School Security Starts at the Perimeter

June 1, 2017
The benefits of access control and video surveillance systems go way beyond worst-case scenarios and are realized daily

Because the demand for access control and surveillance continues to grow in the education vertical, this market offers opportunities to locksmiths. School administrators and parents are on edge about the potential for a violent crisis to occur in their facilities, and they are looking for help.

There has been a trend towards increasing security on classroom and other interior doors and an expedient and cost-effective way to protect students.

While a high quality lock designed for the purpose of creating obstacle to an active shooter is certainly worthwhile, security professionals recognize that, as in protecting against other crime, it is desirable to keep the criminal off the premises in the first place to avoid the possible confrontations and conflicts from ever happening once the criminal gets inside.

There is  extensive debate regarding barricading classroom doors. In this context the term ‘barricading’ refers to the installation of hardware on classroom doors which although intended to provide a degree of safety by blocking the entry of an active shooter, they also prevent access by first responders and prevent egress from the classroom in an emergency (potentially trapping occupants inside in the event of a fire).

The locksmith should point out the dangers and not participate in the installation of non-code compliant barricade products

Those of us who have been engaged in the access control industry for any length of time have been managing to provide excellent entry control and surveillance of entire buildings and campuses without resorting to entrapping our clients.

For the professional security provider, Life Safety (safe egress in an emergency) is the priority, while providing security against unlawful or forced entry has to be secondary.

With professionally designed systems and properly trained faculty and staff, both goals are achievable without sacrificing one of the other.

Some active shooters are actually students, and stories come on the news regularly where concealed weapons are smuggled onto school property in preparation for criminal activity or perhaps a mass attack.

Some crime comes in undetected or unnoticed, where officials do not have an opportunity to detect and thwart plans in advance.

In my experience with school security there have been a few commonalities, and all of them are well with the mainstream of thinking within the security management world. All the solutions and measures were planned and proven effective steps toward enhancing school security.

  1. Perimeter lockdown
  2. Fencing and full height turnstiles
  3. Metal detectors
  4. Video surveillance
  5. PhotoID
  6. Adequate outdoor lighting
  7. Concise visitor management and access control
  8. Training and awareness of students, parents, faculty & staff

Once the systems are installed it is imperative that they are inspected and maintained, possibly by a locksmith but definitely by qualified technicians.

While building codes have recently been ramped up to require annual inspections of fire doors, special purpose security devices and systems must be functionally checked far more frequently; if not daily then weekly, perhaps after school hours where the least disruption of the learning environment will occur. I had a client who actually tested their systems every day. I loved that.

Although proposing and expensive integrated system may be considered a  hard sell, access control and video surveillance systems offer many additional benefits to the clients, and are not only used in worst case scenarios.

Just one example would be the benefits of being able to monitor students queuing for busses, or being able observe hall passage  or to monitor parking areas. Ever hear of “slip and falls” or missing laptops?

Another benefit would be the peace of mind afforded knowing that every individual in the premises can be identified as authorized to be there by anyone in an instant with a simple photo ID.

Properly installed and managed security is a strong deterrent against crime, and enhances respect for authority among all involved.

Continental CA4K®Integrated Platform

Continental’s new CA4K® Security Management Software Platform is a scalable single solution for access control, wireless locking, alarm monitoring and IP video integration –wherever you are.

Whether used on a small system of a few doors, or a multi-site global enterprise with thousands of doors, multiple credential/reader types and unlimited users, the budget friendly/IT-friendly secure platform is designed to grow with the requirement, eliminating the costly need to upgrade software packages or replace hardware, or both, “down the road”, as occurs with other manufacturers.

Also, the CA4K one-box solution, frees you from pricey add-on modules for functionality and there’s no annual software licensing. (Yearly upgrade program available.)

This powerful security management system features intuitively-designed easy icon user interface with multiview-windows, trees & more; active visitor management with live cross-check; streamlined LDAP Active Directory-compliant and custom multi-language auto-load operator log-ins; unlimited threat level lockdown- and multi-area APB-configurations. CA4K’s full-function web client, (creation, assignment & control) provides today’s important mobile convenience, plus robust multi-database partitioning, combines for ideal, easy dealer-managed services.

CA4K has seamless integration with a full line of Wireless Networx® & ArchiTech™ Customizable locks and keypads with built-in HID®, iClass® or multi-technology smart readers; as well as ultra-high-speed support for Continental’s new POE uniVerse™ single door controller or expandable, field-upgradable conventional controllers, i.e., SuperTwo™, SuperTerm™ or AccelaTerm™ for the fastest processing performance available on the market.

