Surveilling Students

Frederick County PS Centralizes Video Management

Frederick County Public Schools in Frederick, MD has implemented a new centralized video management application to oversee video surveillance in its 63 schools. The system uses GE Security Nav, a console for managing video views and recordings.

The video surveillance is performed through 600 mostly GE Security fixed and dome cameras and contents captured to 60 GE digital video recorders. A motion-activated camera is located above the front door of each school to record every person coming into the building. These cameras are also used by school administrators to make weather-related decisions, using GE Nav to view conditions at schools across the county.

The district, which has 40,000 students and 5,000 staff members, encompasses 667 square miles. "We have schools spread over a wide geography, but we can monitor all of them from the central office," said Cliff Cornwell, safety coordinator. "Due to the ability of GE Nav to quickly access video obtained from any camera throughout the system, we have increased our ability to respond quickly to actual security events while reducing false alarms to law enforcement by 50 percent. Simultaneously, we have been able to enhance our access control capabilities by recording every visitor who enters one of our buildings."

The deployment goal of the ongoing project is to have cameras in each building.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.