Thanks to the IP video design, campus officers watch the shipping docks when school supplies like computers are being loaded and unloaded.

He said he couldn’t put a price tag on the value of security video system. But Leo Brown, Sr., chief of police, Southwest Tennessee Community College, did anyway – reporting to his top management and college community about the drastic drop in crime after the powerful system was installed.

The challenge was typical for urban educational institutions: destruction of property through vandalism and gang graffiti, false fire alarms, disorderly conduct, theft from the buildings and auto theft, stolen books and computers, community vagrants.

The return on investment was (pardon the pun) clearly visible.

In the heart of the city

“The College President and Vice President are totally security conscious. They supported this IP video surveillance installation, so they deserve all the credit for making this happen.” There’s also a business purpose beyond the campuses themselves. “It’s important for the community to know what we are doing for safety’s sake. Parents are concerned about where they’re sending their children.”

IP cameras are in parking lots, isolated areas, corridors and stairwells, the bursar’s office, the student lounge areas, vending machine rooms, gymnasium, supply warehouse and delivery area - and the daycare center. An officer monitoring the video acts as dispatcher of officers on foot, in police vehicles and on bicycles.

The Chief added, “I can also look at it from home. I have very seldom had the need for that, thank goodness, but it’s nice to know I can do that in emergencies, like if we had a hostage situation.” The night shift uses the software’s motion detection and event alarms functionality to alert to incidences, so the officers on duty can respond immediately.

In addition, the campus police can watch the shipping docks when school supplies like computers are being loaded and unloaded, and in off-hours to monitor against theft. There’s a daycare facility with special low-light cameras that allow viewing in that location even during naptime.

Because the whole system is tied into the school’s fiber optics, there was not a lot of wiring that had to be run. However, there was no network connection to the buildings across the street for the physical plant, nursing school and three big parking lots, so systems integrator and installer Dynamark Security put in a wireless connection for the surveillance over there that saved the cost of installing new fiber optics.

About the Solution

Dynamark Security esigned and installed the $250,000 video surveillance system using Milestone XProtect IP video surveillance software that manages 105 cameras: 75 of them SONY SNC-CS3N cameras with Pan Tilt Zoom functionality and the rest are Panasonic KX HCM 280s. Nearly 90 more cameras are being or will be added at another location, and new campus sites are planned.

Sidebar: Cooperation with Law Enforcement

Leo Brown, Sr., chief of police, Southwest Tennessee Community College, got his staff trained and accredited as State Certified Police Officers several years ago. They are able to handle response to security incidents with direct intervention, including access to police criminal databases. Unless it is a serious felony like rape or robbery with personal injury, all the Memphis Police Department has to do is transport anyone arrested by his officers to the city jail. “If we have a suspicious person, we can do a warrant check, driver license check, anything the police can do. If someone has a record anywhere, we can see it. We’re hooked into the FBI, too,” added Chief Brown.