app for their campus communities. The lack of institution-backed app adoption on campus shows the opportunity for colleges to implement innovative technology, like Rave Guardian, to better connect with students. Integrated geo-targeting notifications The new Rave Guardian platform ensures that all tools, from two-way texting features to content directories with information such as specific safety procedures, are united in a single application. Unlike any other communications application available, Rave Guardian provides geo-targeting notifications so campus safety officials can target certain areas of campus with specific alerts. Those alerts are even available when students and faculty may not have cell signals. The app also allows for students to share a live stream of their location with campus safety if they feel they're in a dangerous situation. "Since adopting Rave technology, the ability to quickly and accurately share information has made all three of our campuses safer," said Charles S. DiSalvo, Emergency Manager at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. "We have seen a 22% increase in the use of Rave Guardian, so it's become integral to how we communicate public safety information." With a push of a button, students can either directly connect to 9-1-1 or campus safety in an emergency Rave Guardian campus communication app With one app to access campus communication tools, resources and key contacts, colleges don't have to rely on outdated communication methods to interact and engage with students. Additional benefits and features in the new version of Rave Guardian include: One platform: In two steps, anyone in your campus community is instantly authenticated and can register. Students can update their Rave Alert profiles and always keep their contact information up-to-date. Content portal: Emergency procedures, shuttle schedules and other key resources can be shared with the campus community in a configurable content library to help them stay safe and informed. Call directory: Enable students and staff to easily find assistance and resources through a call directory of important numbers that can be updated and added to in real time. Routable chats: Two-way communications can now be routed to different departments to ensure they're only seen by the appropriate officials. In addition, departments can enable custom auto-responses when their offices are closed. Push notifications: Alongside SMS text and email capabilities, push notifications allow schools to provide messages to students and staff even without cell service and capture more attention. App customisation: Schools can customise Rave Guardian's interface and features in real time to create a user experience that will drive more interaction with their community. Emergency call button: With a push of a button, students can either directly connect to 9-1-1 or campus safety in an emergency. Even when they dial 9-1-1 from the app, the school is notified through the incident management console. "The update to the Rave Guardian platform offers our university and college customers with essential tools to promote safety across their campuses," said Todd Piett, CEO of Rave Mobile Safety. "These latest features will drive greater adoption by students and will promote more participation with campus safety."
ESX began with the Opening Celebration on June 19 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The following morning, the OpenXchange breakfast kicked off the Main Stage events for the week, and the opening ceremony was held for the expo floor. Attendees honoured the recipient of ESA's 2017 Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year Award during the Opening Celebration. Past recipients of the award joined this year’s honouree, Tom Donaldson, on the stage for a photo. “I’m honoured that anyone would take a moment to think that I could stand with these gentlemen,” said Donaldson as he received the award. Affiliated Monitoring took home the association's coveted Monitoring Center of the Year award Excellence awards winners Winners of The Monitoring Association's 2018 Excellence Awards were also announced and congratulated, including: Patricia Fody, Vector Security, Operator of the Year, Carmelo Mosca, Affiliated Monitoring, Manager of the Year and Beth Bailey, ADT LLC, Support Person of the Year. Affiliated Monitoring took home the association's coveted Monitoring Center of the Year award. This morning, the first of the main stage events, the OpenXchange Breakfast, sponsored by Qolsys and endorsed by SD&I and SecurityInfoWatch, kicked off the first full day of ESX with an interactive panel on the changing competitive landscape. The group discussed the relevance of integration services, how to adopt Internet of Things offerings and how to provide more value to customers by taking the complexity out of making a wide variety of devices work together for a truly intelligent home. The Opening Keynote Luncheon followed at 11:30 a.m., when Scott Stratten took the stage to help industry leaders navigate in The Age of Disruption 2018 Innovation awards After the Main Stage event, attendees filled into classrooms for peer-led education in classes that included ‘Maximize New Employees’, ‘Creation Costs - Defined, Dissected and Diminished’ and others. The Opening Keynote Luncheon followed at 11:30 a.m., when Scott Stratten took the stage to help industry leaders navigate in The Age of Disruption. The session was sponsored by Security Dealer Network and endorsed by media partner Security System News. When attendees made their way to the expo floor at 12:30 on Wednesday, the winners of the 2018 Innovation Awards were on display. The products were housed in a glass display for attendees to admire as they made their way across the expo floor for quality conversations with their peers and vendors. ESX 2018 will continue through June 22. Upcoming events include the Thursday General Session featuring Don Yaeger and the Closing Keynote Luncheon, featuring a heartfelt panel on school security.
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.
