IP Surveillance: Smarter Solutions for Safer Schools

K-12 IT directors are increasingly on point as they gain responsibility for physical security in addition to the network security that has always been their bailiwick. Many are responding with a unified IT solution that coordinates not only IP Surveillance video but also VoIP phones, building access control and emergency response systems that can improve effectiveness of surveillance as well as the alerting and notification that makes all the difference in an emergency.

What's behind the shift? In part, necessity. Over the past ten years, security and safety of children on school campuses have become huge priorities. Modern social ailments have leaked into our schools and affected the way teachers and administrators must manage the safety and security of our school facilities. A technologically advanced solution is the best response, particularly given how stretched K-12 staffs tend to be. Only automation can increase the level of security despite flat or decreased school staffing levels.

Basing physical security on the IP network can put extra sets of eyes everywhere without tying up staff. Automation of security breach detection and response starts recording video or brings help quickly as appropriate. Backtracking to the time of an incident is simplified by intelligent search through many digitally recorded video streams, far surpassing the ease of search based on analog tape archives. And unlike analog CCTV security video systems that lack the resolution required for identifying people, high-resolution IP cameras can be set up to su pport recognition that will even hold up in court.

Requirements for Keeping Campuses Safe The robust network you put in place to support streaming video and other engaging educational content is more than sufficient to handle surveillance and other safety-related traffic. But what else does an IT director need to think about in order to take on this tremendous responsibility?

To meet the goal of helping students thrive and learn in a safe environment, protect school district property, and even help prevent a tragedy, these professionals should consider:

  • VoIP to every classroom
  • High resolution video, both sweeping views and for individual identification
  • Two-way audio to cameras
  • Integrated control of exits
  • Motion detection to trigger recording
  • Security to prevent video's misappropriation or circumvention

All of the above is easy to put in place working with a vendor like D-Link, which offers a full lineup of end-to-end business solutions, as well as proven experience in security solutions. With the right solution, today's school campuses will be prepared for everything from encouraging better student behavior to defusing a bomb scare to coping with a natural disaster.

Where to start? In elementary school, the first safety concern is usually monitoring entries and exits to help ensure that unauthorized adults do not enter or leave with a child. In the middle school and high school environments, the focus shifts toward preventing theft and vandalism and spotting fights in order to stop them quickly. Remember that cameras backed by network storage alone are effective for:

  • Encouraging better behavior among students, who assume they're always on camera.
  • Monitoring stairwells and other hard-to-supervise areas.
  • Documenting disruptive behavior, fights, graffiti, theft, destruction of property, and even arson, as well as identifying the culprits.
  • Providing reconnaissance footage to law enforcement and fire personnel before they enter the school and as they address a bomb threat, hostage situation, or building disasters such as fire.

Proper network security is essential, both in terms of hardening the network so that video cannot be hacked, blocked or corrupted and also in terms of controlling access. On the access front, great thought must be given to allowing anything other than your eyes-only-viewing, because even authorized insiders can innocently pose a threat by e-mailing copies of recorded incidents to friends and colleagues. An admittedly bad situation can cause a district much more trauma should it be posted out-of-context to YouTube.

Why D-Link

D-Link combines IP Surveillance expertise with K-12 security experience for putting together a unified system that includes all elements of a safe learning environment.

Our end-to-end video surveillance solution includes IP network cameras for image/video capture with fast and easy search and appropriate sharing. By providing a one-stop shop for the entire IP surveillance network infrastructure including PoE and wireless switches, network storage, and best-in-class viewing and recording software, D-Link enables you to get security solutions up and running quickly and smoothly. And it's all supported by a leading global supplier known for its ability to deliver high quality and leadership in price performance.

Learn More

Read how one Texas School District tightened campus-wide security with an end-to-end IP Surveillance network. Download our Blanco Independent School District case study now.

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