A Redesign in Surveillance

A Redesign in Surveillance

Illinois elementary district upgrades to IP system

The Ottawa Elementary School District is in Ottawa, Illinois, a river town 80 miles southwest of Chicago. The district consists of five schools, the campuses of which include Jefferson Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, Shepherd Middle Schools and the Jefferson Elementary “Art House” building. In the spring of 2015, a variety of issues caused the schools’ administration to determine that they needed a surveillance system upgrade.

The district’s IT director, Kyle Olesen, met with Nick Melnyk, a systems integrator for Ficek Electric & Communication Systems, and the Arecont Vision regional sales team, ultimately sparking a major collaboration to redesign the surveillance systems used by all their schools.

Out with Analog

The district had been using mostly analog cameras for its school surveillance. The original cameras had been placed throughout the five campuses without a formal coverage strategy, hindering the usefulness of the surveillance system. This prevented key areas from being effectively monitored and the images that were provided by the analog cameras were of low quality.

New challenges presented themselves as the project continued. With five completely different locations to work with, it was clear that the project would be a long-term one. It was imperative that the installation efforts be planned accordingly. Part of planning was to treat each school as a separate project with its own surveillance coverage layout and system requirements.

Such a long undertaking meant staffing challenges. The project manager changed five months into the project, resulting in the bidding process to be undertaken a second time. A Chicago-based architecture and engineer firm was then hired by the school to help facilitate the project. Educational sessions were offered by Arecont Vision to bring the new firm up to date on IP megapixel camera technology. The end user, systems integrator and all other stakeholders were brought up to speed quickly and efficiently.

Introducing the Technology

During the first meeting with the district in 2015, the IT director was introduced to megapixel single- and multi-sensor cameras. The end user was impressed, and a more in-depth meeting was scheduled.

This led to walkthroughs at each of the five campuses to outline recommendations for camera locations and models. The individual schools were pleased with the camera performance during this series of events, and the project continued into the design phase. During this period, the district received a detailed layout for each school. The layouts outlined the coverage area that each camera would provide.

After completing the design phase, the systems integrator and the school district participated in the Arecont Vision Try-and-Buy Program. This program provided the end user community with the opportunity to experience Arecont Vision megapixel cameras before committing to a full installation. The Ottawa School District approved the installation of networked cameras in all five locations in July 2016.

Exacq Technologies, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, was selected as the VMS provider. Exacq and Arecont Vision have thousands of joint installations for schools and other surveillance projects around the world, and they are a member of the Arecont Vision Technology Partner Program. Their VMS has been tested in the Arecont Vision MegaLab, and has been certified for continued integration.

The five schools use an array of cameras throughout the district. The multi-sensor, panoramic 180-degree SurroundVideo and adjustable-view SurroundVideo Omni series provide coverage of large areas such as cafeterias, gyms and parking lots.

Arecont Vision MicroDome G2 series cameras were used for interior areas such as for coverage of hallways and doorways. MegaView 2 series cameras equipped with STELLAR (Spatio Temporal Low Light Architecture) technology were implemented for day and night outdoor coverage.

Made in the U.S.A.

Arecont Vision cameras used by the project are hardened against potential cybersecurity attacks, and cannot be repurposed for malicious purposes, giving the schools an added level of security protection.

The cameras are monitored locally and remotely by the schools, using the Exacq software. Each school’s administration has access to the cameras monitoring their individual campus, allowing for real-time monitoring throughout the day. Video can be accessed remotely, with playback from any camera using district laptops and tablets.

“Our company is satisfied and the customer is pleased with the images obtained by this camera system,” Melnyk said. “Everything fits; the accessories and mounts. That all comes into play because a lot of times you can be sent equipment with wrong accessories and other things that don’t fit, extending the installation process longer than it needs to be. This project and installation went very smoothly.”

This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Security Today.

Featured

  • Survey: Less Than Half of IT Leaders are Confident in their IoT Security Plans

    Viakoo recently released findings from its 2024 IoT Security Crisis: By the Numbers. The survey uncovers insights from IT and security executives, exposes a dramatic surge in enterprise IoT security risks, and highlights a critical missing piece in the IoT security technology stack. The clarion call is clear: IT leaders urgently need to secure their IoT infrastructure one application at a time in an automated and expeditious fashion. Read Now

  • ASIS International and SIA Release “Complexities in the Global Security Market: 2024 Through 2026”

    ASIS International and the Security Industry Association (SIA) – the leading security associations for the security industry – have released ”Complexities in the Global Security Market: 2024 Through 2026”, a new research report that provides insights into the equipment, technologies, and employment of the global security industry, including regional market breakouts. SIA and ASIS partnered with global analytics and advisory firm Omdia to complete the research. Read Now

  • President Biden Issues Executive Order to Bolster U.S Port Cybersecurity

    On Wednesday, President Biden issued an Executive Order to bolster the security of the nation’s ports, alongside a series of additional actions that will strengthen maritime cybersecurity and more Read Now

  • Report: 15 Percent of All Emails Sent in 2023 Were Malicious

    VIPRE Security Group recently released its report titled “Email Security in 2024: An Expert Look at Email-Based Threats”. The 2024 predictions for email security in this report are based on an analysis of over 7 billion emails processed by VIPRE worldwide during 2023. This equates to almost one email for everyone on the planet. Of those, roughly 1 billion (or 15%) were malicious. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Whitepapers

New Products

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3

  • Unified VMS

    AxxonSoft introduces version 2.0 of the Axxon One VMS. The new release features integrations with various physical security systems, making Axxon One a unified VMS. Other enhancements include new AI video analytics and intelligent search functions, hardened cybersecurity, usability and performance improvements, and expanded cloud capabilities 3

  • A8V MIND

    A8V MIND

    Hexagon’s Geosystems presents a portable version of its Accur8vision detection system. A rugged all-in-one solution, the A8V MIND (Mobile Intrusion Detection) is designed to provide flexible protection of critical outdoor infrastructure and objects. Hexagon’s Accur8vision is a volumetric detection system that employs LiDAR technology to safeguard entire areas. Whenever it detects movement in a specified zone, it automatically differentiates a threat from a nonthreat, and immediately notifies security staff if necessary. Person detection is carried out within a radius of 80 meters from this device. Connected remotely via a portable computer device, it enables remote surveillance and does not depend on security staff patrolling the area. 3