Stoughton School Vandals BEWARE!

A Wisconsin school district’s new security camera system reduces incidents of intentional property damage and monitors unauthorized visitors.

Video Incorporates Motion Detection
One of the features of the Net DVMS software that appealed to Barkenhagen was the system’s investigation tools, including the ability to pan, tilt and zoom (p/t/z) into recorded images. “We don’t monitor the cameras [constantly], so it was very important to have a system that would allow us to forensically examine the video for events and exceptions,” he says. Stoughton Area School District principals, however, generally do monitor the system at times when incidents are most likely to occur, such as during the lunch hour.

“The concept behind our surveillance revolves around motion detection. If motion is detected, the NVR records the motion at a higher frame rate,” he continues. “All of this is set up in the software, and we don’t have to do anything once it’s programmed. It’s the same for the p/t/z units. They are programmed for tour sequences at night around the high school.”

After the purchase and installation, other features of the Net DVMS Ocularis software that confirmed Barkenhagen’s decision was the ease of set-up, training and operation. According to Burt Boldebuck of Boldtronics, mastery of the software does not require a lot of training. “We held off on formal training for the school district until the end of summer because of changes in staffing that weren’t formalized until the end of August.”

Boldebuck explains that Ocularis features open architecture technology, which permits best of breed solutions. It also supports advanced video content analysis, including automated detection of events, objects and behaviors.

Signs Let Students Know About Cameras
Concurrent with the system going live, the district advertised the video surveillance usage with signage in the schools and on school property perimeters. Officials also publicized the information in the high school and local community newspapers. According to Barkenhagen, the publicity appears to have worked because they have had no incidents of vandalism since the system was installed and the few occurrences of fights, drinking on school property, timecard fraud and internal theft have been quickly and resolutely resolved.

He also notes that the community, as well as the faculty, has been very accepting of the technology. There was little objection among stakeholders to the installation of the video system. He comments, “I think everyone is happy, and because of this we will likely be moving forward to install cameras inside the high school. You know, every time we catch someone through the use of the system, it makes the system that much more worthwhile.”

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