Video and Schools: Making the connection between video and deterrence

Arizona school uses video to deter incidents and augment guard staff

The school installed Wren Environmental Globes with integrated IP cameras to cover the entire length of the parking lot in good detail; where one camera leaves off, the next picks up, ensuring comprehensive coverage. True day/night cameras also provide clear images both day and night for 24 hour surveillance.

As far as implementing video on the network, the IT team at Flowing Wells found it to be a very manageable process. "The truth is, the process was much simpler than I had anticipated. We established a VLAN and maintain the video on a secure server in the administrative domain. Only certain individuals – principals, the superintendent and security officers are able to access the video. We have really made an effort to protect the video itself as well as students' and staff's privacy," said Flowing Wells' Director of IT, John Vallejos.

Wren VMS Software has proven extremely easy to use. For example, one feature allows users to flag video that shows activity during the night, when the campus is supposedly deserted. This makes it easy for users to pull up video of any activity that took place over night without having to scan through extensive video.

Making the Connection

While the video has been used to resolve issues or investigate incidences, even more powerful has been the system's apparent ability to deter.

It's no secret that Flowing Wells has video cameras – they've made a point of posting signage. While Dr. Clement notes that it's too early to draw a conclusion, he admits that in the three months since the system was installed, there has not been one incident of vandalism during the day and no theft at night. This strongly points toward video's ability to deter crime.

In fact, the system has been so effective that Flowing Wells is considering replacing on-site security guards with cameras. "IP technology enables us to view video remotely, so when an incident does occur, we can immediately assess the situation from home or wherever we may be. So far, it's shown itself a very powerful tool," said Dr. Clement. The superintendent and principals have access to cameras on the weekends, making it easy to investigate the scene in case a situation does arise. The plan is to strategically implement cameras across the district where they can prevent other problems and better protect students.