Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is the second largest school district in Ohio with 107 schools serving approximately 39,125 students from diverse multi-racial and multi-cultural backgrounds.
Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is the second largest school district in Ohio with 107 schools serving approximately 39,125 students from diverse multi-racial and multi-cultural backgrounds. The district is committed to serving as a model of innovation for the state of Ohio, including leveraging technology to deliver a safe and orderly environment for students and staff.
The Division of Safety and Security, headed by Chief Lester Fultz, is responsible for overseeing the various security measures that have been implemented throughout the school district, including visitor management, a student ID program and a dedicated police unit, among others. Paramount to the safety and security operation is the video surveillance system with cameras installed in every school and administrative facility. The more than 5100 surveillance cameras, of mixed brands and age, help the district in deterring or preventing vandalism and violence and in keeping schools safer by monitoring hallways, cafeterias, entrances and exits, identifying issues and enabling post-incident examination of any incidents.
“We have some pretty high expectations from the school district relative to the video surveillance operation,” said Chief Fultz. “We need the reliability that the system is working and we need the assurance that we can provide the information the school district is looking for.”
The comprehensive surveillance system is well positioned to gather information but the potential for camera and device outages is a concern given the geographic size of the system and the number of cameras deployed. Added to that is the manpower required to monitor the video and the status of the equipment. Even a single camera failure could have damaging consequences.
To ensure system reliability, the district enlists the help of STANLEY IntelAssure, an advanced diagnostic and analytic solution. The automated data verification system assesses each individual surveillance data stream, detects and anticipates interruptions or delays that can cause result in a loss of information, and alerts safety and security personnel with actionable information on how to quickly solve the problem. Authorized personnel can quickly and easily access information via the STANLEY IntelAssure dashboard which is available to authorized personnel from any PC or mobile device. Combined with STANLEY Security’s experienced technical support team, the Division of Safety and Security has all the resources they need to effectively detect, diagnose and solve surveillance system issues from anywhere, 24/7.
“Every one of our cameras goes through the system which enables us to proactively verify each camera and server is working properly without dedicating the resources of an entire department,” adds Chief Fultz. “We need only two people to maintain the system and if a problem is identified it can be repaired or fixed before it becomes an issue. Simply put, the problem of missing video is no longer a problem with the software.”
Working alongside Chief Lester Fultz is Sergeant Jay Bale who is the primary user who interacts with the STANLEY IntelAssure solution on a daily basis. Sergeant Bale adds, “Having the ability to use one system to access information on any camera and server and know what’s going on is really efficient and easy.”
Some of the information the STANLEY IntelAssure solution provides to Sergeant Bale includes potential hard drive issues, how efficient a server is running and whether or not it needs a reboot, whether or not the camera string is recording and much more. Prior to implementation of the STANLEY IntelAssure solution, operators would often not be aware of camera or server malfunctions unless they specifically accessed a device and learned it was not operating. STANLEY IntelAssure resolved this potential liability and added further efficiency by seamlessly integrating with the existing system and providing centralized system verification on a unified dashboard.
Accessing video or system information from the dashboard is relatively simple and has allowed more effective allocation of resources where and when they are needed.
“The STANLEY IntelAssure solution is incredibly efficient and ultimately saves us precious time and money,” continued Chief Fultz.
The diagnostic data is updated by the STANLEY IntelAssure platform every 20 minutes to keep information current. The solution is specific to the schools’ networked surveillance system and does not touch, view or store any actual video content, significantly reducing any concerns or issues of privacy or security/hacking exposure. For added security, STANLEY IntelAssure requires outbound-only connections and all transmission data is encrypted.
To speed-up problem resolution, STANLEY Security experts can provide additional, live support. In one instance Chief Fultz was contacted on a weekend and advised that a server was filling up for no apparent reason and was quickly running low on space. The timely alert allowed maintenance to fix the problem before any valuable information was lost.
Chief Fultz concluded, “We continue to use the software because of the convenience and efficiency factors their solution delivers, as well as the value it provides to the school district and to this department. In today’s climate, no school should be without this kind of protection.”