Modern Cameras Help Ensure Physical Security
Of course, cybersecurity isn’t the only kind of security that many districts have to worry about. With many school districts using their facilities less often, challenges can emerge with the security of physical locations as well.
This is where security camera systems — many of which are far easier to manage than in the past — come in.
Ron Watson, the district technology director at New Jersey’s New Milford Public School District, explained during a Tuesday session that his district had implemented a solution to modernize the use of on-campus security cameras, making it easier to track onsite security issues over time. As Watson explained, older solutions such as the district’s former network video recording solution required a lot of manual work.
“To share the video, we would have to have someone come to my office, or go to another end user that had the software installed, sit at that desk, go through scrubbing that video we wanted to save, then save, then wait until it got downloaded and rendered onto the desktop, and then go ahead and play it that way,” he explained.
Working with the security camera company Verkada, the district now has a solution that implements artificial intelligence technology that can track when incidents happen in real time, can detect specific individuals or vehicles as they appear on multiple cameras and can be used to monitor issues remotely through its web-based interface.
The tool makes life easier from a management standpoint, Watson said.
“In the past — because we have four buildings, we have four different servers and four different locations with storage — we had to maintain that ourselves to make sure the storage wasn’t completely full,” he said.
The cloud-based nature of the tool helps ease remote access to the software so an insecure connection did not have to be maintained off campus, he said.
The tool also has the capability to detect when a system goes offline, which came in handy for Watson relatively recently when a tree fell onto the side of the district’s high school.
“The only way I actually knew the power was lost was actually because I was getting alerts from Verkada emailed to me saying, ‘Hey this kind of went offline,’” he said.