Saving One School at a Time
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Apr 01, 2014
I’ve been on a kick lately thinking that schools
need more security attention. I believe I feel so
deeply about schools because they are filled with
children who are learning to become the leaders, technicians
and thought-leaders of tomorrow.
Children are filled with unlimited potential, but
disturbing their thought processes is safety. There
is not enough security to protect them in the classroom.
This really bothers me, and I am not alone in
I have a good friend, Rob Shaw, who is the cofounder
and CEO of Video Insight. He is one person
who is putting his money to work to protect students.
Shaw sees today’s students as tomorrow’s potential
“In this day and age of continued violent acts
and threats on campuses, every school and college
needs a video surveillance solution as part of an overall
security plan,” Shaw said. “Despite the fact that
video surveillance is essential, there continues to be
schools and colleges out there that have absolutely no
protection due to budget constraints. The Video Insight
School Security Grant is designed to help those
schools that lack funds to implement a video surveillance
Late last year, staff from Video Insight contacted
me about a pilot program, School Security Grant.
They announced a free program exclusively for campus
customers: public or private K-12 institutions,
college/community colleges, hospitals, state and local
governments and corporate campus.
The goal was to provide as much as $20,000 worth
of equipment to one lucky winner each month allowing
an organization to evaluate an enterprise video
surveillance solution without any obligation, for up
to 180 days. At the end of the evaluation period, that
organization has the option of purchasing the equipment
at a special discount or simply returning it.
Pure and simple, schools need security, and if there
isn’t a budget for surveillance, the potential for criminal
acts just seems to increase.
This program was a huge success during its first
month, then things took a right turn. Instead of announcing
one winner for February, officials at Video
Insight announced three winners. This is taking security
to an entirely different level, and whether or not a
school keeps the system in place after the 180 day trial
period, it does give them the opportunity to see what
a security system will do to protect its youngsters.
One of the February winners is Harrison School
District Two, located in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“The Harrison community is so fortunate to receive
a grant from Video Insight to provide a top-ofthe-
line security system for one of our schools,” said
Andre D. Spencer, Harrison School superintendent.
“While school districts around the nation are investing
in and improving security practices, we also look
to business partners like Video Insight who can provide
high-quality equipment and training that allows
us to focus on the most important goal: our students
and their education.”
A second winner was the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint
Unified School District, located in Yucaipa, Calif.,
and the third school district winner had yet to be
named at press deadline.
This program is concerned with schools, campuses
and government facilities that require video surveillance
and all that goes along with that. Shaw described
it best when he said that there are those out there who
lack funding to make security a part of their daily life.
“We started this grant program in an effort to help
schools and colleges that have limited or no video
surveillance protection in place to combat the continued
violent acts and threats they face on a day-to-day
basis,” Shaw said. “We have been completely overwhelmed
at the positive response and the number of
applications we received.”
Since the Sandy Hook tragedy, many schools are
revisiting their security commitments and trying to
find ways to add more security on campus. I love the
idea that Shaw and his team have done something to
make this work. When you figure in 48 Video Insight
video management software licenses, 16 IP video surveillance
cameras, one video encoder, 10 years of software
upgrades, one year of the customer assurance
program and product training, each winner is getting
an unusual commitment, while enjoying the strong
hand of security.
I applaud Shaw and his team for their commitment
to campus security, in particular, security at schools.
His commitment goes far beyond the gift of security
equipment and the financial investment. He is truly
concerned about this country’s children and the brand
of education they deserve.
This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Security Today.