Functions include:

  • Access control
  • Alarm monitoring
  • Video DVR/NVR interface
  • Visitor management control
  • Time and attendance and payroll functions
  • Photo badging
  • Import/export utilities
  • Email and SMS notification
  • Wireless lock, Intrusion and fire alarm systems integration
  • Turnkey Managed Services Option
  • Open API support
  • Threat level management
  • Multiple area Anti-Passback (APBs)
  • Dynamic map control
  • FIPS /TWIC/CAC/PIV/PIV I card support
  • Global lockdown or lockdown by APB area
  • Remote management / web client

CA4K Platform Capabilities:

  • Card capacity up to 1,000,000 cards on later generation panels
  • Event Transaction storage limited only to hard drive size
  • 30,000 access groups
  • 5 Holiday calendars with 100 holidays each
  • Over 12,000 readers and 112,000 relay outputs per location
  • Database partitioning (Ideal for Dealer hosted business model
  • Over 124,000 supervised alarm inputs per location

Alarm Lock Trilogy Networx’s act as single-door controllers on the CA4K System in real time. One-hour wireless lock installation, brings power, HID reader and door-position contact to any opening without any wires. All Alarm Lock Networx and customizable ArchiTech Networx Models supported, now including DL/PDL8200, 8600 & Exit Trim Models for pushbars (ETs), as well as Networx wireless, 802.11 and POE gateways and repeaters, for expanded reach in any construction.

Continental’s new uniVerse™CICP2100 Controller is tiny but powerful, fitting in as double gang box for easy, concealed installation anywhere, controlling up to 2 readers for one door. Use as Power over Ethernet or RS485 option (to downstream up to 10 units on one network address). IT-friendly with AES 256bit advanced encryption and diagnostic LEDs. 2 Form C relay outputs, door and auxiliary; 4 supervised inputs + tamper. Highspeed 921.6KBPS comm. Intermix with full family of conventional Continental

Security System Integration (using any Napco Gemini™ System & iBridge® interface)

  • Send SMS/Email notifications on alarm events, e.g, for priority alarms Central Station Reporting Option -Ideal for Security Offices
  • Report alarm inputs to a central station over an ethernet connection saving valuable time & toll calls
  • Alarm inputs can be configured for optional local reporting for faster response (via Napco NetLink™ Receiver, in addition to the CA4K system alert grid) SIMULTANEOUS MULTI-READER INTEGRATION Multi-Reader Technology Support for use in retrofit and new construction, at once – saves (existing) equipment and labor
  • Simultaneous multiple credential and reader format support, from cards and fobs to biometrics: Biometric, Smart Card, Proximity, Wiegand, X-Y matrix keypad, barcode, magnetic stripe
  • Processing of full cardholder CHUID numbers, without degrading super-fast door open times under a fraction of a second
  • FIPS/TWIC Full reader support, including Biometric compliant FIPS201,TWIC; FRAC, CAC-NG; 26 to 256 bit cards.
  • Complete FASC-N software support Mobile Access Control via Smart Devices – Bluetooth LE & NFC
  • HID®-M support of virtual credentials (in lieu of cards) with HID® App & Smart Readers, using a Bluetooth LE Solution in Readers (“-M” suffix).
  • XceedID® Reader support, all standardly include an NFC Solution, used in conjunction with their App & series of purchased virtual credentials
  • iLock® App for smartphone/device entry thru Alarm Lock Networx & ArchiTech Access Locks, securely encrypted comm. and paired to lock via Bluetooth LE technology. App available thru GooglePlay® & iTunes®

Use NAPCO A700 enhanced video integration for seamless integration with Video Insight®, Exacq®, Milestone®, Pelco® DS & DX, Salient ®,Hitron®, Integral® & Avigilon® video partners - For real-time video that can be automatically associated to any alarm event from a reader, input, NAPCO alarm zone or Networx Wireless Lock, in the CA4K system. Then, from any workstation, the operator can instantly retrieve recorded video associated with the event with a simple click of an icon.

View up to 64 cameras from a single screen or choose the views you want. Unlimited viewing layouts per user, with multiple monitor support

Recorded Video Window with play button, stop button and a scroll bar for intuitive simplicity. New events will have priority over video review.

Remotely search for recorded video from 1, to as many as 99, DVR servers on the network by using the CA4K Integrated Search Feature. Smart Search technology saves time by applying motion filters to highlight activity.

