What Has Video Surveillance Done For Your School?

May 13th, 2019 by Earl Stevens

Are video cameras effective in fighting crime and protecting your students and staff? 

We’ve had a number of conversations with school administrators, technologists, and law enforcement lately, and I’d like to share what we’ve learned:

  • Cameras have been an effective tool against property crimes.  People are less likely to steal and vandalize if they know they’re being watched.
  • Cameras have been somewhat effective in efforts to stop physical bullying.  Complaints can often be validated by video evidence.  Many school cameras don’t record audio (or have audio features disabled to preserve privacy), and with a few exceptions, haven’t been useful in detecting verbal abuse and harassment.
  • Video surveillance has been useful in prosecution efforts AFTER a crime has been committed. But it also highlights gaps and mistakes made in the response to the crime or emergency.  This can be a valuable learning experience or a self-incriminating liability.
  • When it comes to cameras in school, administrators must walk the fine line separating safety and privacy.  Both are important, and supporters on both sides are understandably vocal. Administrators spend a significant amount of time listening to these concerns and crafting policies that attempt to find an acceptable middle ground.  One administrator remarked “We think we got it right because neither side is happy.”
  • Camera systems are expensive.  When you factor in the cameras, cabling, hardware, software, networking, storage, installation, training, maintenance. . .and hiring people to manage and monitor the camera system, the costs add up.

So. . .Let’s get this straight:  Cameras are an expensive and polarizing way to help keep your walls clean of graffiti and maybe catch a few bullies. . .?

That’s not why you spent five, six, or seven figures on your surveillance system.  You spent that money to save lives.  But how are your cameras going to save lives?  They can’t jump off the wall and stop an active shooter. 

And who’s watching your camera feeds?  Less than 1% of surveillance video is ever viewed by human eyes.  Most schools don’t have budget to hire dedicated security officers to monitor those feeds.  If your school has 25 cameras, how many of those feeds are being monitored at any given time?  Is one person enough?  Two?

Surveillance is only valuable if the images they capture are delivered in a timely manner to people empowered to mitigate threats. 

And that’s exactly why we’re so excited about the technology offered by ZeroEyes.  When a firearm appears in your school, individuals responsible and trained to deal with this type of threat will instantly receive crucial intelligence so they can act quickly: 

  • Images of the individual (or individuals) in possession of weapons
  • Weapon types
  • Location, and direction of movement

ZeroEyes does not get distracted, it does not take breaks, and it is capable of monitoring thousands of cameras simultaneously.  For those concerned about privacy, ZeroEyes is looking for guns – and guns only.  

You’ve invested a considerable amount of time, money, and effort into your surveillance system.  Preventing firearms violence was likely a big motivator in making that investment – so why not investigate a technology that can help you achieve that objective?

It’s time to get proactive about preventing gun violence in schools, and we want to help.  Give us a call and let’s discuss opportunities to evaluate ZeroEyes technology on your campus. 

Contact Alpine
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