3xLOGIC, Inc., a provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, and a three-time Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winner, announced that Frederick Douglass High School (FDHS) has deployed a highly-successful video surveillance installation that helps ensure two points of alarm verification to sharply reduce false alarms. In the summer of 2017, Sonitrol of Lexington and Bates Security completed one of the companies’ most innovative installations. The project includes verified audio detection, verified video, and an advanced access control system. FDHS, located in Lexington, KY, comprises 350,000+ sq. ft. with over 90 staff and hundreds of students. The video surveillance system utilises 192 3xLOGIC HD and IP camera models with analytics software for verification and network health monitoring WDR HD and IP cameras for clear pictures The video surveillance system utilises 192 3xLOGIC HD and IP camera models with analytics software for verification and network health monitoring. Sixty cameras are deployed outside the building and 130+ are located inside throughout the facility. The system features wide dynamic range cameras that automatically adjust to environmental lighting and allow the end user to see clearly out of a sun-lit window or in pitch-black darkness. The cameras record to six 3xLOGIC V7300 servers. “Every door has a strike and motion detection, every lower level room has an audio sensor,” explained Sean Moberly, Sonitrol of Lexington Project Manager, who designed the system. “Every entry has a sensor and panic buttons, and we have Sonitrol access control for 12-15 doors. We concealed the door readers with built-in pockets, so the reader is not exposed but still effectively reads cards. We have video verification at every entry door.” Easily accessible security system Moberly continued, “School staff and Law Enforcement are extremely pleased with 3xLOGIC and the technology the company offers. They love the image clarity and the range of coverage it provides with the zoom feature. They appreciate the ability for easy access with cell phones and laptop computers and told us how user friendly the system is. Upon receiving an audio detection alarm at the central station, the Sonitrol operator also receives video footage for every camera connected to that alarm point “This technology allows the user to conduct faster, more efficient searches, and it enables staff to narrow searches to one area, such as a specific door, and find out quickly what you need to know. The school is so pleased they are considering migrating from their current VMS software to 3xLOGIC VIGIL. In fact, we’re talking to multiple schools who are interested in moving to VIGIL for their existing VMS.” Double verification with audio and video detection The installation features verified audio detection operating in conjunction with the verified video system. Upon receiving an audio detection alarm at the central station, the Sonitrol operator also receives video footage for every camera connected to that alarm point. This ensures double verification before alerting police dispatch and provides responding officers with up-to-the-minute intelligence on what they’ll face upon arriving at the high school. Law enforcement and the administration stated that they use it all the time to recover property from thefts or for situations where an item was lost or mislaid. FDHS administration reported that they once used the camera system to help figure out what staff propped a door open over one weekend so they could address the issue directly with that person. The ability for Sonitrol to monitor the system in real time helps ensure there will be fewer incidents of cameras and recorders being down for any length of time VIGIL Central Management monitoring software Another unique and valuable service Sonitrol of Lexington provides the high school is 3xLOGIC’s VIGIL Central Management (VCM) or health-check monitoring software. Before the client is even aware, Sonitrol of Lexington can detect and repair camera failures, as well as server and hard drive issues without even going on site. The ability for Sonitrol to monitor the system in real time helps ensure there will be fewer incidents of cameras and recorders being down for any length of time. In the long term, VCM keeps the facility much safer and reduces repair costs. The system eliminates troublesome, costly false alarms with its two points of verification. The entire system can be conveniently managed by any device with internet access or via the 3xLOGIC mobile app, View Lite II. Bates Security and Sonitrol of Lexington recently received a SAMMY Installation of the Year award for this powerful, highly-effective security system.
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.