CA4K DVR Integration features include:

  • Remote 4/9 camera viewing, video picture enhancement, PTZ control, camera preset recall, zoom, focus and iris control.
  • TCP/IP protocol Communications with any supported DVR Server on the network; time-synchronized with the CA4K Server.
  • Trigger pre & post recording, viewing of live & recorded video associated with an event; recording indicators, displaying motion triggered recording as an alarm event & one click viewing of recorded video, all from the CA4K event screen.
  • High-Performance Multi-Database design includes five databases (separate Configuration and Events databases)
  • Complete remote system management & updates through standard web browsers - No proprietary software to load - use LAN or Internet
  • Full hardware configuration of panels, relays, inputs
  • Remote unlocking/ locking of doors and relay activation
  • Real-Time event viewing, time & attendance: personnel/ and badging changes and in-list reports

System Requirements:

  • CPU Intel Dual Core, 2.6 GHz, min. (server w/ 1 to 4 workstations, workstation or report station); Xeon Quad Core, 2.0 GHz , min. (5-19 workstations)**
  • RAM 8 GIG, min. (server w/ 1 to 4 workstations, workstation or report station); 16 GIG, min. (server w/ 5-19 workstations, workstation or report station)
  • Hard Drive 300GB, min. (server w/ 1 to 4 workstations, workstation or report station); 500GB, min. (server w/ 5-19 workstations)**
  • Backup Network, DVD, CD
  • USB Ports 4 min.
  • Serial Ports, Optional 1 Expandable to 64
  • Ethernet (NIC) 100/1000Mbit
  • Display 17” or greater (1500 x 900, min. resolution)

HID Global’s vanGO®

Adding an image to an access control credential adds another layer of security to a facility. Individuals who do not display an ID can be immediately spotted and questioned, and the image allows almost instant authentication that the person is an authorized cardholder. And that’s before they ever even approach a secured door card reader!

But counter fitting of credentials is becoming more common as a form of identity theft, and therefore a more reliable means of credentialing students, faculty and staff might be something to consider.

HID Global’s vanGO One-2-One visual security features enable you to create a custom solution with premiere counterfeit resistance that is easy to use and has a total lower cost of ownership than other leading visual security options.

HID Global’s vanGO® is a new and unique technology used for creating visually secure ID solutions that can be personalized to the owner of the card or credential. They are highly counterfeit-resistant IDs that can be printed in just minutes, whenever, wherever needed.

The vanGO family of One-2-One visual security features include vanGO, an off-the-shelf solution, and vanGO Custom, a customized version that can be adjusted to meet your specific security needs. Using the same durable and debris-free UltraCard® Premium cards sold by HID today, the vanGO patch can be hot-stamped to the surface of the card and then written with the cardholder’s image using the FARGO® HDP8500 printer and the HDP8500LW module to produce a tamper-proof, counterfeit resistant, and easily verifiable ID in a matter of minutes.

For customers requiring a solution that is more tailored to their application, vanGO Custom can be hot-stamped on to PVC composite cards containing features such as magnetic stripe, pre-printed information, or embedded technologies, such as Seos®. In addition the shape and location of the patch can be customized to fit your specific needs (e.g., a triangle in the lower left-hand corner of the card) and/or additional visual security features can be added to the card (e.g., a hologram surrounding the patch itself). vanGO Custom enables the creation of a premiere solution that can be customized to fit your specific requirements.

To create your own vanGO One-2-One personalization solution, you may require the following HID Global products:

  • FARGO® HDP8500 high-definition, industrial grade printer
  • Asure® ID 7.6 card software to create templates for placement of your vanGO patch on the card

AXIS Q6055-C PTZ Network Camera

With HDTV 1080p and 32x optical zoom with autofocus, the outdoor-ready AXIS Q6055-C PTZ dome provides exceptional coverage of large areas and great details when zooming in. It is ideal for use at construction and open-pit mining sites, along pipelines, and for city surveillance.

With a built-in active cooling system, AXIS Q6055-C can operate in temperatures up to 75°C (167°F). The dust- and waterproof camera is IP66- and NEMA 4X-rated and meets the tough military standard, MIL-STD-810G, ensuring reliable operation in harsh weather conditions such as sandstorms. Support for shock detection enables the camera to trigger an alarm if it has been hit.

AXIS Q6055-C has a wide horizontal viewing angle ranging from 62.8°–2.23°. The camera’s 32x optical zoom, in combination with HDTV 1080p resolution, provides extremely detailed zoomed-in views, enabling, for instance, the license plate of a vehicle to be read some 300 m (984 ft) away. AXIS Q6055-C offers the same video quality as AXIS Q6055-E.

The camera is designed for round-the-clock pan/tilt/zoom operation. It has a fast and precise pan/tilt response at 450° per second. It can be automatically directed to 256 preset positions using guard tour.

Optimized for video surveillance, Axis’ Zipstream technology is a significantly more efficient H.264 implementation, lowering bandwidth and storage requirements by an average 50% or more for many common 24/7 surveillance use cases. Scenes containing interesting details are recorded in full image quality and resolution while other areas are filtered out, to optimally use available bandwidth and storage. Important forensic details like faces, tattoos or license plates are isolated and preserved, while irrelevant areas such as white walls, lawns and vegetation are sacrificed by smoothing in order to achieve the better storage savings.

Zipstream also automatically adapts to PTZ camera movements. Bandwidth peaks can be avoided thanks to a dynamic rate controller that is automatically enabled when the camera is being panned, tilted or zoomed.

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.