Liberty Public Schools
Deploy an integrated access control and video surveillance system to protect students, staff, and assets and create the safest learning environment for students.
Liberty Public Schools (LPS) centrally manages its access control and HD video surveillance system using Avigilon Access Control Manager (ACM) and the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM)™ technology. ACM is paired with Mercury hardware and readers at the main entrances of all 22 buildings. LPS installed 300 Avigilon HD 1 MP and 2 MP cameras and utilizes Avigilon analog video encoders to boost the performance of its existing analog cameras. The school district stores at least one week of continuous video surveillance footage.
- Improved safety for students, faculty and staff
- Quicker response times to incidents
- Reduced installation, licensing and support costs
- Ease of use saves time and costs for management
- Ability to search 10x faster
- Centrally managed access control and HD video surveillance system
- Web-based for remote visibility Seamless integration with IT systems
- Central management of access privileges boosts system security
- Ability to leverage existing hardware for further cost savings
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Liberty Public School District Creates Safe Learning Environment with Integrated Access Control and High-Definition Surveillance System from Avigilon
With 19 schools serving 11,800 students from preschool to grade 12, the Liberty Public School (LPS) district in Clay County, Missouri is the second fastest-growing district in the state. As one of the most progressive districts in Missouri, LPS has become a known leader in school safety, implementing comprehensive policies and state-of-the art security technology to protect students and staff. At the heart of its Safe School initiative is a controlled electronic entry system that runs on the Avigilon Access Control Manager (ACM) software and is integrated with the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system for a complete, all-in-one security platform that effectively and reliably ensures a safe learning environment for everyone.
“The Avigilon solution allows us to centrally manage building access and video surveillance from any location while giving administrators at each building visibility into school activity without having to invest in steep licensing fees.”
Better Performance, Lower Cost
Previously, LPS used a competitor’s access control system and IP video management software, and a variety of analog and IP cameras, to control access and monitor its facilities. However, when the U.S. recession hit, the district was forced to bring system management in-house to cut costs. “We couldn’t keep paying the high support and licensing costs associated with our old system,” explained Curt Laven, technology specialist at Liberty Public Schools. With the assistance of their trusted integrator, American Digital Security (ADS), the district set out to find a more cost-effective, Web-based access control solution that could integrate with the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system and other IT systems for central management. Before installing Avigilon, LPS only had one license from a competitor on a dedicated workstation, so only one person could manage the system. “The Avigilon solution allows us to centrally manage building access and video surveillance from any location while giving administrators at each building visibility into school activity without having to invest in steep licensing fees.”
“ACC lets us conduct a search ten times faster than before and then easily export video to DVD for police investigation.”
Search 10X Faster
For search and playback, the ACC software is also incredibly easy to use. “Previously, we had six Digital Video Recorders, so we would have to search through all of them separately to try to piece together the chronology of an event,” said Laven. “ACC lets us conduct a search ten times faster than before and then easily export video to DVD for police investigation – it is child’s play.” Laven can also quickly bookmark events and store them indefinitely for future investigation. Local police have been impressed with the system’s image quality and ease-of-use. “We have been able to deliver court-ready evidence in several cases.”
Time and Cost Saver
Because the integrated Avigilon access control and high-definition surveillance system is so easy to use, Laven has been able to save a lot of time on daily tasks. For example, he was able to switch over from their old system to Avigilon in less than an hour per building, with virtually no outages for users. “I used to spend four days each year rebooting our old DVRs due to daylight savings time, but now I can update the entire system from my desk in just minutes,” asserted Laven, who uses the time saved for other more proactive tasks. It is also quick and easy to scale servers to meet future needs. “It is so easy to add new servers.” Additional cost savings are achieved because LPS was able to consolidate all its servers onto just one rack, reducing space and energy consumption.
The fact that ACM integrates so seamlessly with the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software was a big benefit. “With access control systems and more than 900 surveillance cameras across 22 facilities, we needed an integrated and centrally manageable solution,” stated Laven. The entire Avigilon system is managed in the data center using the ACC software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM)™ technology. ACM is paired with Mercury hardware and readers at all main entrances. LPS installed a total of 300 Avigilon HD 1 MP and 2 MP cameras and Avigilon analog video encoders to boost the performance of its existing analog cameras. “We’ve seen a huge jump in image quality since deploying the Avigilon encoders.”
The district is required to store one week of continuous surveillance video, but often surpasses this amount. “The Avigilon surveillance system delivers efficient bandwidth utilization, especially compared to other HD cameras, so we can store the footage we need,” said Laven. “For example, one Avigilon camera pulls 1.5 MB of data per second on a windy day, while a competing camera in the same situation pulls 3 MB.” Laven installed the new access control and surveillance system, from card readers to HD cameras and encoders. “Even without any training, it was ridiculously easy,” claimed Laven. “And by handling installation in-house, we were able to reduce our costs.”
“Avigilon’s ease of integration is a true game changer.”
The fact that ACM integrates seamlessly with the district’s IT systems, such as Active Directory, was high on the list of requirements. “Avigilon’s ease of integration is a true game changer,” remarked Laven. Before, individual accounts, roles, and policies were not synchronized across all network appliances in real-time, creating an administrative headache. “One teacher had three different accounts, cards, and photos because we didn’t have a central way of managing our data.” Now, when Laven removes someone from Active Directory, it updates in ACM as well, ensuring a much more accurate and up to date system. By integrating with Active Directory, Laven can also centrally manage access privileges to IT systems and building doors based on assigned user roles to ensure administrators never see more than they need to.
“Avigilon is a one-stop solution that integrates with all the major brands of surveillance and IT systems.”
An Easy Button for Security
As an all-in-one solution, the Avigilon system is easy to manage and support. “Avigilon is a one-stop solution that integrates with all the major brands of surveillance and IT systems so we don’t have to waste time jury-rigging between systems,” noted Laven. “Offering one platform instead of multiple technologies trying to work together, Avigilon makes system management so easy.” For example, using auto-focus, Laven can refocus camera lenses remotely with the click of a button, instead of having to physically work on each camera. “Avigilon is a giant easy button for security,” he added.
Leveraging Existing Hardware
Another key requirement of the new access control system was that it be able to support open field hardware from various manufacturers. “By working with our existing card readers and control panels, we saved installation time and reduced infrastructure costs,” said Laven. The Avigilon team was also able to quickly solve a problem with the district’s old door readers to make it work with ACM. “The support from Avigilon has been amazing.”
A Dream Solution
The Avigilon access control and high-definition surveillance system gives LPS the variety and quality of video evidence needed to respond quickly and efficiently to incidents before they become serious. The district has been so pleased with the results that it plans to standardize on Avigilon for any new construction moving forward. “Avigilon delivers simple yet powerful tools that extend our ability to protect students and staff and ensure the safest school environment possible,” concluded Laven. “If you dream it, you can build it with the Avigilon system.”