Stopping Any Threats
Eastern Suffolk BOCES improves access control system
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Apr 01, 2015
Tragedy at one school seems to jump start
improved security at another. Such is the case
for the Eastern Suffolk BOCES , an educational
cooperative of 51 Long Island, New York school
districts, providing educational leadership,
direct instruction, management, and support
through quality, cost-effective instructional
programs and shared services.
Education these days must be protected, and students deserve to feel
safe and secure in their classrooms and surroundings. ESBOCES programs
and services maximize educational and career opportunities for
the diverse Long Island community, which is filled with lifelong learners—
both children and adults.
Who is ESBOCES? Students are K-12 special education, career and
technology education, and also provides adult education opportunities.
At Eastern Suffolk BOCES, there are about 1,700 special education
students, 1,600 CTE students, and throughout the school year 5,400
adult education students. Security for staff, students, and faculty has
been and continues to be one of the major priorities.
Because bandwidth is always an issue, ESBOCES' IT department
had decided to expand their fiber capacity at all sites. This expansion
allowed ESBOCES to upgrade to a 10 Gigabit backbone, not only to
support present needs at the facilities, but to support the heavy bandwidth
required by a new megapixel IP-based camera system.
One of the major challenges for ESBOCES included centralizing the
access control database and allowing for a WindowsActive Directory
integration, thereby simplifying the administration of all employee
access to the buildings.
“Working with ESBOCES has been an excellent opportunity for A+
Technology & Security to demonstrate the power of pure IP technology
integration combined with industry best practices,” said David
Antar, president of A+ Technology & Security Solutions. “A+ chose
ISONAS access control, Axis Communications and Panasonic IP cameras,
and is in the process of integrating them into IPVideo Corp.’s
The school was able to install a new access control system, and can
leverage their newly expanded fiber backbone to handle all network
traffic, including access control. The system is now able to add and
remove someone centrally from the database, and the person’s access
will be granted or denied to any of the 29 buildings on the network.
“By adding a new fiber connection, Eastern Suffolk BOCES is committed to technology in their curriculum, and by adding the Pure IP access control, they are investing in the safety of their students with a
solution that provides longevity,” said Rob Mossman, CEO of ISONAS.
“The ability to integrate with the school’s active directory to manage
their 3,000 users along with the future integration with Sentry VMS
provides them with a forward-thinking security solution for students
ESBOCES now is one step ahead of the security curve when it
comes to future add-ons, including additional doors and buildings.
Future plans at the school call for securing all exterior doors at all
As the world becomes a more interconnected web of IP addresses,
the Internet of Things is driving dramatic changes and opportunity.
Video surveillance has already moved from analog to IP with better
cameras and feature rich software management tools. ISONAS offered
ESBOCES a new opportunity by using panel-less systems and edgebased
decision making. Some major benefits for the school are easier
deployment, more flexibility and significant cost savings.
As the market continues in this path, ESBOCES is at the forefront
of the access control market. In the future, they may be able to add
web-based software or a mobile application to provide access from
ESBOCES, like most schools and campuses, has a limited budget
and this setup allows them to leverage the existing network, thereby
reducing installation labor costs by eliminating all control panels and
all dedicated access control wiring. The door controller stores permissions
and acts as both reader and controller, eliminating need for multiple
“Our switch to the ISONAS equipment has allowed us to have a
system that is more integrated and centralized,” said Barbara Salatto,
associate superintendent for management service. “Because we have
multiple sites, the new methods increases the efficiency of the security
“Our switch to the Isonas equipment has allowed us to have a system
that is more integrated and centralized. Because we have multiple
sites, this new method increases the efficiency of our security efforts
Because needs change over time, the ESBOCES system may also
have changes, but with the systems in place, adapting to changes is a
benefit. If the school has a need to integrate to a video management
software platform, or add a new building, the system can scale with
them and is extremely flexible. For instance, A+ Technology has set up
an operation integration between the access control and VMS, so that
when a card is swiped, the corresponding camera calls up video for
that doorway. In fact, James Adikes, a sales engineer for A+ Technology
said combining all aspects of this project absolutely has created
“one of the most advanced security systems here on Long Island.”
Initially, the project went pretty quickly, starting in June 2013. The
largest delay was in the creation of a centralized database for the access
control. Then, there was the creation of 3,000 new employee ID badges
from design to picture updates, to actually printing and distributing
the badges. A+ Technology will be working with ESBOCES for a long
time because they have a full-service maintenance contract that is a
“bumper to bumper” agreement.
ESBOCES is on a roll. The integration is complete, and the campuses
are safe and secure with a networked system
feeding to a central control station. It’s unfortunate
that other campus tragedies take place to raise
awareness, but getting the ball rolling is the first
step to a safer campus.
This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Security Today.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.