Surveillance | News

Texas District Snares Vandal 2 Days after IP Camera Installation

The Liberty-Eylau Independent School District has gone public with its adoption of a video surveillance system that helped in identifying a criminal act on campus two days after installation. In 2013 the district sought a dramatic replacement for an analog camera system. Working with a local technology integrator, the six-school district in Texarkana installed 240 cameras from D-Link.

The new set-up included D-Link indoor and outdoor IP cameras, power-over-Ethernet switches and Video Insight video management software. At the same time the district implemented new access controls on its doors and storage. Service provider CMC Network Solutions hosts the video traffic on a virtual private network separated from the district's data network.

"We needed high-resolution digital cameras that provided clear, accurate pictures, but we also wanted a scalable solution that integrated well with our new electronic door entry system," said Matt Fry, the district's media coordinator. "Plus, we wanted mobile monitoring capability, excellent support from the manufacturer and most of all, an affordable solution that would give us the large number of cameras we needed for the coverage we wanted."

Two days after the installation, the cameras caught images of a couple of vandals. "The D-Link surveillance system was online on a Friday and that Sunday evening, we had vandals break in and tear up a Coke machine," said Fry. "Fortunately, one of the guys walked straight under a camera in the dark. Due to the image clarity, we were able to capture a good shot of his face and an identifying scar on the back of his head and he was caught immediately. Had the incident happened the weekend before, we would not have had a camera at that location and we wouldn't have seen him."

The video software allows the administrators at each campus to monitor their own cameras while district people and local law enforcement personnel can view video from all of the schools. "One time an officer called because he noticed lights on in the gym after hours. Even though I was out of town, I was able to pull up video images on my smart phone and see for myself, so I could address the situation," Fry noted.

In the future, the district expects to add additional IP cameras that include zoom for areas such as entry gates.

About the Author

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