Schools Learn the Benefits of Security Cameras

Here’s how three districts are making the most of today’s camera, DVR and NVR technology.

The results of the installation are impressive. Before, there were false fire alarms weekly, which disrupted staff and students, and created confusion. Now the false alarms appear to be a problem of the past.

At the auction house, the cameras keep track of large cash transactions and every detail of the operation. Thanks to the high quality video provided by the cameras, remote customers can bid online and still have a good idea of what they are purchasing.

Mass. District Wanted Central Monitoring
On the East Coast, a large school district was experiencing challenges in its parking lots and other exterior areas. Administrators wanted to monitor student drop-off areas to determine if all the cars in the area belonged there. They determined they needed high resolution cameras that could zoom in on license plate numbers and other identifying details in case of an incident. Versatile cameras also were needed to provide coverage and multiple angles of playgrounds, ball fields and corridors.

Additionally, officials wanted a centrally monitored video surveillance system that could cover the schools’ interiors and the administration building. This would enable building resource officers, principals and other key individuals to monitor areas where student behavior issues were common. It would also help them prepare for and respond to emergencies.

IP Cameras to the Rescue
To address these challenges, the district hired systems integrator Setronics to install a variety of IP bullet, dome, PTZ and turret cameras to capture events in and around the c
ampuses. The integrator installed Hikvision’s 3MP wide dynamic range indoor dome cameras to cover areas such as the gyms and food pantries. The 3MP EXIR turret cameras were more appropriate for stairwells and other interior spaces. Several drop-off areas and parking lots are covered by bullet cameras with high enough resolution to hone in on vehicle license plates, as well as identifiable features of people.

All of these cameras are connected through DVRs and software that allow the district to continue using its analog cameras as new IP cameras are added to the setup. Additionally, the client software offers the potential for first responders to view the cameras remotely during an emergency.

Now, the cameras can read the license plates on cars that drop off students. Also, cameras at building entrances can be viewed at the front office, enabling administrators to clearly identify visitors before buzzing them in. Additionally, the district created a virtualized video management software server that provides URLs for employees to look at video from their specific campuses. Now, facilities with analog cameras are able to view analog feeds along with those from new IP cameras in one seamless view.

So far, the upgraded system has performed even better than the Massachusetts district had anticipated. The cameras also act as a deterrent. For example, certain stairwells in the middle school and high school buildings, which were notorious for mischief, are no longer problematic.

Security Cameras Are Becoming the Norm
These are just a few of the many examples of how video surveillance technology has been deployed to improve school safety and security. In fact, surveillance is becoming more the norm rather than the exception on K-12 campuses. Many school officials are interested in a robust migration path that allows them to install new features or cameras over time instead of doing complete overhauls immediately. Other campuses must start from scratch. Either way, K-12 campuses that adopt security camera systems can be confident they are doing all they can to protect their people and assets.

Anna Boudinot is the content manager for Hikvision.

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