Stopping cheaters, thieves, and inconsiderate neighbors
Salt Lake Community College replaced aging analog cameras with Axis technology, greatly increasing campus coverage with far fewer cameras and licensing fees.
Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) was at a crisis point. Its aging analog security cameras were beginning to fail. System management fees were starting to skyrocket. Rather than replace cameras piecemeal, they wanted to migrate to a more advanced public safety solution, one that could also assist with proctoring testing centers and supervising nursing student practicums. In addition to better image resolution and broader coverage of their campuses, the college wanted a system that supported 2-way audio communication in some areas, and a more streamlined video management for archiving and reviewing footage.
The college turned to Stone Security, an Axis Communications partner, for guidance. The system integrators recommended upgrading to AXIS P33 Series network cameras and replacing their legacy video management system (VMS) with Milestone’s XProtect Corporate, an enterprise-level VMS. More recently many cameras have been upgraded to the AXIS P37 Series multidirectional and FA Series modular models. To facilitate interactive nursing student training, they installed AXIS M55 Series pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras, AXIS P32 Series fixed dome cameras, AXIS T83 Series microphones, and Axis network audio ceiling speakers in simulation labs.
Axis multidirectional and modular cameras allowed the college to significantly reduce its camera count, cabling costs and licensing while quadrupling the views from a single IP address. On one campus alone they were able to save $53,000 by replacing 102 analog cameras with 78 Axis cameras. Axis cameras have been instrumental in assisting proctors in detecting student cheating at testing centers. Equipping labs with Axis cameras, ceiling speakers and microphones allows academic supervisors to remotely guide nursing students through simulations such as routine patient checkups, maternity care and emergency room traumas without getting underfoot.
The cost savings from replacing our old analog single-head cameras with Axis multidirectional and modular ones have been huge for us. We’ve nearly doubled our coverage while significantly reducing our camera count, cable pulls and software licensing fees.
Offering diverse education paths
Salt Lake Community College (SLCC), which serves more than 60,000 students across 11 campuses, is Utah's largest two-year college. It offers technical and vocational certification programs that take students directly into the workforce as well as into associate degree programs that can be credited towards a 4-year school’s bachelor degree program.
While public safety has always been a priority for the college, providing that critical protection for students and faculty was becoming more challenging as its aging analog cameras began to fail. “At first, we were just going to replace the old cameras one-for-one with some newer, high-definition ones,” says Nathan Howard, the Security Surveillance Manager for Salt Lake Community College. “But based on the recommendation from Stone Security, our security integration consultants, we also decided to revamp our video management system.”
Timm Tippetts, the Stone Security account manager on the project, was quick to point out that working with a client like Howard who comes from the IT field makes the integrator’s job a lot easier. “He understands networked technology and knows what he wants to accomplish,” says Tippetts. “We speak the same language.”
Four heads are better than one
Today, SLCC deploys more than 800 Axis cameras across 10 of its 11 campuses – monitoring entrances and loading bays, hallways and classrooms, testing centers and public areas like libraries, quads, and parking lots. Because many of the models installed are multidirectional and modular cameras, campus security is now capturing nearly 1,600 different views. “The cost savings from this strategy have been huge for us,” shares Howard. “We’ve nearly doubled our coverage while significantly reducing our camera count, cable pulls, and software licensing fees.”
SLCC increased its savings further by replacing its old video management system with a new VMS from Milestone Systems. “With our old VMS set up each campus and building had to maintain its own physical recording server,” says Howard. “And the analog cameras could only be accessed through that location’s communications closet.”
Now with Milestone’s XProtect Corporate VMS, all the Axis cameras across the different campuses stream back to SLCC’s main data center. Authorized users can access specific cameras remotely through Milestone’s Smart Client installed on their desktops.
Stopping grand larceny and petty theft
While SLCC faces many of the same public safety and security issues that other colleges experience, Howard notes a few memorable standouts. “We had been having a rash of catalytic converter thefts in one of our parking lots,” explains Howard. “Once we installed an AXIS P37 Series there, the next time the thief drove into the parking lot we were able to identify the vehicle and the license plate, track him down and press charges.” Howard laughs that the thief made it easy by parking his car directly in view of the camera.
