A Gem Of A System

State-of-the-art system brings campus into focus

Middleton High School, a new 253,905-squarefoot facility, opened in Middleton, Idaho, in August 2011, featuring the newest technology throughout its entire campus, from lighting and computer-controlled heating and air conditioning systems to wireless communications technology.

The newly built school includes a three-story building and a separate vocational facility with workshops and additional enhanced classrooms— all of which incorporate innovative features, such as the prominent use of skylights to flood the common areas and other parts of the building with natural light and to lower energy usage.

Security was a key part of planning the facility. Video surveillance at the school involves a system of 112 cameras from Samsung Techwin America that provide views of every part of the campus. The high school uses the video for crime prevention, general security and investigation of incidents. Video views of various parts of the school also are used in emergency situations and for planning by first responders.

“The staff and student body were all made aware of the importance of the new camera system during the build-up to the opening of the new school,” said Middleton Superintendent Richard H. Bauscher. “The value of the camera system as a tool for crime prevention is undeniable. We simply would not be able to monitor the campus and solve many crimes or policy violations without it.”

The video system uses a much larger number of cameras than the system at the old high school, which has been converted into a middle school.

The cameras are used throughout the new school to address a variety of security needs. In the student parking area, for example, three megapixel cameras combine large-area coverage with system versatility.

Real-Time Video Views

When designing the video system for Middleton, the district wanted to make it possible for emergency responders to review video of various parts of the school over the Internet. Previously, they were able to review photographs of various rooms and the school layout as an aid to emergency response. The new fixed, PTZ and megapixel network cameras offer the improvement of providing real time, direct access to video views of the building and surrounding grounds, which will enable better response times and planning for emergency operations.

The vast expansion of the new system, compared to the old system, provides school officials with a greater variety of camera views. Overall coverage is enhanced and clearer. The old system used only 11 PTZ cameras outside and 20 fixed mini-domes inside. For the high school, the district added more cameras to cover the large area, including several outbuildings.

Middleton administrators chose Samsung cameras and equipment for the new high school because they provide efficiency and overall value. The school district also relied on the recommendation of CS Consulting Corp., the district’s consulting company. The system at the high school was co-designed by Clarence Weiting of CS Consulting Corp.; Deputy Kelley Anderson, the school resource officer; and Middleton High School Assistant Principal Spencer Rickart.

A Solid Investment in Security

The 112 cameras break down to 97 fixed cameras, 12 PTZ cameras and three megapixel cameras.

The network fixed-dome cameras with true day/night functionality provide excellent images in low-light conditions and include highlight compensation to offset bright light sources. The unit’s weatherproof (IP66-rated), die-cast, vandal-resistant body and tough polycarbonate bubble stand up to weather extremes.

The Samsung PTZ network cameras are equipped with a 30X optical zoom and 8X digital zoom, as well as a high-performance megapixel network camera, including a 1.3-megapixel progressive CCD sensor that delivers a maximum of 1280x960 highresolution images.

The Samsung Net-i Viewer is used for monitoring and accessing camera views during playback. A single PC can monitor up to 32 channels simultaneously in real-time, and the software supports various search and playback options. Two 64-channel network video recorders are used for recording and taking still shots. The high-quality, high-performance network video recorders provide seamless interoperability with the cameras and viewer software. Each NVR has 2 terabytes of storage. The system is viewed locally and through the Internet using iPOLiS software.

On the Job

Just a couple of months after Middleton High opened, the cameras had already been used as an investigative tool to resolve several incidents. To date, there have been three traffic accidents in the parking lot and numerous incidents involving students in the hallways. Additionally, the school has had six different cases of theft or vandalism, and the cameras were used each time in the investigation.

This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Security Today.

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