Success Stories: Education

March 30, 2011

Florida State Adds to its Blue Light Trail
Florida State University (FSU) takes pride in its intellectually stimulating, yet warm and caring environment for students and faculty. Safety of students and guests is paramount on the school’s 15 campuses to maintain that environment, and one of the major public safety initiatives on FSU’s campuses is the Blue Light Trail, which now consists of more than 400 strategically placed blue light towers equipped with emergency phones.
The blue light emergency phone towers give passers-by a sense of security by providing a reliable two-way communications link with the FSU Police with a push of a button. The technology is not new, but has proven to be invaluable on more than one occasion. The number of blue light emergency phones keeps growing as the safety needs of the campus grow, and university officials have chosen to standardize on Talk-a-Phone units.
FSU had a variety of blue light emergency phones installed on campuses from other manufacturers, and having multiple vendors on-site enabled officials to thoroughly test the blue light emergency phones before standardizing.
The towers on the Blue Light Trail are painted in FSU school colors garnet with gold lettering on all four sides to reinforce the identity of the campus. They are ultra-bright all-LED Blue Lights, featuring 209 lumens peak rating and prismatic pattern to enhance visibility at greater distances. All-LED construction of the unit significantly increases its life span.
Thunderstorms and lightning are also a major concern for school safety officals. Located in Tallahassee, Fla., FSU’s 15 campuses are in the heart of a thunderstorm-riddled region, leading the nation in an average lightning density per square foot. Needless to say, having a reliable emergency communications link is significant from both a legal and a public relations perspective.
In the interest of safety for all facility, staff, students and visitors, a comprehensive Emergency Phone Program was developed at FSU. As part of this program, a full-time employee was hired whose responsibility was to test and repair the blue light emergency phones in case of lightning outages. “While all phones are fitted with the same external surge protection, the Talk-A-Phone units are repairable when a surge is sufficient to get through the protection device,” says Colleen Thomas of FSU’s Office of Telecommunications.

Salisbury University Transitions to IP-Based Surveillance
Salisbury University in Maryland has installed approximately 200 Axis Communications network cameras in a new surveillance system on its 182-acre campus in Maryland, home to more than 8,000 students. OnSSI’s video management software delivers instant access to real-time or archived video from any of the cameras.
“We were looking for a complete system comprised of technologies that work well together and that will take us beyond what’s available today,” says Tony Stancil, Associate Director for Information Technology at Salisbury University.
The university’s expanding system will have a total of 300 network cameras by the summer of 2011. “We are in the infancy of this system,” adds Lt. Brian Waller of the Salisbury University Police Department. “Our abilities with the system will increase exponentially over time.”
Previously, the campus had several separate, non-networked video systems. When surveillance video helped to solve a $30,000 burglary, it provided the impetus to upgrade to a campus-wide, networked system. Originally, 78 cameras were installed in a pedestrian tunnel and parking garage, and more cameras have been added around the campus, all connected to the university’s IP network. Currently, there are close to 200 network cameras in all, a number that is still increasing.
The IP-based system is running on four servers with an external RAID storage array providing 3 terabytes of storage for each server, which translates into about 20 days of storage. The system is monitored in the campus police dispatch center, with security officers also monitoring cameras in the parking garage.
The university currently uses NetDVMS IP-based video surveillance management software from OnSSI.
The university has standardized on three Axis network camera models: AXIS P3344 Fixed Dome Network Camera, an indoor/outdoor, HDTV fixed mini-dome with remote focus and zoom; AXIS P3343 Fixed Dome Network Camera with remote focus and zoom; and the outdoor-ready AXIS Q6032-E Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) Dome Network Camera.
“There are multiple ways to do playback and to search for archived images,” Lt. Waller says. “There are a lot of tools in the toolbox. It has layers of bells and whistles, but it is also an intuitive system.”

Reykjavik University Moves to Multi-Technology Card
Reykjavik University (RU) in Iceland, had been using proximity technology to secure its buildings for many years. When it came time to build a larger, more modern facility, RU officials wanted as “key-free” an environment as possible — one that would increase student, faculty and staff convenience and security, reduce costs, improve efficiency, and provide the flexibility to support future needs.
To realize this vision, the university needed a true, multi-application smart card that could be used for cashless vending, canteen transactions, on-demand printing, photo ID production, library access, locker use and more, and that could also give the wider community controlled access to public services such as its buses, museum and swimming pools. The University began moving from proximity solutions to HID iCLASS multi-technology cards, easing the transition by using cards and readers that support both technologies.
Cards are quickly and easily printed on-site for staff and every incoming student, and are now providing approximately 4,000 students with access to all university classrooms, labs, study areas and other buildings as well as the its intranet.