Founded in 1871, Fulton County School System is the fourth largest school district in Georgia, United States. It consists of 101 schools and administrative support buildings, including 67 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 17 high schools and eight charter organisations. Fulton’s mission is to provide a safe and secure environment for its more than 96,000 students and more than 12,000 full-time employees. To help enhance safety Search Technology at more than 100 schools, Fulton has installed a full Avigilon surveillance solution that includes Avigilon cameras with self-learning video analytics, Avigilon network video recorders, and Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology. Fulton is also deploying Avigilon Access Control Manager to secure physical access points, providing an integrated security solution for the district. Fulton sought to replace analogue cameras with an end-to-end high definition surveillance system camera system in order to maximise protection Simplifying recording and capturing of footage Fulton sought to replace analogue cameras with an end-to-end high definition surveillance system camera system in order to maximise protection, enable proactive event response, and facilitate the recording, capturing and sharing of clear footage with its school board, police and the concerned public. Securing more than 100 buildings is no easy feat, but it’s of utmost importance to the Department of Safety and Security at Fulton, which also includes the School Police and Student Health Services and Emergency. Upgrading video surveillance system With recent data showing above average student incident rates and student disciplinary concerns at some schools, upgrades to the surveillance system were needed to allow better local and remote monitoring in important areas. “One of the biggest security challenges we face is our ability to reliably monitor important areas throughout our schools, especially during an emergency. With Avigilon, we not only benefit from exceptional image quality, but their advanced video analytics, like Avigilon Appearance Search technology, save us valuable time and effort, ultimately making our schools a safer place.” - Paul Hildreth, Emergency Operations, Safety and Security, Fulton County School System. Avigilon high-definition cameras with self-learning video analytics and access control solutions have been installed in 101 schools Appearance Search Technology Avigilon high-definition cameras with self-learning video analytics and access control solutions have been installed in 101 schools. ACC 6 video management software with Avigilon Appearance Search technology is a particularly exciting new development for the district. “We chose Avigilon because of the capabilities it offers in its advanced video analytics search technologies, including Avigilon Appearance Search,” said Paul Hildreth, Emergency Operations, Safety and Security for Fulton. “Their analytics are easy to set up and use, and can save us valuable time and effort, ultimately making our schools a safer place for generations to come.” Video data analysis Avigilon Appearance Search video analytics technology uses a sophisticated deep learning artificial intelligence search engine to sort through hours of footage with ease. This technology allows Fulton’s 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. This can save Fulton time and effort during critical investigations as Avigilon Appearance Search technology intelligently analyses video data, helping to track a person’s or vehicle’s route and identify previous and last-known locations. Avigilon self-learning video analytics enable proactive, real-time event response. Built from the ground up to manage high-definition video, Avigilon offers self-learning analytics on camera resolutions of up to 5K (16 MP). Avigilon Multisensor cameras were also set up to capture challenging angles and provide total coverage within a 180 to 360-degree area Avigilon H4 Platform Avigilon H4 bullet and dome cameras from the new H4 platform were installed, offering self-learning video analytics, greater resolution performance and Wide Dynamic Range support. Avigilon H4 cameras are available in 1 to 5 MP and 4K Ultra HD (8 MP) resolutions. Avigilon Multisensor cameras were also set up to capture challenging angles and provide total coverage within a 180 to 360-degree area. Upgrading the district’s surveillance solutions began three years ago with a single high school as a pilot program. The success of this replacement led the district to integrate ACC in other school projects and, in 2014, Fulton opened new administrative centres with both Avigilon access control and video surveillance solutions. At the start of 2017, Fulton began implementing a three-year approach to completing the upgrade. Image quality and resolution Before switching to the Avigilon solution, the district was challenged with low system reliability, which resulted in not having video evidence when needed. Furthermore, in situations where there was recorded footage, it was not of high enough quality to provide value. With the installation of Avigilon video surveillance, Fulton has benefited from exceptional image quality and resolution across wide areas in all lighting conditions. The ongoing Avigilon implementation will provide the district with crucial and powerful insights that can help save time and effort during critical investigations. With the help of Avigilon trusted security solutions, the future looks bright for Fulton County Schools.
“ID cards are used ubiquitously in today’s society, allowing users the convenience of remote identity verification,” said Noel Cordell, Card Bureau manager, Academy Photography. Yet, even before students in Australia learn to spell “ubiquitous,” they can enjoy the benefits of ID cards produced by Academy. Student and faculty ID cards Academy Photography, which was the first Australian school photo business to go completely digital, has been in business since 1988, providing educational institutions with student and faculty ID cards, in addition to school photos, for more than 15 years. Today, it provides ID cards for more than 200 schools, which use them for student and faculty visual identification and to interface with school systems, helping to reduce truancy by tracking student locations. “A student may use a card to pay for concession fares on public transport, to pay for photocopies, to borrow books and to verify arrival at school,” said Cordell. Identity management For some, simple security is the most important function and they use ID cards for visual identification of students, staff and visitors School administrators define a variety of needs when it comes to their ID card programs. For some, simple