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Miss. Junior College Invests in Electronic Locks

The security upgrade mitigated theft on campus and has helped with security investigations.

Jones County Junior College (JCJC), an accredited two-year college located in Ellisville, Miss., houses about 850 students per year in seven different residence halls.

With new students enrolling each semester at JCJC, key management can become a security issue and costly expense.

Students are issued keys at the beginning of the semester, but naturally there are several misplaced or stolen keys throughout the course of the year. A misplaced or stolen key on a 5,000-plus student campus is a sure-fire way to compromise security because it’s easy to duplicate keys, which increases the likelihood of thefts and break-ins.

In addition, it cost JCJC $150 in material and labor to replace a lost key. This became a recurring issue for the 15-20 students every year that are housed in Smith Hall on JCJC’s campus.

Rather than spending thousands of dollars regularly replacing the entire lock on 108 doors, JCJC Director of Men’s Housing Joseph Van Tuggle was considering dedicating those funds toward electronic access control.

“Just because you lose a key, doesn’t really mean it’s lost. You can lose it, someone can put two-and-two together, and now security is compromised,” Tuggle said. “Changing out an entire lock can be very, very costly. Looking to avoid that, while still heightening our security, we came across the Schlage NDE Series electronic lock in a Jones County Junior College in (Miss.) case study. Seeing what electronic access control, key fobs and credentials can do appealed to me because if a student loses his or her credential, all our team has to do is go in, shut off that card’s access and issue him or her another one.”

In addition to making its campus key system management process more efficient, JCJC aimed to reduce its theft numbers and increase overall security in Smith Hall.

RELATED: 4 Reasons Why You Should Install Electronic Access Control in Dorms

JCJC Moves to Electronic Access Control

JCJC selected a system that included the Schlage AD-400 wireless electronic locks and NDE Series electronic locks with ENGAGE technology.

NDE Series locks were installed on 82 individual bedroom doors, and 26 AD-400 locks were added onto the outside suite doors throughout Smith Hall.

In previous years, Tuggle faced issues related to theft and break-ins on a regular basis. Before implementing the new security measures, he would typically tell students to keep their doors closed and locked, but learned thefts were continuing to occur.

“Before the NDE Series, we didn’t really know if students were keeping their doors shut or not because we didn’t have any other way to go back and see – it was reliant on their word,” Tuggle said. “After installing the NDE Series to individual bedroom doors, we were able to utilize the ENGAGE cloud-based mobile application to view who last had access to specific doors. That enabled me to go back and question students about the incident.”

lock

The NDE Series is designed to be easy to install, connect, manage, and use, and was developed for facilities – like campus residence and tenant unit entry doors – that want to upgrade to electronic credentials for improved security and efficiency. Built-in Bluetooth enables NDE Series locks to connect directly to smart phones and tablets so there’s no need for a costly proprietary handheld device for set-up and configuration.

With built-in Wi-Fi, NDE Series locks can also connect directly to an existing Wi-Fi network enabling automatic updates to configuration, access privileges, and event history.

“The convenience factor has been night and day,” Tuggle said. “During orientation, I sit right at my desk, kids come in, and I easily enroll them into our system or switch their access to a different room. When they come back a week later and move in, they’re already ready to go.”

To add layers of security throughout Smith Hall, Tuggle secured suite doors with AD-400 locks. These locks provide online, real-time access control and are uniquely designed with changeable reader modules – ideal for future upgrades since they don’t require changing the entire lock.

All required hardware components are combined into a single integrated design that incorporates the electrified lock, credential reader, request to-exit switch, door position switch, tamper guard and more.

With the addition of this solution, Tuggle and his staff are now able to see in real time if a door is propped open, receive alerts if necessary, and capture history of events if needed for future reference.

In the two years prior to installing the NDE and AD series locks to suite and individual bedroom doors, JCJC had five thefts reported in Smith Hall; one in 2013-2014 and four in 2014-15.

JCJC estimates an average of eight labor hours to investigate a report theft, equating to an estimated cost of anywhere from $500-$1,000 per incident to the college.

Since then, no thefts have been reported, resulting in higher security for students and faculty as well as thousands of dollars in savings.

JCJC now plans to incorporate Schlage mortise locks with ENGAGE on 120 doors in Clark and Covington Halls following its most recent successes with Allegion and the brand.

Read Next: Surveillance Cameras Installed at Univ. of Maryland for Dorm Security

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