Iowa museum safeguards $2-million artifacts and visiting public with HD surveillance

Iowa museum safeguards $2-million artifacts and visiting public with HD surveillance

With a history dating back to the 1850s, the Sioux City Public Museum has evolved from its original focus on natural science to a broader emphasis on preserving the areas heritage, offering a variety of educational programs, events, and historical exhibitions valued at more than $2 million. Having outgrown its former location in a prominent Victorian-era mansion, the Museum moved to a modern and open-concept building that has become one of the premier cultural destinations in Siouxland downtown site in April 2011. With more than 5,000 visitors each month, the Sioux City Public Museum has made public safety and asset protection top priorities. Avigilon high-definition surveillance system chosen for its management features, ease-of-use, and image clarity has played a key role in helping the Museum meet its security goals.


Protection Key in Downtown Neighborhood
Located in the heart of downtown, the Sioux City Public Museum is a 55,000 square foot facility with an outdoor plaza, loading dock at the rear, and skyway connected to public parking. “Because of the size of the building, as well as its location in an area known for attracting a transient crowd, we wanted an advanced, high-definition surveillance system to monitor people coming and going from our facility around the clock,” explained Steven Hansen, museum director at the Sioux City Public Museum. “We use the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system to deter criminal behavior and to safeguard our valuable artifacts.”

Based on research and a strong recommendation from the City of Sioux City facilities manager, Hansen chose to work with Electric Innovations, a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and service who installed the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system to monitor the entrances, permanent exhibition area, temporary exhibition area, and loading dock. “We needed an advanced, high-definition surveillance system that would provide broad coverage, overcome architectural challenges in our open-concept building, and remain unobtrusive,” explained Hansen. “Providing excellent local support, Electric Innovations has installed the best quality surveillance solution possible to deliver optimal system performance.”

Administrators and exhibition staff at the Sioux City Public Museum manage the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system using the Avigilon Control Center network video management software (NVMS) monitoring the system live throughout the day from their desktop computers. A permanent monitor has been set up in the main reception area to monitor visitors as they enter and exit the permanent exhibit space. The Museum installed 15 Avigilon 1 MP and 2 MP cameras in the main exhibit areas as well as in hallways, key entry points, and at the loading dock, and store 29 days of continuous surveillance footage on an Avigilon Network Video Recorder (NVR).

Without a permanent security staff, the Museum's administrators are responsible for the facility's security in addition to all other operational responsibilities, so ease-of-use was a key requirement for the new system. “The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system is very simple to use, providing each of us with a variety of camera views right from our desktop, making it much easier and less time-consuming to monitor throughout the day,” said Deanna Mayo, administrative assistant at the Sioux City Public Museum. “Because each user can select relevant camera views from their own desktop, we can ensure broader coverage of the Museum at all times.”

“While our needs are pretty basic, we can quickly and easily identify people and events because of Avigilon's simple and intuitive user interface,” confirmed Mayo. Avigilon Control Center provides full control over surveillance video playback, making it easy for users to quickly retrieve evidence and speed up response times. “Avigilon Control Center software is 1,000 percent more effective than our previous analog-based system,” added Hansen.

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