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UNIVERSITY OF TULSA, USA

UNIVERSITY OF TULSA, USA.

CAMPUS SECURITY RETHOUGHT

"Not only did the cameras look better going through the VMS, but because of Ocularis’ open architecture there were no compatibility issues with the camera on the on-board analytics.” — John Edwards, JTI President.

THE CHALLENGE

As the University of Tulsa’s (TU) aging analog cameras began to fail, they started replacing them with a mix of IP-based technology from multiple vendors. Within a year, those cameras failed, which led the university on a search for a more reliable alternative. They were seeking a solution that could deliver better resolution and support an array of analytics to address the typical security challenges of an urban campus. Security staff making their rounds in the school’s Henneke Engineering building discovered one day that a piece of artwork which had been hanging in the building had vanished. The university needed a system to be advanced enough to protect priceless artwork and artifacts housed in the Henneke Engineering building, the Gilcrease Museum as well as the newly constructed Helmerich Center for American Research which holds more than 100,000 rare books and documents, all managed by the university.

THE SOLUTION

With guidance from Tulsa-based system integrator, JTI Security, the university replaced its end-of-life analog cameras with more than 300 Axis Communications’ high resolution, fixed dome and pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) network cameras. Camera models were chosen based on their ability to deliver crisp, high-quality video in specific lighting conditions. Agent Vi, and other analytics embedded in the cameras, provide real-time and forensic assistance in investigating events. Campus security monitors and controls the cameras remotely from the university’s Dispatch Center through Qognify’s Ocularis Enterprise video management system (VMS). According to William Redding, Assistant Director of Security Technology and Card Services at TU, while there were no surveillance cameras actually pointed at the artwork when it was removed, cameras were installed throughout the building and in particular one was positioned in the hall where the artwork was located. Using the TimeSlicerTM technology of the VMS, they were able to weave together the building’s various camera views to first determine the time when the artwork was found missing. From that point, they were able to backtrack the video to the actual incident and subsequent actions of individuals involved. “The technology within the VMS software saved us hours and hours of work,” Mr. Redding said. “Before this, it was a long and painful process to investigate any incident because we would have to go through everything. There was no way to just focus on one event.” “For the future, we are preparing to add mobile capability to the system. That’s another benefit of Ocularis. It provides a bridge from existing technology to new technology and it allows us to do so at our own pace.” William Redding, Assistant Director of Security Technology and Card Services. The University of Tulsa has more than 400 cameras installed throughout the campus including one in every hallway and one at every entrance to every building. All recordings and events generated within the networked surveillance system are managed through the open architecture platform of the Ocularis VMS software.

THE RESULT

The case was cracked by Qognify’s Ocularis Enterprise video management system. Utilizing Ocularis, the mystery was solved when video surveillance revealed that the artwork had not been stolen at all; rather the cleaning crew had accidentally knocked it off the wall and damaged the frame. Rather than reporting the incident, they hid the artwork. Mr. Redding confirms that the successful outcome of the investigation was the result of the school’s use of Qognify’s Ocularis solution which is at the core of its physical security operation. “There are just so many features and functions of the VMS that we like,” adds Mr. Redding. “It’s easy to use; it interfaces seamlessly with all of our cameras; and it is very affordable. It’s an excellent solution for the University.” The live demonstration of the university’s surveillance system always draws a crowd at freshman orientation. “Parents love seeing all the different protocols we have in place to watch over their kids, not just during the day but all night long as well,” said Redding. One added precaution is the cross-line detection analytic that Redding uses in the Axis cameras covering the parking lot adjacent to the women’s dormitory. If it appears that a driver is loitering or driving aimlessly around, security officers are immediately dispatched to the lot to determine the individual’s intentions. Along with the system’s advanced investigation tools, the VMS with its popups, analytics, multilevel maps and camera overlay capabilities has allowed security management to more effectively re-deploy manpower. “In working with the administration, security and IT departments, we have been able to change the policies regarding security and surveillance. Its value has been underscored and IP cameras connected to the VMS system are now an integral part of the design of any new construction or any new remodel on campus.”