I can only imagine what it feels like sending children off to college – launching them from the protective environment of home into the world of higher education. It’s where they begin to shape the future – or at least their own. After experiencing the ‘teen years’ I’m sure many parents feel some degree of relief. But that doesn’t take away from the worry for their children’s safety at their newfound ‘home away from home.’
Higher education institutions face the difficult job of protecting thousands of such students, a task made all the more complex when you consider the openness and size of most campuses. I recently visited Baylor University to see how NiceVision, an advanced IP video surveillance solution, has succeeded in helping the university raise the bar on campus security.
With 15,000+ students, 85+ buildings and a sprawling 1,000 acres, the Baylor campus is massive. Early on, various departments at Baylor had deployed their own standalone video systems and analog cameras. They were not interoperable and low resolution recordings resulted in poor image quality. Also, police investigators had to learn different systems, complicating investigations.
So NICE worked with Baylor to deploy an enterprise video surveillance solution. Now Baylor can manage all of its network-connected video recorders and cameras through one central system, with the ability to control access to video through assigned user permissions. As part of the upgrade, Baylor also replaced many of its analog cameras with newer generation mega-pixel camera technology for higher quality video.
The system offers universal video quality and retention, and serves the entire university’s security needs. System users (building managers, investigators) all have access to high quality IP video images. And police investigators now only have to operate one system, which has significantly improved their efficiency and investigations. Access and viewing rights to video is managed centrally, which not only protects student privacy, but ensures that every video system user is adhering to Baylor’s internal surveillance policies and procedures. The consistency and quality of the video has improved as well.
But what’s even more impressive are the results which Baylor has achieved since implementing the new solution. When I spoke with members of the Baylor University Police Department they pointed to a major decline in criminal activity since the implementing the NiceVision solution. They attribute this to: 1) the deterrent effect of having cameras across campus, and 2) their ability to produce high-quality video evidence for criminal investigations.
“We’ve been able to stop a lot of the burglaries of motor vehicles in parking garages because it has gotten out that there is a good camera system here,” said Brent Howell, an Investigator with the Baylor University Police Department. Howell also says the obvious presence of a campus wide security system has resulted in more people admitting to their involvement in crimes. “It has really helped in the overall security of the campus,” he added.
No doubt the parents of Baylor students would take comfort in the extraordinary steps that the University has taken to ensure the safety and security of their children. “If parents are trusting their children to us then we have to take care of them,” said Bob Hartland, Associate VP, IT Infrastructure, Baylor University.
Check out this video on Baylor to learn more.