security is the most important function and they use ID cards for visual identification of students, staff and visitors. Others need more sophisticated support, including access to dorms, facilities and equipment. Still others use photo ID systems to automate and combine several school operations, giving students the ability to check out library books or equipment, gain access to student activities, use school computers or simplify registration. Schools that provide ID cards with debit functions also enable students to use their photo ID cards for vending machine, laundry and cafeteria payments. Tracking student movements in and out of school is the most important function requested by customers of Academy Photography. “ID cards enable schools to analyze usage and improve efficiency, as well as keep track of students for better education outcomes,” said Cordell. Because cards are produced in Academy’s printing laboratory, schools receive replacement cards quickly and economically. Fargo HDP600 HD Card Printer/Encoder Academy Photography provides a card bureau, a small office with three work stations and a dedicated staff who operate three Fargo Persona card printers and one Fargo HDP600 High Definition Card Printer/Encoder, with the HDP600 being the most advanced. It features reverse image technology in which the printer prints images directly onto special film that is then fused onto the surface of a blank card through heat and pressure. While most of Academy’s clients currently use either barcodes or magnetic stripe technology, the company chose the HDP600 to be ready for future requests. Fargo developed High Definition Printing to go hand in hand with the growth of technology-rich smart cards. Often, the embedded electronics in these high-security cards cause irregularities on the card’s surface, making them difficult to print. Because the printhead of the HDP600 does not print directly onto the card surface, image quality is unaffected by a card’s surface irregularities. Fargo printers and ID cards The HDP600 also offers us the ability to print and encode smart cards in the future.” Cordell was instrumental in selecting the current Fargo equipment, although Academy had been using Fargo printers for years, long before his arrival in 2005. “The features most important to us were high quality prints, low waste and fast printing,” he said. “The HDP600 also offers us the ability to print and encode smart cards in the future.” “The introduction of the HDP600 gave Academy the option of producing cards with superior quality over those of its competitors,” said Reuben Bou-Samra, Business Development Manager, Briell Marketing Pty Ltd., the company that sold the Fargo printers to Academy. “Times are changing, and schools are demanding only the best. The HDP600 certainly offers Academy a competitive edge.” ID card program Academy Photography provides a variety of options for its clients. “Sometimes the school buys the cards, sometimes the students do, and other times we provide them for free,” said Cordell. Free ID cards? “We provide ID cards free to many schools as a value addition to our primary product, school photos,” he added. Often, Academy’s student and faculty photos can be used for the cards, thus requiring only one photo session and saving the school resources. ID cards not only provide convenience and security for students and faculty, but they also save time for office staff who input attendance details and process roll calls. Academy provides images formatted on a CD ROM as well as in hard copy reports for school records. These reports provide information in instant real-time, and they are tailored to each school’s desired manner of capturing and reporting attendance. In today’s open educational environment, many schools struggle to keep track of their students. Those using Academy Photography’s ID card program, however, have a ubiquitous advantage.
ASSA ABLOY UK Specification, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY, a provider of door opening solutions, has assisted with the design and specification of doorsets and relevant hardware for the new Silverstone CE Primary School. Working alongside Northamptonshire County Council, local firm pHp Architects and contractor Lakehouse Construction, the UK Specification team helped deliver the full-scale build of the two-form entry primary school. Products specified included 92 ASSA ABLOY laminate-faced timber doorsets, complete with redwood frames and dark grey PVC edges, making them easy to clean and to help conceal scuffs from daily use. Timber doorsets The colour contrast between the edge of the door and the door surface also helped to achieve an inclusive environment, in line with the latest legislation and guidelines such as Approved Document M of The Building Regulations 2000 and BS8300:2009+A1:2010. The doorsets were complemented by a full ironmongery specification of ASSA 3228 ZP hinges, ASSA ABLOY DC200 Rack & Pinion Door Closers, Union Optimus 3 Locks, UNION J1000 door furniture and ASSA finger guards, which prevent pupils’ fingers from being trapped in closing doors. We have worked on a number of education projects and pride ourselves on tailoring the solutions we provide from our extensive experience in the sector" Masterkey access system The specification also included ASSA’s P600 cylinders for internal and external doors as well as external gates, providing the school with one masterkey system and permitting access to authorised personnel only. Chris Wayman, Associate at pHp Architects commented: “ASSA ABLOY UK Specification not only supplied high quality and fit-for-purpose products, but they also provided a full consultancy service, which took into account factors such as pupil comfort, flow of traffic around the school, as well as the need for staff to access certain areas of the building efficiently and securely. We are delighted with the finished result.” James Bloomfield, Headteacher at Silverstone CE Primary School said: “Working with the UK Specification team was straightforward from start to finish. The doors and ironmongery specified really enhance what is an exceptional building.” David Shields, National Specification Manager at ASSA ABLOY UK Specification, added: “We have worked on a number of education projects and pride ourselves on tailoring the solutions we provide from our extensive experience in the sector.” Risk management “The challenge in all schools is to prioritise safety and minimise the risk of injury, while providing a comfortable learning and teaching environment for both pupils and staff." "We believe we have not only achieved this, but also exceeded expectations with the solutions we helped design and specify via our BIM capabilities and personable one-to-one service.”