St. Elizabeth’s Hospital project earns top honors in STE Innovation Awards

Once again, the security industry’s most innovative vendors and integrators have stepped up to showcase some of the most impressive applications of security technology the industry has to offer in the 2011 Security Innovation Awards, presented by Security Technology Executive magazine.

"The dozens of companies and vendors entering this year’s competition spanned a vast spectrum of projects," says STE publisher/editor-in-chief Steve Lasky. "Each held unique merits and were certainly capable of earning high praise. Our panel of judges was hard pressed to narrow the choices down to just four. We are thrilled to see the level of participation we had for this year’s awards and are proud to present our top four."

The four winning projects will be announced in the September issue of STE magazine, which will be available at the ASIS show (visit booth 2431 to pick up free copies), and also available online.

This year’s gold medal-winning project, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., featured nearly 25 technology providers. How did they integrate all those different technologies into a single, cohesive system? The obvious answers are time and patience — but a unified, carefully crafted seven-zone security plan and the diligent efforts of submitting integrator Professional Systems Engineering LLC (PSE) probably had something to do with it as well.

"As it is every year, selecting the winner of the 2011 Security Innovation Awards was extremely difficult," Lasky says. "This was perhaps our widest array of solutions ever; but one stood out in the eyes of our judges: the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital project, which transformed a 100-plus-year-old facility into a state-of-the-art showcase.

"The scope of this project was just as staggering as the array of technologies it incorporated," Lasky continues. "A project of this scope had to require a high-level of cooperation from vendors and service providers, all under the supervision of the project’s system integrator. This was truly a masterful convergence of efforts and technologies."

Wrote one of the judges: "Too often, security directors may try to solve complex security issues with a single policy or a single technology; and it is common to see heralded security systems that are purely CCTV camera systems. The Saint Elizabeth’s project recognized layers of security and devoted the appropriate technology to that layer. From high-tech personal alarm units that can locate tracked patients to throw-over prevention fences, the level of security matched the level of concern. The project demonstrates adoption of a number of balanced technologies, meets stringent code requirements, and while expensive, the author clearly defines the value of this project."

Our silver-medal project — also featured in this issue — is the innovative Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office’s "Eye-on-Crime" Deployment. The rapidly growing IP surveillance project was submitted by Axis Communications, and end-user Craig McEntyre reports that the system has become a model for other community surveillance systems.

"This ambitious video project undertaken by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office really highlights the crime fighting potential of municipal surveillance networks," one judge said. "The fact that the county saw such big decrease in crime can be directly attributed to the installation of this system. This would be a good case study for other municipalities to examine prior to installing their own surveillance networks."

Our bronze medal-winning project — Standard Aero — was submitted by Honeywell and will be featured in the Ocotber issue of STE. The company, which specializes in aircraft maintenance, used innovative access control and visitor management technology not only to secure its operations, but also to save the company itself.

"Standard Aero solves a business challenge and a security challenge in the same step," one judge wrote. "They met a DHS security requirement for their business without frustrating their customers. Using an innovative technology application (RFID) tied into a pervasive video system, they showed that cameras could be more than forensic tools, and demonstrated new thinking that could possibly be adopted as a standard practice within the aviation services industry."

Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, which showcased its innovative use of situation management technology, has been selected by the judging panel as an honorable mention project. It will be featured in the November/December issue of STE.

"We’ve heard a lot in the security industry over the past several years about the potential that physical security information management systems (PSIM) hold for streamlining operations. Until now, however, there have been few case studies that demonstrated the actual benefits of the technology," one judge wrote. "The fact that an airport of the size and scale of Louis Armstrong International was able to consolidate all of their security and life safety systems onto two screens in their security operations centers using the NICE PSIM platform is astonishing and truly innovative."