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Making the Grade

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Over the past decade, as a result of tragedies at school and college campuses nationwide, student and staff security has become a high priority.

Also in the last 10 years, driven by an increase in the population of school-aged children, new school construction and the renovation of existing facilities have surged. As a result, school administrators look to the security industry for comprehensive security solutions that reduce security risks while providing critical security tools when a security breach does occur. Leading these efforts are electronic security providers who have decades of experience working in the unique education security space.

Outfitting and protecting tens of thousands of school campuses across the nation remains at the forefront of the electronic security industry. With the education market forecast by many experts to be one of the fastest growing vertical markets, and in a position to benefit from recent government stimulus infusions, professional security providers are needed to partner with school administrators as they apply today's advanced security technology to school campuses. Understanding that school security needs and applications are unique and specific, a high level of security experience and expertise is critical to the success of developing and implementing a security program that reduces risk, improves security and safety, and helps to reduce operating costs and operations.

Advanced Security

Eastern York School District, located in central Pennsylvania, covers six rapidly growing communities in York County. With this population growth, a new high school facility was necessary—with updated security technology.

The school district installed Sonitrol Audio Impact technology for its intrusion protection. Sonitrol's unique advanced audio technology is provided nationwide, exclusively by Stanley Convergent Security Solutions and an authorized network of Sonitrol franchise partners. The Eastern York School District is a long-time customer and strong advocate of Stanley CSS's advanced audio intrusion protection.

The first objective in the multiple-phase development project for Eastern York's new security system was to protect the new building from intrusion. The main challenge was to keep the installed security solution both operational and flexible as the project phases were implemented. At every point in the construction phase, there needed to be a complete and functional security system protecting the facility, as well as students and faculty, with ample expansion capabilities.

With extensive experience and success in working with audio impact technology, the school chose to install the flexible Sonitrol Plus system in campus buildings. This preplanned approach to security applications with built-in expansion capability was critical in getting the project installation finished on time, on budget and with all compliance requirements. By using Stanley's audio protection, the district was able to provide intrusion technology with the highest documented apprehension rate and the lowest false alarm rate in the industry.

"Audio verification was a major factor in choosing an intrusion detection system," said Todd Hoover, Eastern York's director of facilities. "Being able to use audio technology to hear and apprehend intruders is important to us and critical to the success of our security program."

Integrated Protection

The district also needed to implement an access control solution that was seamlessly integrated into the intrusion system so a single swipe of an access card could control access to an area also arming, disarming or bypassing the intrusion protection system. By designing a system with this type of flexibility and control, Sonitrol provided an integrated security solution to Eastern York, giving them maximum protection with maximum flexibility.

Command of access control systems is Web-based, and the director of facilities and his team have constant control of all users and campus access. The ease of use and continuity of the intrusion and access control systems allows for total integration of access and intrusion protection, giving the district complete command and control of its security operation.

Environment Friendly

The final phase of the system was the implementation of a complete video surveillance system that deterred, captured and documented unwanted activity on and around the entire school campus. Stanley CSS designed and installed a 120-camera surveillance system across the campus, paying particular attention not to impact the aesthetic of the forward-designed building architecture and engineering.

The security results have been praised for being comprehensive, non-intrusive and flexible in meeting the goals of the diverse users and security needs. Hoover and his administrators have complete control of the functionality of the system and are satisfied, not only with the security protection, but also with the ease of use in performing daily operating tasks.

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