In another instance, the Axis cameras caught a member of the cleaning crew sneaking into offices and pilfering items from desks. “We received an afterhours motion alert – an email with a video clip of the event – and were able to identify the individual and pursue disciplinary action,” says Howard.
Exposing creative cheaters with modular cameras
One of the biggest users of the new AXIS modular FA Series cameras are the college testing centers. “It always amazes me at the level of cheating going on, even though we’re not subtle about the fact that we have cameras and microphones monitoring every inch of the room,” says Howard.
Each modular camera includes a main unit and four individual image sensors that can be strategically placed throughout the room. SLCC dedicates one sensor to every six desks and deploys several AXIS M55 Series PTZ cameras to provide an overview of the entire testing room. “The images are so sharp that the proctors monitoring the cameras remotely can easily see if someone pulls out a crib sheet or glances at a fellow student’s paper,” shares Howard.
One especially creative student came to a testing center with earphones so his friend could feed him the answers during the test. “AXIS T83 Series microphones are so sensitive that the proctors were able to catch the whispers and escort him from the room,” reports Howard.
Training tomorrow’s nursing staff
As part of its hands-on learning philosophy, SLCC provides nursing students with state-of-the-art simulation labs where they can practice safe patient care without fear of real-life consequences. In lieu of live patients, students interact with programmable mannequins that mimic real-life symptoms the students would typically face in hospital, clinical, and long-term care settings.
To facilitate this skills training, SLCC installed AXIS P32 Series fixed dome and AXIS M55 Series PTZ cameras and microphones in each lab so that nursing supervisors can call out medical codes and scenarios through an Axis ceiling speaker, observe the student’s actions remotely, and provide instruction as needed. “This allows students to respond more naturally to the medical situation without the instructor being underfoot,” explains Howard.
The PTZ cameras centered over each patient’s bed provide a bird’s eye view of each procedure performed while the fixed dome camera surveys activity across the entire room. To enhance the educational value of the labs, the nursing school allows students not currently being tested to observe the cameras from a separate classroom and listen to the instructor’s comments.
Increasing daycare center safety
SLCC also houses daycare centers at several of its campuses. “That’s a big potential liability for us,” says Howard. “So we installed Axis cameras throughout those properties to keep the kids safe. Whether an incident happens in a classroom, a hallway, or the playground, we’re able to see it and react quickly to address it.”
Daycare workers use the footage to address aggressive behavior with parents and record parent drop offs and pickups. The latter has been especially valuable in resolving custody concerns. “The cameras are always keeping a watchful eye on the place,” shares Howard. “So if a parent somehow used the code to pick up a child when they aren’t supposed to, we would have clear video evidence of that fact and could share it with authorities if necessary.”
Discouraging un-neighborly behavior
One out-of-the-ordinary story involving Axis cameras took place at SLCC’s Jordan Campus that abuts local farmland. “We were having an issue with horse manure being dropped across the campus,” relates Howard. “But we couldn’t confront the owners of those horses about picking up after their animals without solid proof of who the culprits were.”
The issue came to a head when the college began construction of its new Jordan Student Center and installed an AXIS P32 Series fixed dome camera to monitor the project’s progress. “We placed the camera in the quad which gave us a wide field of observation,” tells Howard. “Sure enough, we were able to witness the neighboring owners riding their horses through our property and those horses making a deposit on the parking lot or the sidewalk and the owners not bothering to pick it up. We were able to address the issue with the neighbors and haven’t had any horse droppings on our Jordan campus since then.”
Planning security for on-campus housing
What’s next on the security front for SLCC? In the coming year or two, the college plans to add student housing to some of its campuses. “That’s going to amplify the need for 24/7 security,” says Howard. “We’ll need to add more exterior cameras, audio communication to send out alerts, and analytics to detect things like suspicious loitering.”
Howard feels that continuing the strong collaborative relationship the college has developed with Stone Security and Axis Communications will help propel future campus safety and security initiatives to meet any challenges on the horizon.
Products & solutions
AXIS P37 Panoramic Camera Series
Flexible, multidirectional camerasLearn more
AXIS FA54 Main Unit
High-performance multi-view surveillance with Forensic WDRLearn more
AXIS M55 PTZ Camera Series
Indoor and outdoor PTZ with 10x zoom in HDTV 1080pLearn more