Wednesday, June 20, 2012
New UK security system will include video monitoring, better early warning capabilities
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved a new advanced campus security system, the first step in implementing the multifaceted, high-tech system that includes, among other things, video monitoring, centralized building access control and increased early warning communication capabilities.
“This system will significantly enhance security on campus by giving us the ability to control the lock down of buildings remotely if necessary,” said UK Police Chief Joe Monroe. “Video monitoring will be valuable in helping solve criminal cases, but we also expect it to be an important deterrent to crime.”
“We have been working for five years to provide a state-of-the-art campus security system that would address the needs of the entire campus, and we are very excited to see this important project come to fruition,” said Anthany Beatty, assistant vice president for Campus Services. “This system is a significant investment that ensures we are providing optimum safety and security for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.”
The $4.8 million project, which will take three years to complete, will provide UK with a centralized safety response system monitored from the UK Police Department. It includes:
• Video management system (VMS) to monitor areas of campus. A geo-diverse VMS will allow real-time monitoring through Internet connected cameras. The VMS will use analytics for identifying situations on campus and reviewing evidence. The system will also allow secure monitoring remotely through mobile devices or off-campus locations.
• Centralized access control system to secure facilities remotely. Currently, buildings are locked individually in a decentralized manner, however the new system will allow UK police the ability to lock individual or all buildings from a remote, central location in the event of a threat on campus. Existing buildings will be modified to work with the system and construction of new buildings will automatically incorporate the security system.
• Identification badge operations on campus. The UK Police Department will standardize campus ID badge operations and create a single ID for students, faculty and staff that will better control building access.
• Early warning speakers and internal overhead notifications to broadcast threats to campus safety. In response to a crisis the police department will be able to provide immediate notifications to alert all persons on campus through a combination of warning speakers, overhead paging, voice calls, emails and text messages.
With video monitoring and centralized building access, UK Police will not only be able to secure and monitor various locations in the event of a crisis, but they can use the technology on a daily basis to enhance security and help solve crimes. Chief Monroe gave the example of virtual patrol, whereby an officer can monitor various areas of campus via the video surveillance and dispatch officers on the street to locations when necessary.
Another option is that of providing a virtual escort for students via the video monitoring capability if a SAFECATS volunteer or a police officer is not available on site.
Monroe said since the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, more universities are moving to high-tech security systems for their campuses.
“Some departments at UK have implemented their own individual security efforts, but this will be the first time UK has had a centralized system based within the police department,” Monroe said. “This is essential in the goal of making the UK campus as safe as possible.”
Implementation of the first phase of this project will begin by the end of summer with an aggressive strategy in place to have the video management system operational during the spring 2013 semester.