5 Campuses Show How to Deploy Effective School Security

The education sector has become one of the most pressing areas of security/safety needs and therefore one of the leading opportunities for installing security contractors.

5 Campuses Show How to Deploy Effective School Security

Optical Turnstiles Are Optimal

The LaHaye Fitness and Recreation Center at Liberty University’s Lynchburg, Va., campus occupies approximately 165,000 square feet, houses five basketball courts, an indoor track, a weight room, group exercise classrooms, racquetball and volleyball courts, soccer fields and a rock wall, in addition to a lounge and cafe.

Every student enrolled at Liberty University is provided with an identification badge with embedded access control credentials to gain access to various Liberty facilities. The access control solution, provided by RS2, allows students to use one universal card throughout the campus, including LaHaye Fitness and Recreation Center.

Previously, entry at the rec center consisted of Liberty students handing their badge to a staff worker, who would swipe it for verification, and then allow the student into the facility. That changed when the university outfitted the rec center with four lanes of Speedlane 300 optical turnstiles from Boon Edam to control and document the approximately 30,000 users who enter the facility every week.

Installed by Wake Forest, N.C.-based Mech-Elect, the solution features three lanes dedicated for entry and one for egress.

“We can lock the turnstile gates, disable them, hold them open, grant access along with numerous other operational options, to keep traffic flowing while providing security,” says Samuel Seaborn, associate director, operations, at Liberty University. “The turnstiles integrate with Liberty’s access control system to monitor who is coming into the rec center and when, and helps ensure that only students and people with proper access are allowed into the facility.”

Liberty is looking to expand the LaHaye Fitness and Recreation Center by opening satellite facilities around the campus, and plans on once again turning to the Speedlane optical turnstiles.

“The Boon Edam turnstiles are so simple to use, and they really help with traffic flow. In today’s environment, we’re even more concerned with properly protecting our students, and Boon Edam turnstiles help us do that,” says Seaborn. “When we expand our recreational facilities, as well as other facilities, we’re definitely looking to Boon Edam for our entrances and exits.”

The Boon Edam Speedlane 300 optical turnstiles consists of two elliptical units with angel wing barriers that retract into the units to allow passage to authorized users.

Streamlining Storage and Video

Located in Orlando, Fla., the University of Central Florida (UCF) was struggling with the costs and complexity of managing 58 standalone servers, 12,000 individual access points, hundreds of video surveillance cameras and a diverse range of DVRs.

Fortunately, UCF found Pivot3’s HCI platform, which gave the university robust video surveillance data protection, improved remote access to sensitive and critical data from any device, streamlined management for all their campus safety and security IT systems, and support for additional datacenter workloads as they grow.

Installed by Signature Systems of Florida, the HCI platform was able to streamline video management and storage capabilities by hosting UCF’s Milestone XProtect VMS, and server and storage management on a single platform.

In addition to hosting Milestone System’s VMS, Pivot3 also captures and protects video data from 2,500 video surveillance cameras and supports up to three petabytes of storage.

Pivot3 says its ability to easily scale to this level was a key criterion in UCF’s selection process as its demand for more cameras and video data storage capacity continues to grow. The UCF camera count is expected to rise to over 3,000 when the university’s downtown Orlando campus opens in the fall of 2019.

“UCF is a leader in educational excellence, and we are pleased to play a role in helping the university protect critical assets and enhance security operations,” says Brandon Reich, surveillance practice leader, Pivot3. “The education market in particular experiences significant benefits and cost savings through the implementation of Pivot3 HCI — not to mention the increased security benefits for students and staff — which reduces complexity and cost, delivers scalability and increases resiliency.”

Connecting With Law Enforcement

Late last summer, the Louisa County Public Schools (LCPS) District in northern Virginia completed the installation of a district-wide Vicon Valerus video management solution that encompassed its six school buildings and connected nearly 400 cameras.

The district has also opted to share camera access with the Louisa County Sheriff ’s Department. LCPS Facilities Director David Szalankiewicz says, “Our Sheriff ’s Department loves the Valerus platform because they can put it on their iPads, walk around with it, and immediately call up any camera in case of an emergency.”

Additionally, LCPS installed WiFi throughout the district, so that in the case of an active shooter, law enforcement can visually assess the situation and attempt to locate the suspect prior to sending in officers. Szalankiewicz says the video solution also offers a number of operational efficiencies.

Because it is a rural district, the school is subject to frequent power outages and major snowfall throughout the winter. With Valerus’ mobile interface and the ability to access the system from anywhere, Szalankiewicz doesn’t need to make the trek to campus in potentially dangerous weather just to check on its status.

“The system has saved me countless hours. In the past, if we had a snowstorm, I used to have to drive to school to see if the power was on and how much snow had fallen. Now, I can just log into the cameras, see what’s happening, and determine if we’re good to go,” he says.

Having a solution that includes easy-to-use search tools can also result in saving valuable time. “We’re using the search tool to find incidents at least once a week, if not more. Whether it’s an event on the playground or a car that drove onto the lawn, there’s always something happening. With Valerus, it’s so much easier to find what we’re looking for. We use the search tool to “paint” certain areas within a camera’s view, and Valerus automatically shows us video clips of anything that happened in that particular spot. It’s made us a lot more efficient,” he explains.

About the Author

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Steven A. Karantzoulidis is the Web Editor for Security Sales & Integration. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Communication and has a background in Film, A/V and Social Media.

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