Michigan School District Installs Axis Network Cameras

Axis Communications recently announced that the Chippewa Valley School District in Michigan is using its network cameras to increase public school security in a cost-effective manner.

Located in the suburban Detroit area, Chippewa Valley is the state’s ninth largest school district (out of more than 500), serving 15,000 students.

More than 600 network cameras and video encoders are being installed in the district’s high schools and ninth grade centers, including the AXIS 216FD-V(fixed dome); 216MFD-V (megapixel fixed dome), Q1755(HDTV) and 214 PTZ Network Cameras; and AXIS Q7900 Racks with Q7406 Video Encoder Blades.

Chippewa Valley purchased the Axis network video products from Spiritech Inc., based on a design by the district’s IT consultants Metro Technology Services. Spiritech is installing the infrastructure, Axis network video products and Milestone Systems’ video management software.

Chippewa Valley first sought out a video solution in order to provide good security measures with a reduced need for staffing. Like most school districts, Chippewa Valley is highly sensitive to theft, vandalism, violence and bullying. Its goal is to protect people and property. The school district sought out a network video solution (vs. analog) because of superior image quality, centralized storage and management, integration into the district’s active directory and web integration.

“Ever since the Columbine high school tragedy 10 years ago, school districts have been looking for ways to enhance security in their schools,” said School Superintendent Mark Deldin. “If students do not feel safe in their schools they will be distracted from learning. Our mission is to make students, parents and staff as safe as possible. A strong sense of safety and welfare enhances the educational process and improves our standing with our community.”

Several factors drove the selection of the new network video solution, including the quality of the Axis network cameras and housings, the ability to expand the system in the future, the Milestone Systems video management software’s comprehensive functions, Metro Technology Services’ design criteria and Spiritech’s experience.

The district contracted with Metro Technology Services in order to procure the network video solution because of the size of the project. The specifications accounted for WAN connectivity using the district’s fiber-optic network, proper cameras and locations, and also to comply with state bidding requirements. Based on a complete solution, Axis network cameras were approved.

Until now, the school district has had to rely on hall monitors and security guards to be physically present during school hours and periods of heavy building use, such as concerts and athletics. Once the network video system is fully deployed in the spring, it will help school authorities determine “who did what, and when.” It is also expected to help deter, detect and document inappropriate behavior.

During the design process, school administrators and police liaisons performed building walkthroughs, with a focus on public areas such as hallways, cafeterias, computer labs, media centers, school stores, gymnasiums and exterior coverage. The system will be monitored by officials, including security guards, principals, assistant principals, food service directors, maintenance directors and technology staff. Principals and assistant principals will have dedicated monitors connected to their district computers for viewing, while security stations will be provided with dual monitors. Even the cafeterias will have their own LCD monitors.

“Network cameras are a great fit for schools due to the scalability and superior image quality,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis Communications. “We share Chippewa Valley’s concerns for the security of children and look forward to continuing to address those and other school concerns in partnership with companies such as Spiritech, Metro Technology Services and Milestone Systems.”

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