Washington Community High School saves hours of searching through video and lowers false alarms with its new video surveillance system.
With a patchwork surveillance system consisting of obsolete cameras and analog recorders from multiple manufacturers, Washington Community High School (WCHS) administrators in Washington, Illinois, found that the campus security camera network was unable to address security and the future and future of the school. security needs
What further complicates the problem was the level of difficulty in locating the recorded video when an incident occurred, which delayed investigations.
In addition, once located, there was also no guarantee that the low-quality analog video would provide information on who had been involved in the event or any other detail to help solve the problem.
"Recovering the video was difficult because I had to have a lot of downtime because in many cases I would have to review the video in real time," says WCHS School Resource Officer Troi Westbrook. "That was the biggest headache with the previous system, having to spend an hour to find a five-minute video, often for very small things."
Faced with a variety of security problems, poor image quality combined with lack of coverage in some key areas left the school open to possible incident responsibilities.
Update of the audit request system
Given the disadvantages of its old system and the growing importance of school safety, WCHS conducted a security audit, which led to the decision to upgrade to an IP-based video surveillance system that would provide them with the quality, coverage and ease of use necessary to protect the school.
"In today's world, we have to put security as one of our top priorities, so we did an audit to see what we had with our current system and determine where we could improve that," says Joseph Sander, Assistant Superintendent of the school. District 308
Even before the audit, it was clear that the low quality of the video was a major problem, along with the lack of ease of use and the fact that the system was made up of equipment from several manufacturers, all of which created difficult problems. for the school to solve in a timely manner.
"As the owner of the system, we must be able to make decisions and make changes without waiting for a contractor to come to fix or reschedule things," says Sander. "In security situations, you don't have that luxury of time. We need to be always ready and we weren't with the previous system."
Decision-making process assisted by product demonstration
WCHS hired The Kern Group of Peoria, which conducted its own threat analysis to identify security needs, including entry points, in light of the history of the school and the types of incidents it had faced in the past.
Using that information, Kern identified Axis Communications' end-to-end solutions as the best way forward for the school.
Based on the results of its threat assessment, Kern Group used AXIS Site Designer to design which cameras would be installed in each specific location to provide maximum coverage.
“The AXIS site designer worked perfectly,” says Greg Kern, a certified Axis professional and administrative partner of The Kern Group. "We present the school with CAD drawings in an easy to understand way with different icons and colors representing different cameras, showing where they will be installed."
The first in a multi-step process was to update the video surveillance solution. Recognizing the inconvenience of the school's cobbled system, Kern recommended building the new system using only Axis products, from cameras, recorders and AXIS Camera Station. video management software For homes and more.
As school budgets are often tight, Kern wanted to reassure those responsible for making decisions about their investment in the new system. Working with Axis, the firm delivered a proof of concept by demonstrating a variety of cameras to showcase WCHS leadership and the real-time school board video of the exact type of cameras that would be installed on the site.
"It was incredibly useful for Axis to come and visit the school to give us a real presentation of what the live video would look like," says Sander. "That was a very useful way for us to see what we were really buying before it was installed."
In total, Kern implemented 72 Axis network cameras in the building and around the school campus, including AXIS Q3708-PVE network cameras to replace analog perimeter cameras, and AXIS Q3709-PVE cameras to monitor parking lots. Interior coverage included hallways, common areas, perimeter doors and the school gymnasium.
For recording, Kern selected two AXIS S1048 Mk II recorders. Instead of incurring the expense of installing a new pole lighting, Kern chose to use the AXIS T90D30 LED infrared illuminators to help with night vision.
Recognizing that no camera can adapt to all applications, Kern selected camera models for specific locations where they would be installed based on their individual feature sets. The firm also chose Axis accessories, which include mounting brackets, surge protectors and wiring to further customize each installed camera and ensure optimal performance.
"It's much easier to deal with a single manufacturer for as many products as possible," says Scott Kern, who is the managing director of Kern Group. "It makes everything flow better if we have a manufacturer with whom we are going to deal with everything."
New solution increases efficiency and safety
The completed system allows Westbrook to receive alerts and images on his phone if someone enters a restricted area at a certain time. Previously, there was no way to verify these events generated by the intruder detection system, which caused a large number of false alarms that affected the previous school system.
"The amount of false alarms in our school district became numb, and numbing is a term that you don't want to use in safety," says Sander. "We haven't had any problems in that area since we implemented the Axis system."
Another improvement has been the ability of Westbrook to access the video more quickly using the AXIS Camera Station video management software and an AXIS S9002 desktop terminal, which has allowed it to spend more time monitoring the school for possible problems.
"It performed much better than the previous system and saved me a lot of time, probably several hours," says Westbrook. “In addition, the quality is not even comparable with the previous system. I can see farther distances in much more detail, so there is no doubt about what I am seeing in the video. "
Along with another planned expansion, WCHS will also update its access control systems, which currently consist of technologies that are no longer compatible with the manufacturer. Based on the experience with Axis, the school plans to implement the company's physical access control solutions to ensure uniform integration between the two systems.
Bruce Canal is the business development manager for education at Axis Communications.