Fairfax County Schools Upgrades Consoles, Video Wall
The Security Operations Center Office for the Safety and Security department at Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools was recently tasked to move into a new facility and rebuild its console to make use of the latest technology standards.
“Fairfax County is the country’s 13th-largest school district and we have two of our own safety and security departments — one doing safety risk management, one doing security,” explains Jack Guglielmo, Security Technology Specialist. “In our section, Security Services, one of many functions is to centrally monitor intrusion and fire alarms for about 230 different facilities. And we do that from a central console in our security operations center.”
A key component of the new system is Middle Atlantic Products’ VisionFrame video wall that is used to mount a large, 42 x 47-inch display monitor.
“We’ve created a window to the outside world from our command-and-control console to the rest of the school district,” Guglielmo says. “We’re looking at several things from this system, including a school bus GPS system that lets us know where everyone of our 1,000 buses is. We can also monitor videos on expulsion hearings or judicial processes in our school system that are supplemented with ‘panic buttons’ in the room so we can see what’s going on at any point.”

Georgia College Secures Doors at New Housing Complex
Georgia Gwinnett College has chosen a networked locking system from Salto for its new student housing complex. Operational Security Systems Inc. provided and installed the lock system for five interconnected buildings with 214 residence suites.
At each of 11 perimeter sliding glass doors entering the complex, Salto Hot Spot readers are installed providing the read/write interface point for the system database. At each suite entrance, a Wire-Free reader/lock assembly is installed to provide access control and audit trail functions at each assigned suite.
The system consists of a data-on-card access control program which enables the college to benefit from a combination of online and offline locks networked to a principal computer. The locks do not need wiring or a Wi-Fi infrastructure, since the communication link is an intelligent key that acts as a two-way data transporter.

Merced College Eases into IP Surveillance
Merced College in California has deployed the Avigilon HD Surveillance System as part of its proactive crime prevention strategy to ensure the general welfare of staff and students on campus. By deploying the system, the college is able to leverage existing analog-based cameras to ease the transition from analog to HD performance as budget allows.
“The system enables us to zoom in to examine specific details of an event while it is still recording,” says Deputy Sheriff Jim Wilde of the Merced College Police Department.
Security officers at Merced College seamlessly manage the system using the supplier’s Control Center Network Video Management Software (NVMS) with HD Stream Management. The college installed 16MP, 11MP, and 5MP HD cameras to monitor activity across both the Merced and Los Baños campuses, including several parking lots, along with the supplier’s analog video encoders to improve the performance of its existing analog cameras, which monitor the interior of several college buildings.
Since deploying the system, Merced College has successfully investigated and resolved numerous cases of crime, vandalism and assault on campus. In one case, they caught a perpetrator in the act of stealing trim off several parked vehicles, leading to a successful conviction.

New York School District Integrates Video, Access Control
South Country Central School District, located 50 miles east of New York City, with six K-12 schools, has integrated more than 1,200 door access readers from Isonas with an enterprise VMS from IPVideo Corp., capturing 850 high-resolution Panasonic IP cameras.
IPVideo Corp. developed its Access Commander software to fully integrate video surveillance management with door access control, which is then securely controllable from an onsite or offsite PC. The integration — performed by integrator A+ Technology & Security Solutions — gives school administrators the ability to monitor and respond to security events in virtually real-time, enhancing school safety. Additionally, the system enables police to remotely connect to the system via a Web browser during an emergency, while simultaneously notifying appropriate personnel within the district.
On campuses like South Country Central’s, where door access control is fully integrated with video surveillance management on an IP-based network, administrators can lockdown an entire campus, or selectively lock down parts of it, remotely and automatically within seconds of either activating an emergency switch or securely entering the proper commands into a PC from any location within the district. Additionally, door status can be monitored and most issues corrected remotely.

Key Access Controlled at Ohio University
Ohio University in Athens has deployed a key management solution with the Keywatcher key control cabinets from Morse Watchmans.
Before installing the key control system, university maintenance and custodial employees carried several different master keys in order to complete their assigned tasks. It was often a challenge for management to ensure that the keys were not transferred to others, misplaced or simply not returned if an employee left their position at the University.
With the installation of the supplier’s KeyBank storage system and later the KeyWatcher system, management gained control of who could remove keys, what keys they could remove and for how long. Now, all master keys used by Facilities (Academic & Research Facilities and Residence Halls) are maintained in the system and removed as needed by authorized personnel.
“With keys secured in the tamper-proof cabinet when not in use, we have lessened our exposure to the potential security risk of multiple high-level or master keys for our facilities being carried on personal key rings,” says Matt Smith, Access Control Manager for the University.

