Vancouver Community College
Create a safe campus environment for staff and students.Download PDF
Security personnel manage the Avigilon HD Surveillance System using Avigilon Control Center network video management software (NVMS.) The College installed a combination of 26 1MP Avigilon HD cameras, four 2MP Avigilon HD cameras, and three 3MP Avigilon HD cameras to monitor high traffic areas within the College, particularly where cash-handling processes occur. Vancouver Community College also installed 16 Avigilon Analog Video Encoders to enhance the performance of its existing analog cameras. Storing up to 29 days of footage, security personnel monitor the Avigilon HD Surveillance System from a control room located at each campus.
Leveraging the advanced features of Avigilon Control Center NVMS including its use of JPEG 2000 compression technology, the College can provide useable evidence to local law enforcement faster than before, helping to strengthen its relationship and leading to more successful investigations. In addition, the College utilizes the system’s advanced search and bookmarking capabilities to highlight specific details to reduce investigation times from days to minutes and is currently networking both campuses to ensure automatic failover from one site to the other if necessary. The Avigilon HD Surveillance System not only boosts security, it also leverages the College’s existing infrastructure to further reduce costs. With Avigilon HD Surveillance System, the College can easily scale to meet expanding needs and integrate with the industry’s leading access control system as budget allows.
- Reduced investigation times
- Leverage existing infrastructure
- Flexible & scalable
- Greater coverage
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Vancouver Community College Safeguards Students with Avigilon High Definition Surveillance System
Vancouver Community College embarked on its mission to serve students in Vancouver’s diverse urban community nearly 45 years ago. As one of British Columbia’s oldest and largest community colleges, Vancouver Community College continues to adapt its programming and implement new ways to improve its resources, technology, and facilities to foster a learning environment that maximizes the educational experience. The College is also committed to creating a safe campus environment that improves the quality of life for students, employees, and the local community. After undergoing an extensive third-party risk assessment, Vancouver Community College realized that it was time to move from its analog- based system to a more powerful and reliable digital surveillance system to meet its security objectives. After a detailed tender and selection process, the College selected the Avigilon HD Surveillance System for its ability to capture more useable evidence for faster and more effective conflict resolution.
Securing a Diverse Community
Spanning 725,000 square feet, Vancouver Community College consists of two main campuses – the Broadway campus, which is located outside the city center, and the Downtown campus, which is close to one of the country’s poorest neighborhoods. With 1,500 employees and 25,000 students, the College serves the needs of Vancouver’s urban community, including many new Canadian citizens and international students. “Dedicated to ensuring safety on campus, our primary concern comes from the external community, which has the potential to influence our student body, and in particular, target vulnerable students,” explained Surinder Aulakh, director of safety and security at Vancouver Community College. “We have established a strong security program, including a 14-member security team and an advanced, HD surveillance system to protect our students and staff from any potential harm.”
“With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, we were able to find the image we needed and transmit it across the campus in less than five minutes.”
Making the Move to HD
After joining the College two years ago, Aulakh quickly identified the need to upgrade from its seven-year old analog-based system to a more advanced and powerful surveillance system for greater protection. “I was spending more time repairing and maintaining our old system than actually using it,” commented Aulakh. “In addition, I knew it was time to move out of the analog world and into the HD world for greater performance and reliability.” In fact, Aulakh claims that with his previous analog system, he was only able to capture useable evidence about 10 percent of the time.
The College developed a Request for Proposals (RFP) that detailed the selection criteria for a new hybrid surveillance system, weighted primarily on solution capabilities, but also taking into account price, installation services, training, and warranty. After an extensive review of 18 surveillance solutions from 14 vendors, the College selected the Avigilon HD Surveillance System proposed by Paladin Security, one of Canada’s largest full service security companies. “Combined, Avigilon and Paladin Security offered the best solution and service, setting them apart from all the other vendors.”
The Avigilon Solution
For Vancouver Community College, the principal goal for the new HD surveillance system was to increase the level of security on campus. To do this, the new system had to offer the following capabilities: it had to deliver useable evidence, facilitate the rapid review of incidents, and enable the simple transfer of data for fast and successful conflict resolution. Avigilon Control Center network video management software (NVMS) easily met all three criteria. “When we began looking for a new surveillance solution, our focus was not just to achieve a return on investment, but rather to improve overall security and address our goals as outlined in our security plan,” commented Aulakh. “Avigilon helped us do just that.”
Aulakh and his security team seamlessly manage the Avigilon HD Surveillance System using Avigilon Control Center NVMS with HD Stream Management, which was built from the ground up to manage HD surveillance video. The College installed a combination of 26 1MP Avigilon HD cameras, four 2MP Avigilon HD cameras, and three 3MP Avigilon HD cameras to monitor high traffic areas within the College, particularly where cash-handling processes occur. Vancouver Community College also installed 16 Avigilon Analog Video Encoders to enhance the performance of its existing analog cameras, which monitor other high security areas within campus buildings. Storing up to 29 days of footage, security personnel monitor the Avigilon HD Surveillance System from a control room located at each campus.
