LenSec, the leading provider of Enterprise-Wide IP-based Video Surveillance, has deployed its Integrated Security Management System to the Northside Independent School District (NISD) in San Antonio, Texas. The fully integrated system is comprised of 1,200 cameras and 1,500 access control devices, consisting of infrared motion detectors, glass break sensors, and card readers at the district's 10 high schools.
"Northside ISD has had success with this system," says Superintendent Dr. John Folks. "There was overwhelming support by the community in funding this project through a recent bond issue. Now we are in the process of asking the voters to consider another security deployment in Bond 2007 that will outfit the District's 16 middle schools."
With more than 80,000 students, NISD is the fifth largest school district in Texas and one of the 50 largest in the nation. The student population is expected to swell to more than 100,000 students by 2012. Administrators looking for a way to ensure the safety and security of students turned to NISD to develop a plan that focused on physical security while also embracing advancements in technology.
"I don't believe that any school in America is 100 percent safe and parents should not become less vigilant about protecting their children even with systems like this," says Lt. Brad Mills of the Northside ISD Police Department. "But when you have a thousand or more cameras in the schools, it really adds another dimension of security. Students and parents and others know that there are always eyes watching them."
NISD required a modular system comprised of network video surveillance, access control, alarm monitoring, and badging identification. The primary goals of the ISMS were: identical functionality and features at all locations; transparent feature activation at and between locations; centralized and on-site management and use of the system at all locations; capable of providing basic service under system outage conditions; optimizing the use of the NISD leased wide area network; and integration with existing security installations.
"Parents, students, and staff have a right to a safe school learning environment and one way to help achieve this goal is through a partnership between the community, the campus administrators, the school district's police force and the technology department," says Kelly Smith, Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services. “Not only can authorized personnel see events as they occur, they can also access digital archives to investigate prior incidents. We have a strong technology infrastructure system that provides the network on which this Web-based system rides."
Working closely with personnel from NISD's Police, Technology Services, and Construction & Engineering departments, LenSec designed a solution to meet the objectives of the district. Utilizing its software platform that was developed specifically for school districts, LenSec designed the ISMS to meet the wide range of functionality required, while still maintaining a level of ease-of-use that allows for fast, efficient response to incidents.
“LenSec was honored to be selected by Northside ISD as the vendor for this innovative project,” stated Keith Drummond, LenSec Chief Executive Officer. “Their vision and leadership in managing safety in schools, by leveraging technology is a model for others to follow.”
To meet NISD's high expectations for the system, LenSec combined its enterprise-class software with cameras from Axis Communications, and access control solutions from Open Options, including their NPower DNA software.
Principal Stephen Daniel attributes the double digit decrease in his school's disciplinary incidents to the camera video security system. "Students plainly know that we are watching. They know that if they make some bad choices like getting into fights, distributing or using drugs, or otherwise disrupting the learning environment, it is hard to dispute what the camera sees. This is not a 'gotcha' system. It is a system that helps avert incidents because of its prominence," he says.