Philadelphia Charter School Turns to Samsung Video Surveillance Cameras to Secure Renovated Facility

A local integrator was selected to manage the design and installation of an IP-based video surveillance system that includes almost 130 indoor and outdoor megapixel cameras.

Bringing cameras online in phases as they were installed allowed Access Security to ensure that PPCAS was an active participant in the installation process. 

“We didn’t want them to have to wait two months for all those cameras to be installed before seeing how the system was going to work. Within days, they started to see cameras installed and coming online,” Cogan says. “That way, they could provide input and feedback on the system earlier in the process.”

“We wanted to make sure [PPACS] had a system that was going to last into the future, and that was really going to give them everything that they needed for the life of the school, which is going to be many, many years.”Daniel Cogan
Access Security Corp.

Configuring and fine-tuning each of the nearly 130 cameras manually could easily have been a time- and labor-intensive process, but because Samsung cameras provide an easy-to-use autofocus feature, that was a non-issue, Cogan explains.

“The autofocus feature adjusts the focus with just a couple of buttons,” he says.

Since deployment of the system, PPACS has realized additional benefits, one of which was a significant savings in staffing costs thanks to the performance of the cameras.

“In addition to the teachers and administration, our operational plans included a number of support staff with a range of duties, including maintenance and security. Because of the good coverage and ease of use of the camera system, we have been able to maintain good control over the building with fewer staff hours,” Corosanite says. “Over a 10 year period, I expect that we may be able save as much as three-quarters of a million dollars that could be repurposed to serve other priorities.”

SLIDESHOW: Philadelphia Charter School Megapixel Video

Additionally, the Samsung cameras have proven tremendously helpful in investigating and resolving a number of situations where low-quality video simply would not have sufficed.

“Since the system was installed, we have had – and this is no exaggeration – 12 to 16 incidents where we really needed those cameras watching what happened,” Corosanite says. “When you bring a student in, the first thing a parent typically says is, ‘it wasn’t my son or daughter.’ But when you can bring up crystal clear video of the incident, the parents have no choice but to accept that it was indeed their son or their daughter who was involved.”

Cogan says that because school security has become top-of-mind, video surveillance has become a necessity for most schools, and that those who ignore this reality could face challenges.

“Parents demand to know that their children are safe at school, so if you don’t have an environment with access control, a video surveillance system
and a secure location, you’re going to have difficulty building enrollment,” he says. “Parents can feel safe sending their children to this school.”

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