IP Video Systems Solves Challenge for School in Germany

Aug. 22, 2006
Axis cameras, Milestone video management add security to handle growing school population near U.S. military post

Military movements double student population and security needs for Kansas school district, where a Milestone-Axis networked video surveillance solution protects people and property in 22 buildings.

August 2006 - The nearby Fort Riley military post creates a transient – and growing – student population for United School District 475 in Kansas. A security system was required that could scale with the demands to build new facilities, be cost efficient, effective, and provide both central and local management of multiple locations. Open platform IP video surveillance software from Milestone Systems and network cameras from Axis Communications are the solution.

As part of the Bush administration’s reorganization of international military posts after the Iraq invasion, one of the main U.S. brigade installations in Germany called ‘The Big Red One’ was moved back home to the heart of America: Fort Riley by Junction City, Kansas. The military post itself would double in size from 11,000 to 20,000 troops over three years, including families. The local economy experiences a boost from new jobs and additional income, but the increase also creates immediate demands on the region in terms of housing, shopping, medical facilities, and schools.

USD 475 is the Unified School District that has to handle the bulk of this influx of new students, and bonds were issued in 2005 to prepare the necessary facilities through renovating existing buildings and constructing new ones. ‘Secure Our Schools’ grants as part of Homeland Security funding were secured with help from the local police, for including the newest technology to ensure the best protection of the properties and personnel.

ISG Technology installed Cisco switches, Milestone XProtect Enterprise IP video surveillance software, Axis 213 PTZ and 211 auto-iris fixed network cameras, plus Axis 241Q video servers to re-use existing Pelco and Panasonic analog cameras in multiple school buildings and the central administration site.

The administration offices for the school district were given central monitoring control, while each school’s principal and security teams have local management of the surveillance. School Resource Officers assigned to each secondary school also have access to the system for faster response to incidences and exporting evidence. Adding new cameras and locations is fast and easy with the network approach, with previous investments retained and upgraded to the new technology.

“Our monitoring needs are mainly after hours, especially covering the rooms with large amounts of equipment, all entrances and exits, as well as for students during school hours. The buildings are open late at night with faculty working and custodians on duty. We are protecting against the possibility of vandalism, theft, and other such behaviors very typical for high schools. I can view any of the cameras in any building at any server throughout our Wide Area Network. We’re looking to grow a considerable amount and our security will change as we do that. Having generalized access to the system provides us with an extra benefit to be able to monitor all of our assets all of the time,” says Larry Schmidt, Director of Business Operations at USD 475.

USD 475 has been wired with fiber optic network cables over 22 buildings and 18 sites. The entire school district covers 262 square miles, has 230 acres of grounds and 1.2 million square feet of facilities. The High School alone is 280,000 square feet with the Middle Schools at 130,000 and 90,000 square feet. Another in the plans will be 120,000 square feet.