The University of San Diego has its own internal security force, known as the Department of Public Safety.
The University of San Diego is a private Roman Catholic institution comprised of seven academic colleges including Law, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Business Administration. Current enrollment is approximately 5,457 undergraduate and 1,686 postgraduate, with an additional 962 students in other categories. In addition to academic programs that are consistently recognized for their excellence, the University boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States.
The University of San Diego has its own internal security force, known as the Department of Public Safety. The Department enforces campus policies, including traffic and parking regulations, as well as certain California state laws, and is empowered to investigate misdemeanor crimes occurring on campus. Although well equipped and staffed with highly trained security officers, the Department did not have the means to efficiently record and document all entrances and exits to and from the campus. Furthermore, they did not have a way to reliably know whether vehicles entering University property were permitted to be there. With the threats of crime and terrorism as constant concerns, the Department of Public Safety was also interested in knowing whether any vehicles on campus were registered to individuals with active wants or warrants against them, and also in being able to determine if a vehicle was showing suspicious movement patterns. These were the principle pieces of knowledge the Department would require to prevent crimes against students and faculty. In addition to security concerns, the University also needed a way of detecting and enforcing parking violations that did not rely on random checks by officers.
It was determined that License Plate Recognition (LPR) was the best technological solution to address the University’s security concerns. It was further determined that PlateSmart’s ARES enterprise video analytics software was the best option available.The software could contantly scan all license plates entering and exiting the campus, instantly comparing all scans to an internal hotlist and alerting security personnel if unwanted persons drove onto the campus. ARES could also be connected to the San Diego Police Department, which is responsible for investigating violent crimes on campus, and instantly alert them if a vehicle with an active warrant drove onto the USD campus. Additionally, the ARES analytics backbone would allow the Department to recognize suspicious vehicle movement patterns. With the installation of a sufficient number of cameras, the ARES solution would also be able to monitor parking lots and determine if unauthorized vehicles parked there or if authorized vehicles overstayed their allotted time.
PlateSmart worked with integrator Convergint Technologies to complete this implementation. During phase one, six Pelco IXE10DN 1.3 megapixel surveillance cameras were installed at the main gate, three for the incoming lanes and three for the outgoing. Raytec Vario infrared illumination was installed for nighttime LPR. During phase two, two additional cameras were installed at USD’s Linda Vista Road gate, one incoming and one outgoing. Total cost for the installation was $8,000 per camera lane.
PlateSmart’s ARES video analytics software has been instrumental in a large number of cases investigated by the Department of Public Safety. The ability to accurately determine when specified vehicles entered and exited the University campus has dramatically reduced the guesswork so often inherent in police investigation. The Department of Public Safety specifically notes the ARES software’s efficacy in helping to locate missing students.