“Using Avigilon Control Center’s advanced features, VPD officers can easily manipulate the footage to find the exact image detail they need for investigative purposes.”
A Stronger Relationship with Law Enforcement
With a strong security background, Aulakh has a good understanding of what the law enforcement community needs when it comes to useable evidence. “With our previous analog-based system, we were unable to provide the image clarity needed to lead to successful investigations,” explained Aulakh. “But with Avigilon’s excellent image quality and use of JPEG2000 compression technologies to facilitate data transfer, we can now provide local law enforcement with the evidence they need – dramatically improving our relationship.”
Saving Time and Closing Cases
In fact, when Aulakh explained to his colleagues at the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) that Avigilon Control Center leveraged JPEG2000 compression technology, the response was very positive. “Using Avigilon Control Center’s advanced features, VPD officers can easily manipulate the footage to find the exact image detail they need for investigative purposes,” said Aulakh.
Leveraging Avigilon Control Center’s advanced features and management tools, Aulakh and his team can download the file in its native format and hand it over to the VPD along with the Avigilon Control Center player software so they can review the footage on their own terms. “We can also show them what we think is important by highlighting specific areas or events to dramatically expedite the investigative process,” added Aulakh.
Vancouver Community College has also been very impressed by the speed and ease with which they can share important evidence when necessary. In one case, Aulakh needed to quickly disseminate an image of an individual to all College staff, a process that previously would have taken two to three hours. “With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, we were able to find the image we needed and transmit it across the campus in less than five minutes,” stated Aulakh.
“You just simply cannot compare Avigilon Control Center with what we previously had.”
Advanced Search Functionality
“With our previous analog-based system, we could only conduct an event-driven search,” noted Aulakh. “With Avigilon Control Center software, we have several new search options, including a pixelated search or alarm search to dramatically improve our investigative success.” While he didn’t initially think event bookmarking would be a significant benefit, Aulakh soon found that having the ability to bookmark events in real-time also saves his team a lot of time.
“A key selling feature for us was the fact that we can easily integrate our system with the industry’s leading access control system.”
Easy to Learn and Use
According to Aulakh, Avigilon’s advanced management features really set the solution apart. “You just simply cannot compare Avigilon Control Center with what we previously had,” said Aulakh. Training was a top priority for the College, and a key component of its RFP. “Avigilon and Paladin Security worked around our schedule and in less than one hour, had our entire team up and running on the system.” Aulakh says he has received only positive feedback from security staff, as well as the College’s facilities management team.
Boosting Security While Saving Money
Not only has the Avigilon HD Surveillance System helped Vancouver Community College meet its security mission, it has also helped the College save money. “Avigilon and Paladin Security worked closely with us to design a surveillance system that not only delivered the best technology, but was less expensive than the competition, requiring fewer cameras and lower installation costs,” explained Aulakh. In addition the College can now be more efficient with its resources. “With the new system in place, security personnel who used to spend a lot of time reviewing footage can now be redeployed to do actual physical security like walking the campus, further boosting overall student safety.”
“With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, we can enhance security across both our campuses and ensure fast and efficient resolution of issues to maintain the well- being of the entire college community.”
A Hybrid System for Future Growth
Like all educational institutions, Vancouver Community College operates within a fairly tight budget, so finding an HD surveillance system that could leverage its existing infrastructure but easily scale to meet future needs was a top priority. “This was an important capital expenditure for us, and we needed to demonstrate that we could use existing cameras and gradually transition over to full HD as budget allows,” said Aulakh.
Looking ahead, Vancouver Community College has big plans for its new surveillance system, and Avigilon was chosen because it can easily scale to meet future needs. For example, the College is currently networking both campuses so that it can ensure automatic failover from one site to the other if necessary. “We also plan to expand our surveillance system to monitor the exterior of both campuses, and will ultimately replace all our analog cameras to create a complete IP-based surveillance system,” said Aulakh.
Finally, Vancouver Community College also plans to integrate its surveillance system with a new access control system, which it will deploy in the future. “A key selling feature for us was the fact that we can easily integrate our surveillance system with the industry’s leading access control system,” stated Aulakh.
Protecting College Community
Vancouver Community College is committed to delivering innovative instruction that will help students reach their personal, educational, and professional goals. To create an environment that will foster success for both staff and students, the College is also committed to ensuring their safety. “With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, we can enhance security across both our campuses and ensure fast and efficient resolution of issues to maintain the well- being of the entire college community,” concluded Aulakh.