Source: Sherman Publications

New $325K security system to give safety personnel ability to view schools

April 18, 2012

By Lance Farrell

Leader Staff Writer

The Oxford Community Schools Board of Education approved a $324,798 bid for security enhancements throughout the OCS system.

Though the Oxford area schools and buildings are already very secure, Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives & Technology Tim Throne said the upgrade to IP video marks a significant step forward in security sophistication.

A total of 174 new cameras will be added to the existing battery of internal and external monitors. With software, the cameras account for $170,500 of the cost.

Oxford High School will receive 100 of the new cameras, Oxford Middle School will receive 45, while Oxford Elementary School will get 9. Daniel Axford, Clear Lake, Lakeville, and Leonard elementaries will each receive five cameras.

In addition to the cameras, schools will be equipped with a card access system. Card access hardware and software will total $38,000.

The remainder of the $325,000 price tag will be allotted to wiring, installation, and a three-year warranty on all products and software upgrades. Server space for the video logs is an additional $42,000.

The total cost of the upgrade is expected to rise, but no higher than the original bond amount of $400,000 allows.

The primary advantages of the change to IP video are the higher resolutions, search ability, and an enhanced ability to monitor security video feed.

The newest enhancements will allow authorized personnel, such as law enforcement and fire/EMS personnel, to view live or archived video and to visually search a map of the school.

Oxford Fire Chief Peter Scholz said the new video system sounded like a positive development, and he could see how the ability to access video streams could be a tremendous benefit.

For instance, he speculated, the video feed could aid in the investigations of fire causes as well as the rescue of injured persons.

Oakland County Sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Patterson, commander of the Oxford Twp. substation, welcomed the open lines of communication with the school, and considered the proposed access to school video to be a great asset in possible criminal investigations.

The upgraded video retrieval system also means that a principal or other authorized school official can access security tapes from the efficient comfort of their home, rather than having to return to the school at 2:00 a.m. to check on an open door.

Peripheral Vision from Livonia, MI was awarded the contract, edging out Net Tech and Security Corp, of Novi, MI. Peripheral, in business for 25 years, finds close to 80 percent of their clientele located in the education sector. They were the first in Michigan to implement IP video, and have been doing so for 8 years.

Peripheral has installed similar video systems in Romeo and Lakeview High School. After visiting one of their installations in Lakeview, Throne had no hesitation recommending them to the OCS Board of Education.