University of Illinois deploys IP video solutions

Axis cameras integrated with Milestone's IP video management platform to create comprehensive video system for university campus


DALLAS, Texas (ASIS International) - October 12th, 2010. Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software and Axis Gold Application Development Partner (ADP), is the solution of choice for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for central control and local access with flexible integration options over time as the security system is rolled out across campus.

By sheer numbers, the urban campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is impressive: The campus is frequented by roughly 53,000 students, staff and visitors on a daily basis; is home to 11 million books, the largest public university library collection in the country; boasts 14 major sporting facilities, 17 colleges and instructional units; and employs 11 Nobel laureates and 18 Pulitzer Prize winners as part of its faculty.

Nestled within the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, a joint community of about 180,000, the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system is the size of a small city. As such, it has dealt with everyday community issues like thefts on and around campus, including a string of stolen laptops inside the university's libraries, as well as other stolen items elsewhere. With more than 400 main facilities on campus, the 55-member police department has a lot of ground to cover.

It's no surprise that progressive public safety officials were looking for a way to provide real time, reliable security information to police while saving money, which meant consolidating smaller, autonomous analog systems that dotted the campus.

"One detective had so many software programs running on his computer to manage all the different video systems that his computer wouldn't work," said Detective Tim Hetrick of the University of Illinois Police Department Technical Services division.

"If security is decentralized on a major university then police cannot use that system to its maximum capacity," Police Chief Barbara O'Connor said. "We have developed a policy where anyone on campus purchasing a camera system must have it approved by the chief of police."

The solution was a gradual, three- to five-year deployment of roughly 4,500 cameras that would be managed in a central location using a single video management platform: Milestone XProtectâ„¢ Corporate.

Like many universities, determining the need and making the decision to install a surveillance system is left to the individual department, whether it's the Housing Administration, College of Engineering or a campus research laboratory. While the department heads have the final word over the purchase, technical specialists led by Detective Hetrick from the university police, along with system integrator Current Technologies Corporation of Downers Grove, Ill., now provide assessments and equipment recommendations.

All new installations will be managed by Milestone XProtect Corporate, an IP-based video software system that centralizes the surveillance system management into a single, easy-to-use solution. Because the software is capable of integrating with more than 80 different video surveillance vendors, individual departments can select head end equipment that fits their needs and budget, without worrying about integration issues with the Milestone software.

Because of the Milestone Systems open platform, police are moving forward with testing the integration of the system with door access control. As of August 2010, using Andover Controls software and integration services through Schneider Electric, the interoperable solution is up and running at a test site at the police department.

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