The Highest Quality

New Jersey school seeks best-quality technology in cameras and VMS

The educational community of Garfield Public Schools (GPS) in New Jersey believes that the ultimate goal of each school is to provide intellectual experiences within the context of a multicultural setting. This type of environment will enable each student to achieve their maximum potential.

These schools know and understand the importance of security, where each school will assist every student in the development of social skills and moral attitudes needed to successfully meet the challenges of a complex, dynamic and ever-changing world.

The district’s mission states that every school will continue to cultivate an appreciation of cultural and aesthetic values so that each student can make choices indicative of a knowledgeable and contributing member of a democratic society. To fulfill this role, the district is committed to creating a flexible educational environment by addressing the individualities and potentialities of each student.

A Focus on Security

Garfield staff has taken security at its facilities to a higher-quality level. Dave Koptyra, director of security at GPS, monitors and plans the security for 5,300 students who fill 14 schools as well as two administrative centers.

“We have a mixed security solution in place right now,” Koptyra said. “We are moving everything to IP network cameras and we are building a backbone to hold all the IP cameras we’re installing. We will have more than 400 cameras when we’re done.”

Dr. Edward F. Izbicki Business Administrator and the district’s board had to decide what cameras and VMS they wanted to install. They ultimately chose Sony cameras and the Salient System VMS.

“Both companies came to us with a demonstration,” Koptyra said. “The Sony cameras are very good for our needs, and the Salient System VMS offered us economical features and support with the system.”

Relying on Security Expertise

James Kane, president of Security Solutions Consulting, got involved by fulfilling all the needs of the school district’s security contract by having a complete suite of security services on its NCPA 12-05 national contract. His goal was to provide a common connection between all services on contract to reduce process duplication.

Garfield staff put a lot of confidence in its integrator, Kratos Public Safety & Security Solutions, Inc. Kratos staff member, Desmond Battiste, technical accounts manager, in the New Jersey office, worked with the school to bring about the best installation and the finest equipment.

“Garfield schools are part of the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance, which gives the school an opportunity to save money in their purchases and receive the highest quality of service with just one call,” Battiste said.

This national co-op allows the SSC service providers to list high quality solutions through the use of many high-tech manufacturers. The school contracted with Kratos whom holds a position on Kane's national security contract and will benefit from a full security program that is perfect for today's education security needs.

Battiste said that Garfield Public Schools work through NCPA and funding by a financial company also on the SSC contract. They have an aggressive plan to upgrade all its security cameras and VMS by next year, and each school will have the latest security technology available. Kane also works with other districts throughout the United States, introducing a workable deployment contract so procurement staff can proceed as quickly as possible and get a security install sooner, rather than later.

“We feel we educated the customer on a quality solution and provided them with an opportunity to see the products in action. The program is priced with a government discount methodology to assure that GPS will receive the best value for their security upgrade,” Battiste said.

Battiste said the schools weren't happy with its previous VMS system and selected Salient’s system for its ease-of-use and streamlined operating features. Koptrya pointed out that with the selection of the Salient Systems’ software, the district would be able to connect all schools in the district through one platform, bringing all the cameras and video together.

VMS Technology Sealed the Deal

Since the VMS was key in this installation and was changed out during the install process, Brian Carle, director of product strategy at Salient Systems, said that the true selling point to the Salient VMS was the utilization of Dynamic Resolution Scaling (DRS).

“This technology can be used with any camera, including analog,” Carle said. “It scales the video to the server and the display screen. Dynamic Resolution Scaling sends only the resolution that is necessary for the end user to view. This requires less bandwidth and the end user is able to scale the video to meet the necessary specs of the infrastructure.”

Carle said that the end user still sees the same video. In fact, along with reduced bandwidth consumption, the VMS provides a more responsive video.

Battiste said that the school was looking at its investment of security over time, and finding technology that would be as fresh tomorrow as it is today. He said that the school knew it needed to add cameras, especially to cover blind spots left by using analog cameras, so officials decided to be proactive and retrofit the schools for additional security and safety.

So far, Garfield schools have completed the deployment of over 100 IP-networked cameras, and by the spring of 2015, there will be more than 200 at the high school alone. When the project is totally completed, Garfield schools will have installed more than 400 new Sony cameras.

This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Security Today.

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