Pendants Thwart Panic
- By Warren Hill
- Aug 01, 2023
The unfortunate state-of-affairs surrounding safety and security throughout the country about hostile events has increased in all industries over the years. Security consultants and dealers are tasked with providing the most up-to-date and vital solutions in this ever-changing landscape.
One specific example is inside U.S. courthouses where unruly, aggressive and even violent behavior is known to occur. It is difficult to understand the feelings and emotions that happen throughout court proceedings or a trial, but it is imperative to have a solution that keeps all parties safe in the event of an altercation or threat.
There have been multiple instances where bailiffs or other first responders need to escort attendees from the premises, whether during high-profile cases or not. These threats can be vocal or non-vocal threats against offenders, witnesses, and victims, or against those handling cases such as judges, prosecutors and investigators. Throughout multiple counties in Georgia, DSI Systems, a Chickamauga-based integrator, provides advanced security products and solutions and completes custom installations for a variety of commercial industries has been working with courthouses to ensure staff and visitor safety.
A courthouse situation could escalate within seconds, resulting in the need for a security solution that has a quick response time and connects staff and visitors to the right authorities promptly. DSI Systems welcomed this challenge to review workable solutions available in the market to ensure that any situation that may occur in courtrooms, judges’ chambers or other areas of the building are dealt with promptly and securely. The main goal of the solution is to thwart any potentially hostile situation from escalating.
DSI Systems, in collaboration with multiple Georgia courthouses and security manufacturer Alula went through a needs assessment for system communications, to ensure the best solution was provided. After understanding the requirements of the courthouses, DSI Systems supplied and installed Alula Connect+, a wireless system that provides security, video and smart property control, into two judge's chambers.
This 5G-ready solution offers the quickest installation process, with remote programming and over-the-air firmware upgrades allowing users to quickly address issues without having to make changes on-site. This panel provides one hub for monitoring all system devices.
The solution provides users with a simple and consistent operational experience from both dedicated on-premises touchscreen controls and a mobile app. With a platform that is easy to learn, operate and manage, users can customize push notification alerts simply, enabling real-time updates throughout the building. This allows customers to have control over their security system.
In addition, an encrypted, wireless panic button was installed on the judges’ benches. When activated, the sheriffs’ officers receive a real-time alert directly to their phones, alerting them to the fact that the judge needs help.
The panic button is intuitive and easy to operate with a single red button, for quick access, and an LED that blinks every minute to provide reassurance that the device is correctly communicating with the Connect+ panel. With the panic button and immediate notifications provided through Alula’s Security App, judges have quick access to those who can help de-escalate any situation that arises in the courthouse.
“The Connect+ provides our customers with speed and promptness, a necessity in the case of an aggressive individual in the courtroom,” said Lowell Poteet, owner of DSI Systems. “From the moment an alarm is triggered there is no communication delay, leading to peace of mind for the courthouse staff and visitors.”
DSI is updating 12 other courthouses that have antiquated security alert systems.
This article originally appeared in the July / August 2023 issue of Security Today.
Warren Hill is the vice president of marketing and partner development at Alula.