|The integrated system gives school administrators the ability to monitor and respond to security events as they happen
South Country Central School District, located in Suffolk County, NY, is dedicated to high quality education for its students in six schools from kindergarten to high school. In addition to education, like all schools in this modern age, South Country is also committed to keep their students, staff, and facilities safe.
In 2010, to meet increasing current-day security concerns, South Country upgraded its physical security infrastructure with one of the largest and most sophisticated integrated security projects in the US. Security issues that needed to be addressed included eliminating the potential for unauthorised access to buildings both on a daily and after-hours basis, as well as for areas within buildings that contain high value assets such as computers and other technology equipment. Additionally, the ability to visually monitor multiple district facilities in real time was deemed necessary to prevent vandalism, theft, bullying and fighting, and to manage any potentially dangerous intruder incidents.
Access Commander physical information management system
According to David Antar, President of A+ Technology Solutions, the security integration company selected to provide the installation of the new system, “The install process certainly had its share of challenges. The district was operating under budgetary constraints as well as the requirement to have the installation completed during the summer months when school was not in session.”
A+ selected a physical information management system, named Access Commander, from IPVideo Corporation as the software system that provides system-wide control of the video and access systems for the district’s geographically dispersed facilities. With its long history of designing, implementing and maintaining IP video systems, IPVideo’s capabilities matched the district’s requirements perfectly.
Real-time access to door controls and associated video feeds
Pre-integration of Access Commander with the ISONAS Crystal Matrix access control management software provides real-time access to door controls and associated video feeds as well as to archived, time-stamped door events and related video from an interface common to all systems. Event data from the doors is monitored in real-time, allowing for drill down to specific events on protected doors along with their associated cameras.
The integrated system gives school administrators the ability to monitor and respond to security events as they happen, thus enhancing school safety. The system is capable of allowing police or fire personnel to remotely connect to the system via a web browser during an emergency while simultaneously notifying appropriate personnel within the district.
Ability to lock down campus remotely and automatically
Since IPVideo’s video surveillance system and ISONAS’s door access system are IP-enabled solutions, they can be easily and remotely upgraded with new features as they become available
Prior to the new system’s installation, any intruder event would have triggered a PA announcement in code, alerting teachers to manually lock their doors and keep students inside. Unfortunately, in such situations busy teachers might lock their doors too slowly, and a PA announcement could alert the intruder that the school is aware of him, potentially causing him to act out.
The new system allows administrators at South Country to lock down a whole campus or selectively lock down parts of a campus, remotely and automatically, by activating an emergency switch or securely entering the proper commands into a PC from any location within the district.
Real-time based incident management
Another plus of the completely IP-based system is that door status can be monitored, and virtually any issue can be corrected remotely. Door entry permissions can be set by individual, time and other factors, so for example a teacher’s entry card might be set to open the school’s front door and their classroom door only within set times.
The control software’s common graphical user interface also simplifies installation and training, researching of alarms and incidents, as well as simplifying school staff’s administration of the system. It provides exterior and interior maps that interactively show door locations, and even has the ability to bring up live camera feeds by simply placing a mouse over an icon on the map. Thus, in addition to post-event forensic information, the new system now provides real-time based incident management.
Since IPVideo’s video surveillance system and ISONAS’s door access system are IP-enabled solutions, they can be easily and remotely upgraded with new features as they become available. This helps insure the future proofing of the integrated solution while providing the district with a reduced cost of ownership.
“Up-to-date physical security applied to the security realities of today’s public schools was what we targeted,” says David Antar, “and I am delighted to be able to say that we delivered precisely what the district wanted — on time and on budget.”