Athletic Complexes Get Megapixel Treatment at George Mason University
SeeView Security Inc. has installed a complete high definition IP camera surveillance system for George Mason University in Washington, D.C. The system uses Arecont Vision high definition megapixel cameras and hybrid exacqVision NVR servers from Exacq Technologies.
The servers incorporate traditional analog surveillance cameras with today’s latest network megapixel cameras, providing resolutions of two, five and even eight megapixels.
The new systems provide coverage for the Recreation and Athletic Complex and the Aquatic and Fitness Centers at George Mason University (GMU). The 120,000 square-foot Recreation and Athletic Complex boasts three gymnasiums, two racquetball courts, two squash courts, and a two story fitness gallery.
Renovated in 2007, the Aquatic and Fitness Center now offers a recreational pool, an Olympic-size competition pool and diving well, a 16-person hot tub, a dry sauna, and a two-story fitness gallery with 3,000 square feet of cardio and 5,000 square feet of weight training equipment.

Regent University Graduates to New Surveillance Platform
Regent University, a private, faith-based institution that shares a campus with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in Virginia Beach, Va., is keeping watch over more than 5,500 graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff with V.Networks IP-based cameras and network video recorders (NVRs) from JVC Professional Products Company.
Now in his 24th year with the CBN/Regent University Campus Police Dept., Lt. Eddie Lawhorn recalls the earlier CCTV system on campus, which only offered coverage inside a few buildings. It included a handful of mostly black-and-white analog cameras that were connected to time-lapse VCRs. A few years ago, as the aging VCRs came to the end of their life, university officials decided it was time for an upgrade.
To date, Regent has purchased 48 JVC cameras, including the VN-C625U PTZ dome with 360-degree endless rotation, 12x optical zoom lens, and Super LoLux technology for nighttime surveillance. Of the 45 cameras that have been installed, most are used to monitor building interiors, but eight monitor exterior sites, including parking lots, loading docks, dormitories and the plaza adjacent to the library. Lawhorn said the remaining three cameras will be installed and tasked with exterior surveillance later this year.
Regent also has three JVC VR-N1600Us NVRs, which are in a master/slave configuration that allows dispatchers to log into one unit but access all 45 cameras on the system. The police department’s dispatch center is monitored live at all times, and footage from the cameras is recorded as well.

Clarion University Monitors its Campus with Panasonic System
Clarion University has chosen Panasonic i-PRO systems to provide IP-based video surveillance throughout its campus in the Appalachian Mountain region of northwestern Pennsylvania.
The system at Clarion University is built around Panasonic’s i-PRO WJ-ND400 network video recorder (NVR), with the i-PRO WV-NW502S camera, a 3.0 megapixel vandal-resistant IP camera offering multiple stream formats: H.264, MPEG-4 and JPEG compression. The camera incorporates Adaptive Black Stretch technology to make dark areas more visible, and face detection technology The WV-NW502S provides images at 30 frames per second in H.264 format (in 1.3 megapixel mode).
The cameras, installed by the University’s systems integrator, The Protection Bureau, provide surveillance of the exterior of two campuses and the interiors of new buildings as they are built or retrofitted. The Protection Bureau has been installing cameras at Clarion University for about a year and will continue with the installations for the next three to five years.
The NVR can accommodate 64 cameras. It offers multi-format recording in MPEG-4 and JPEG, 2x and 4x digital zoom on live or recorded video, and Panasonic camera control for pan/tilt, zoom, focus, brightness, preset position and auto mode. “A new camera takes the same IP address, so it’s plug-and-play,” says Bob Burket, Senior Security Consultant for The Protection Bureau.

New Jersey School District Chooses Unified Platform
New Jersey’s Paramus Public Schools has installed Genetec’s unified security platform, the Security Center, at all eight of its school campuses. The system provides one interface for both video surveillance and access control, and the IP-based system has allowed security data to be shared between campuses over the network, saving money on cabling costs.
Paramus preserved a few previously existing analog cameras using IP encoders, and purchased more than 100 Panasonic IP cameras to complete the system. A Dell server was provided to each school, enabling video and security data to be stored locally to maximize network efficiency. The supplier’s Omnicast video surveillance and Synergis access control data can be viewed by authorized personnel located at each of the eight campuses.
Paramus uses the video surveillance system as an investigative tool, as well as to enhance emergency procedures and crowd control.

Integration Accomplished at Roger Williams U
Roger Williams University is automating key physical security policies with the SAFE for Higher Education software suite from Quantum Secure.
Located on 140 acres in Rhode Island, the university enrolls approximately 4,600 students in 36 liberal arts majors and five professional schools.
University officials wanted to integrate multiple systems and processes, including ERP, Public Safety, Facilities, Housing, Dining Services and ID Offices, which would guarantee them control over physical identities within multiple disparate systems without compromising risk to the university.
With the software, Roger Williams University was able to integrate their ERP systems with their physical access control systems and automate key physical security processes, enabling the effective management of students and faculty access to university buildings, facilities and housing.