March 5, 2007 -- CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G) and Axis Communications announced that the companies have teamed to install network cameras at the Middletown City Schools in Orange County, N.Y. Approximately 265 Axis network cameras were installed as a campus security threat deterrent across the entire district, including seven educational buildings and two administrative buildings.
According to the companies, all of the network cameras are installed in public areas such as hallways, cafeterias and parking lots in order to proactively prevent incidents on campus. Axis says its network cameras were selected because they are easy to install and maintain, and because they connect directly to the district's existing computer network.
The cameras' Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality also saved on installation costs, notes Axis, as it enables the cameras to be powered through a network cable instead of a standard AC outlet. CDW-G provided Middletown with the Axis network cameras; Mirasys provided the video management software.
"The Axis network cameras made sense because they enabled us to utilize existing networking gear, such as the switches we had previously installed for our voice over IP system," says Mike Tuttle, chief technology officer for Middletown City Schools. "CDW-G and Axis provided us with the best functionality that met our needs and budget."
"Today, school districts are taking a more proactive approach to safety and security," adds Bob Kirby, CDW-G director, K-12. "They want flexible solutions that will grow with the demands of the district and help them plan for future needs. Additionally, they want a solution that will prevent incidents, not just record them, and cameras can do that. By working closely with the community and law enforcement, districts spread the word that the cameras are on campus, putting would-be offenders on notice to think twice before acting out."
Middletown says it currently archives video for 30 days, unless it pertains to an incident and needs to be stored longer. The district also plans to tie the system in with local police and first responders so emergency personnel can view conditions inside the school before arriving at an incident site. Funding for the system was provided through a grant from New York State assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.
School security and safety is a rapidly growing area for the video surveillance industry. According to the National Center for Education Statistics' report, "Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2005," the number of students ages 12 to 18 attending schools that used one or more security cameras grew from 38.5 percent in 2001 to 47.9 percent in 2003. Many school districts, such as Middletown, opt for IP-surveillance systems rather than analog because they already have the computer networks and bandwidth in place to support such systems.
"The Middletown installation is one example of how IP-surveillance is gaining momentum in the education sector," comments Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis Communications. "In comparison to analog systems, network camera systems are less expensive to install and maintain. They also provide greater functionality and flexibility, such as the option to share video with local law enforcement and first responders."