U. of Miami Expands Campus Video Surveillance

San Juan Capistrano, Calif.IQinVision announced Jan. 18 that the University of Miami in Florida continues to expand its IP video surveillance system by increasing the deployment of IQeye HD megapixel cameras. The University of Miami is a private research university with more than 15,000 students.

The University has installed approximately 450 cameras to date, 90% of which are IQeye cameras, and has plans to exceed 500 total cameras deployed when the current phase of system expansion is completed. The IQeye HD megapixel cameras are installed throughout the main campus in Coral Gables in order to create a safer environment for students, staff, and visitors. Most of the newer IQeye cameras feature H.264 Main Profile compression, which has significantly reduced bandwidth and storage demands for the University.

The University of Miami has utilized video surveillance for a number of years, but as Jose Ruano, Executive Director of IT Security, explained, “We had so many legacy analog systems, we were looking to bring it all together into a unified, centralized system.”

Campus police are responsible for monitoring video and investigating any incidents. To aid their work, the police conduct regular analyses of incident patterns to identify high crime areas. Cameras are then installed to address pressing needs at the locations identified in the study.

IQeye cameras are installed wherever image quality is critical for identification purposes. In addition to selecting IQeye cameras, the University of Miami also chose OnSSI video management software for their upgraded security system.

“We are continuing on the same path we’ve been on for the last year or so-working with the Campus Police to identify high-crime areas and then covering those areas with megapixel cameras. Right now, we’re focusing on bike theft and deploying cameras in about eight different areas to more effectively combat those incidents,” explained Steve Weatherly, Senior Security Engineer.

Ruano and Weatherly are pleased that over the last year the University’s growing IP surveillance system is receiving favorable reviews from senior staff. And the results are there for all to see:  “Our ability to solve crimes on campus has been greatly improved with video surveillance and the high-quality images we have at our fingertips,” asserted Ruano.

In addition to reducing incidents of crime, Ruano and Weatherly are expanding partnerships and continuing to look for innovative ways to increase system effectiveness and the effectiveness of their partners, the campus police. The university is now working directly with the Coral Gables Police Department to provide video feeds of activity on-campus so the local police can back up campus police when the need arises. Ruano and Weatherly are also testing new display technologies on iPads and other mobile devices to put video directly into the hands of law enforcement while they patrol the campus. 

Other future innovations include deploying license plate recognition software and moving to “virtual desktops” in the field. This organic, dynamic installation continues to grow and utilize new methods to improve security for the University of Miami community.

At the end of the day, it is all about creating the right atmosphere so that students can go about the important business of learning. “We see our video surveillance as a valuable, high-profile deterrent tool,” commented Ruano. “The fact that we have a video surveillance system of this size and high quality is very important for our student’s parents. They need to be assured that the University has made a major investment in the security infrastructure to provide a safer environment for their children.”

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