Columbus State to Complete $300K Security Upgrade

Columbus State University’s security network includes more than 300 surveillance cameras, alarm systems and card access control systems that limit and track who enters certain buildings.

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University police will complete a three-year, $300,000 upgrade to university security that will bring camera and card access control systems to state-of-the-art levels.

The project started in 2011 when the university contracted an outside consultant to assess and enhance safety and security operations at both CSU campuses. The consultant’s recommendations have guided the upgrades of systems that CSU Police oversee and monitor. CSU’s security network includes more than 300 security-surveillance cameras, alarm systems and card access control systems that limit and track who enters certain buildings.

“This three-year project will greatly enhance CSU’s security network,” CSU Police Chief Rus Drew said. “These upgrades will provide the department with additional tools and resources to enhance the overall safety and security of both main campus and the RiverPark campus.”

One main upgrade has been to the security camera system CSU Police use to monitor parking areas, buildings and other campus facilities. These cameras provide officers with real time video of activities around both campuses. Some of their new five megapixel cameras are capable of digitally zooming in to obtain license plate numbers of vehicles. In addition to stationary cameras, the new system allows for use of a portable, Wi-Fi operated, high-definition camera that can be deployed where additional monitoring may be needed temporarily. Money for the three-year project came from the Board of Regents specifically for security enhancements.

Buildings with pre-existing card reader systems have been updated and additional systems have been added to buildings that previously had no access control. All of the access systems have been integrated and can be electronically programed to allow remote access to door locks. The affected buildings and areas require an access card, issued by CSU Police, to gain access to controlled areas. In a matter of seconds, CSU Police can now centrally override access control systems to lock a building in the event of an emergency.

CSU Police monitor many of these systems directly from the central communications office at CSU Police headquarters on campus. Communications personnel staff the office 24/7 and facilitate communications and calls for service to officers. CSU Police also monitor and maintain 54 emergency phones, located throughout both campuses. The emergency phones allow a caller direct contact with the CSU Police dispatcher.

“This is all part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” Drew said. “We have developed a very technologically sophisticated system that will greatly aid our efforts.”

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