New York School District Installs IP Cameras In 11 Schools To Enhance Safety, Security

Axis Communications recently announced that Connetquot Central School District of Islip in Long Island, N.Y., is using Axis network cameras to enhance the security and safety of its public school students and facilities.

Connetquot is comprised of 11 schools located as far as 15 miles apart within the hamlets of Ronkonkoma, Bohemia and Oakdale, close to the geographic center of Long Island, about 50 miles east of New York City. There are seven elementary schools, one alternative preschool, two middle schools and one senior high school.

Previously, Connetquot had an analog camera system with more limited capabilities. Under the direction of Superintendent Alan Groveman and security consultant Don Flynn, the school district sought a new system with broader capabilities and the ability to save money over the long term.

Based on its requirements, Axis channel partner A+ Technology Solutions, which served as the integrator and installer, recommended Axis network cameras. These were installed quickly and easily using the existing network infrastructure. The district determined network camera locations using a detailed analysis of prior incidents. For sports fields, which are located as far as one-half mile from buildings, A+ implemented wireless network cameras, which provide the same functionality at a fraction of the cost of a wired system implemented at that distance.

“We selected Axis’ network cameras because they offer unmatched quality and dependability,” said Don Flynn, security consultant for Connetquot Central School District. “Since implementing the network cameras, we have observed a reduction of vandalism at our schools of about 60 percent. In addition to serving as a strong deterrent, we’ve also increased the number of issues resolved and decreased the time it takes to solve them. This has alleviated parents’ concerns and made students feel safer.”

About 100 Axis network cameras are deployed inside and outside of the schools, including several sports fields and a bus yard. Among these are AXIS 225FD and AXIS 216FD-V cameras, including some using the new H.264 compression standard, which enables increased video storage. Connetquot is using DynaView VMS, a state-of-the art video management software from IP Video Corporation, an Axis Development Partner and five video server assemblies from Axis.

Connetquot maintains a closed campus system, meaning only authorized students and staff are permitted in the schools during the school day. Using the Axis network cameras with an IP-based access control system from ISONAS that uses proximity cards at designated entry and exit points, the school now knows exactly who is in schools at any point during school or after school hours.

The network camera setup provides several advantages over analog systems, including superior resolution, higher storage capability and monitoring capabilities from remote sites. For example, staff within a central security command center actively monitors school hallways, cafeterias and areas outside of the schools, including sports fields and the bus yard. Local principals and assistant principals also have access to video feeds from their schools. When needed, staff can dispatch security cars via radio to assist local schools within minutes or request Suffolk County police intervention for more serious episodes. In addition, A+ is implementing a mobile monitoring center that will enable security staff to monitor incidents while en route to a location.

Prior incidents have included everything from pulled fire alarms and fights to vandalism and arson. Using Axis network cameras, the school district has solved a high percentage of these incidents, while maximizing its security resources and saving expenditures. As a result, the school district expects the system to pay for itself over time. The district is also using the network cameras for positive purposes, including recording memorable outdoor school events.

Among its more innovative implementations, A+ is integrating a PSIM solution designed by IPVideo Corporation that enables principals to know exactly when buses pull into their schools, so staff is ready to assist children into buildings. The system utilizes Axis PTZ network cameras integrated with GPS systems onboard the buses. This will reduce the wasted time staff waits outdoors for buses, which in bad weather is often several minutes or more.

“We applaud Connetquot and A+ for using our network cameras to do more with less during these tough economic times,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis Communications Inc. “And we appreciate the fact that Axis network cameras are being trusted to help maintain safety for schoolchildren and staff.”

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