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Archives > April 2014 > Video Insight Establishes $250,000 School Security Grant

Video Insight Establishes $250,000 School Security Grant

A Pilot Program has been developed to help underfunded campuses combat violence.

By: Domingo Martinez

The headlines regularly pour in about active shooters and threats of violence at colleges across the nation, yet there are an abundance of campuses that continue to have no video surveillance protection due to budget constraints. To help these underfunded campuses, Video Management Software (VMS) developer Video Insight—a leading provider of video surveillance for education across the United States—has developed two programs: a 2014 monthly School Security Grant valued at $250,000 and an Education Pilot Program.

THE 2014 VIDEO INSIGHT SCHOOL SECURITY IN-KIND GRANT
The $250,000 Video Insight School Security In-Kind Grant program awards security system hardware and software to a campus each month of 2014. Monroe Public Schools of Monroe, Michigan, was the January grant recipient and Harrison School District Two of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was recently announced as the February winner. The grant is open to both K-12 and higher education and Video Insight leadership is hoping more colleges and universities will apply for the remaining 10 grants.

“In this day and age of continued violent acts and threats on campuses, every college needs a video surveillance solution as part of an overall security plan,” said Video Insight Chief Executive Officer Robert Shaw. “The safety of students and teachers should never be compromised because of budgetary constraints. This grant is a small gesture in helping to provide security to stressed and underfunded campuses, as well as to give back to these communities in need.”

Studies have shown that surveillance systems reduce crime; therefore, it’s imperative that campuses find a way to secure their students, staff, and property. Using video surveillance cameras, a VMS solution captures, manages, and stores video surveillance across a network —on a single or at multiple locations, a scenario often found in higher education. A robust VMS can integrate with campus maps and existing legacy systems such as Access Control and Active Directory.

The system Video Insight donates to grant winners monthly throughout 2014 has all of these features, as well as supporting hardware. 

Each grant winner receives:
• VMS licenses
• 16 IP video surveillance cameras
• 1 video encoder which converts existing analog cameras into IP video
• 10 years of software upgrades
• 1 year of customer assurance

THE VIDEO INSIGHT PILOT PROGRAM
In addition to the School Security Grant, Video Insight provides educational organizations the opportunity to use VMS software and hardware for a trial period via a free Pilot Program. The Pilot Program offers use of video surveillance cameras, VMS licenses, and a video encoder for up to 180 days without any obligation. At the end of the evaluation period, participants have the option of purchasing the equipment (at a discounted price) or simply returning it without any obligation.

California’s Saddleback College participated in a Video Insight Pilot Program for several months prior to purchasing a system for their expansive campus. Located in beautiful Mission Viejo, California, Saddleback College offers over 300 associate’s degrees as well as academic and occupational certificates from 190 programs. With an enrollment of 40,000 students and 1,250 full and part-time faculty members, Saddleback has an annual operating budget of over $90 million. The vast campus has 54 building—encompassing 650,000 square feet—200 acres, and includes an athletic stadium, golf driving range, and a childcare center.

Saddleback College had no public safety video cameras and with growing enrollments and increasing acts of violence on college and school campuses throughout the nation, the administration and board made a commitment to deploy a video camera solution that would meet specific coverage goals: the Childcare Center, Community Education building, parking lots, ATM machines, and general coverage.

Obtaining video surveillance coverage for the Childcare Center, in particular, was a top priority in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy and other similar violent incidents, said Saddleback College Chief of Police Christopher Wilkinson.

Wilkinson said he was surprised to find he could actually test a system prior to purchasing it. He was specifically seeking a VMS that was compatible with access control, user friendly, expandable, and turnkey. After a positive experience with Video Insight via the free pilot program, Wilkinson recommended the Saddleback College administration purchase the solution for a campus-wide deployment.

The system is so easy-to-use—and deploy—that Wilkinson said he and campus IT managed the install. “It’s been so officer friendly—I just sit at my desk, go on to the admin, go into the IP address, and do it myself,” he said.

The Saddleback College Police Department monitors activity from a Video Wall consisting of two 52-inch monitors located in the Dispatch Center and a 52-inch monitor in the police officer’s report-writing room. The officers also access camera feeds via smartphones and tablets with the Video Insight mobile app, VI Mobile.

“We have placed four cameras at our Community Education Building so strategically that we achieve 360 degrees of coverage, providing us full coverage of the busy intersection located there,” said Chief Wilkinson. “On the first day of school we watched as 21 vehicles failed to stop at the posted stop sign at that location and were able to dispatch an officer to patrol that area and oversee traffic control.”

Another incident involved a student with a mental health issue wandering the campus. Saddleback College police officers were able to bring up an image of the student and email it to the health center at the other end of campus. The health center was able to share the image with the campus medical staff which resulted in their locating the student and providing him much-needed assistance.

One of the best uses of the video system, said Chief Wilkinson, is the ability to incorporate speakers and audio, resulting in using the VMS and cameras as a public address system in emergency management to announce an active shooter, shelter in place, or weather threats, for example.

In addition to adding cameras throughout the campus for this deployment, Saddleback College has a sister school and a district office which will also undergo a VMS solution implementation in the future. “We are moving in a direction to provide a uniform solution for all of our locations and are excited to be doing so with Video Insight,” said Chief Wilkinson.

Being able to “test drive” a video surveillance solution prior to committing funding helped Chief Wilkerson and Saddleback College minimize their risk in outfitting their campus. Video Insight hopes those colleges who apply for the School Security Grant will also request participation in the Pilot Program, as either can help provide an essential safety solution.

To participate in the Pilot Program, visit: www.video-insight.com/market/pilot-request.php.

To apply for the School Security Grant, fill out the online application.

 

 

About The Author
Domingo Martinez

is the Director of Marketing for Video Insight, which offers a variety of video encoders for an easy transition from analog to IP video. Contact sales@video-insight.com for more information and pricing. Learn more about education solutions at www.video-insight.com/edu or call 713.621.9779.

 

 

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