Elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, community colleges, and universities across America have something in common: all have been the site of a deadly school shooting, and all school officials are worried their campus could be next.
Schools have long been on guard for theft, vandalism, storm damage, fights and gang activity, drug and alcohol use on school grounds, etc. That hasn’t changed. But today, far and away the
number one security concern among school administrators is preventing gun violence either by a student bringing a weapon on campus or a deranged outsider attacking the school.
Toward that end, educational institutions of all types and sizes have taken many steps to ensure a safe learning environment for students and staff including hiring a non-commissioned school security officer (SSO) or law enforcement school resource officer (SRO), implementing a visitor management system, limiting access to school buildings, locking classroom doors and unguarded entrances from the inside, and installing IP security cameras and outdoor lighting across the property. Some schools have gone as far as making students pass through metal detectors at the main entrance each morning and conducting active shooter emergency preparedness drills.
These and other school security solutions are unfortunate but necessary in today’s society where anyone with a grudge and a gun is a threat to school safety. Beyond the potential loss of innocent lives, the incalculable grief of the families affected, and the PTSD of survivors and first responders lies the journey of recovery for the institution. It sounds cold-hearted, but after an event, the school will experience a disruption to learning, lower morale, increased stress among students and teachers, a damaged reputation, and a potential drop in enrollment. At the end of the day education is a business, and it is incumbent upon school officials to ensure faculty, staff, and students feel safe to maximize enrollment and revenues – at minimal cost, of course.
Enhance School Security Systems with Arcules Cloud-based Smart Video Surveillance
Many schools have invested heavily in security cameras and closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems to put eyes on parking lots, building entrances, hallways, stairwells, playgrounds, cafeterias, and even in classrooms. Advanced imaging technologies built into today’s video surveillance equipment enable motion-activated IP camera viewing and recording, high-definition pan/tilt/zoom capabilities, plus thermal detection and infrared imaging to reveal threats not visible to the naked eye.
In addition to that, placing the school security cameras in obvious positions with signage alerting passersby they are being recorded will go a long way toward deterring unwanted behaviors like students smoking in a stairwell, a fight in the cafeteria, or dealing drugs in the hallways.
However, for those intent on committing violence despite the presence of surveillance cameras and signs, CCTV with live monitoring in schools can save precious seconds, giving teachers an opportunity to lock doors and get students to a safe place. Security personnel can quickly alert authorities to a lock-down situation and direct first responders to a precise location. But CCTV limits surveillance to on-premises security officers who must monitor every security camera in real time for suspicious activity. As such, it often becomes a tool for post-crime analysis and evidence gathering rather than crime prevention. That’s where Arcules comes in.
Shift from Reactive to Proactive Video Surveillance with Arcules
Designed for institutions of all sizes, Arcules adds a revolutionary layer of modern IT software intelligence over an existing video security and school surveillance system. Arcules allows security personnel to access any camera at any time via any mobile device or web browser, even after-hours, eliminating on-premises monitoring restrictions. Easy to install, program, and extremely cost effective, Arcules integrates with third party alarm system and access control systems as well as other physical security measures to alert security personnel if a door has been left propped open or a suspicious person is attempting forced entry, for example.
From single buildings to multi-campus universities, live video surveillance takes security and operations to the next level by enabling proactive threat response to prevent or at least minimize the damage from violent incidents, accidents, or criminal activities. But video surveillance can get expensive for educational facilities to record, index, and archive what could be thousands of hours of digital security footage each month. The cost of on-prem data storage and the servers, software, and expertise to manage it all and perform AI-powered video analytics can be a non-starter for budget-strapped public schools, local districts, and private institutions. Fortunately, there is another way: Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS).
Arcules VSaaS Platform: Cloud-based Video Surveillance for Education Institutions
Arcules is the world’s only truly open cloud based VSaaS platform that easily integrates with an existing security camera system. Unlike other video surveillance solutions that require the installation of proprietary cameras and rely on bulky, expensive local storage equipment with finite capacities, the intelligent Arcules video surveillance system saves time and money by seamlessly integrating with a school’s existing cameras and hardware, and providing unlimited low-cost, cloud-based video storage.
Arcules is a subscription-based service, so schools pay only for the amount of data storage consumed and have the flexibility to scale up or down as cameras are added to the network in new classrooms, buildings, and campuses. Security personnel can monitor all cameras installed throughout the grounds – or across multiple campuses – from a centralized web portal accessible anywhere there is an internet connection. Arcules checks all the boxes for modern video surveillance with these capabilities and so much more:
- Live remote video monitoring and recording, with secure cloud-based scalable data storage
- Support for advanced video surveillance features including thermal imaging, night vision, occupancy counting, plus integration with environmental sensors (vape/THC/gunshot sounds), central station monitoring services, and more
- Mobile and desktop apps that let security personnel view live cameras from anywhere and access cloud storage surveillance footage on demand
- Integration with third party access control systems for visual confirmation of entry/egress activity
- Forensic video search tools with intuitive AI-powered analytics to comb through hours of footage using keywords and colors for instant and highly relevant search results
- Push notifications and alerts to mobile users for immediate threat response
- Arcules open API will allow for future integration with AI-powered software apps that recognize and detect when a gun is visible on camera and automatically alert authorities
Best of all, Arcules does this without the need for new video equipment. Arcules supports more than 6,000 types of ONVIF-compliant IP cameras, access control panels, and sensors, maximizing every institution’s investment in existing video surveillance technology.
By adopting the Arcules video surveillance platform, schools can significantly enhance campus security at minimal cost by migrating to a cloud-based system that eliminates the need to archive thousands of hours of video security footage, provides instant access to live or any moment of captured video footage on demand, and leverages their existing investment in security cameras and hardware.
With Arcules, software upgrades are automatic and proactive support alerts users to potential issues before they become problems. The Arcules VSaaS subscription model reduces risk and complexity, with several flexible plan options to meet every school’s unique needs and budget.