The University of Kentucky (UK), the largest university in the state, is home to more than 30,000 students and 15,000 employees. Set in the heart of downtown Lexington, the university houses three medical centers, including a Level I trauma center, 18 residence halls and nearly 100 other facilities across the institution.

As the university with the highest enrollment in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the UK Police Department (UKPD) began searching for ways to increase situational awareness to ensure the safety and security of all members of the campus community.

When Dr. Eil Capilouto became the 12th president of UK in 2011, he communicated a vision for UKPD that would take a more holistic approach to campus safety and security. This meant incorporating emergency management, event planning, access control, video management, ID card services, interior and exterior annunciation, mass notification and burglary alarms — tying all of these functions back to UKPD. In a short time, UK’s central security system transitioned from 72 disparate systems to a single system with more than 8,000 access control points and 3,000 cameras.

In 2017, UKPD recognized that its existing hardware-centric system required too much upkeep and was not flexible or scalable enough to meet the university’s growing requirements. Furthermore, it did not provide the necessary situational awareness to keep a campus of its scale safe and secure.

To centralize the university’s vast video surveillance network, UKPD selected the Salient Systems’ CompleteView Enterprise Video Management System (VMS). This selection process was in collaboration with UKPD’s systems integrator partner, Stanley Security, and the team at consulting engineering firm CMTA.

By utilizing the different features, Nathan Brown, UKPD Deputy Chief, and Stephen Cornett, Security Systems Manager, have a better idea of what is going on in and around the university. The system aims to help monitor everything from student move-in to sporting events, on-campus hospitals and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The university's security team has already used the solution in an emergency incident. When an armed man entered one of the university’s hospitals in March 2021, UKPD was able to immediately use the VMS to locate the suspect and car matching the descriptions provided by the local police department.

“With Salient, we were able to develop a plan based off what we knew, where he was and what we knew about the area, and we were able to continuously monitor that area,” Joe Monroe, UKPD’s Chief of Police explains. “This allowed us to organize and make a safe arrest with a peaceful resolution — without harming anyone in the process. It could have been a very difficult day, but Salient gave us the ability to view live video and confidently make informed decisions that kept everyone safe.”