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Public Safety in K-12 and the Wi-Fi Network

It’s no surprise that student safety is the upmost priority to educators, administration, and parents. I would know because I have two daughters in K-12. The topic of safety in K-12 schools strikes particularly close to home since one of my daughters has already been in a lockdown due to police activity in the area.   A lockdown is where children are placed in the corners of the classrooms, away from windows and clear from the classroom door windows: lights off, doors locked, and no chatter.  My daughter took it in stride since she thought it was a game. I, on the other hand, was extremely uneasy when I received the email bearing the news and was not relieved until I received the “clear” email notification.

Given some of the latest developments that Cisco has been working on with location-based analytics using wireless technologies, it didn’t take long for us to start talking about how Wi-Fi could be used to help in the case of public safety in K-12 schools.  The intersection of K-12 public safety and Wi-Fi technologies stirred up such a discussion amongst ourselves that we wanted to open up the discussion with an external webinar. I hope you can join me for the discussion on May 22nd (Click to register), but just in case you need some convincing, here’s a teaser.  Read More »

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Addressing Security Challenges and Campus Safety

Schools are facing increasing security challenges, ranging from campus violence to thefts, from vandalism to natural disasters. Abductions, Shootings, Bullying, Thefts, Vandalism, Visitor Management, Bomb threats, Fire, Earthquakes, Local Community Emergencies.

According to the respondents to the Campus Safety Magazines 2013 yearbook & survey, here are some  top challenges for schools in 2013:

  • 43%  more than 2 in 5 campuses lack a visitor management system
  • 39% have a video system not integrated with other systems
  • 33% have radio systems that can’t interoperate with first responder from other jurisdictions
  • 25% or 1 in 4  campuses do not feel prepared to respond to active shooter incidents

Higher Education and school districts often have sufficient network infrastructures to support everything they need in terms of unified collaborative safety and security applications on the network including video surveillance, electronic access controls and incident management.

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Elon University underpins campus safety with Cisco Video Surveillance

Nearly every campus across the country faces an ongoing challenge with helping provide a safe and secure learning environment both for students and educators alike.   Elon University in North Carolina has already taken steps to address this, by recognising that deploying a fully IP-based surveillance infrastructure can create a new partnership model between IT and security.  This new collaborative approach uses the converged network as a platform for deploying and managing video cameras across the campus.

In this video, Elon’s assistant vice president and CIO Chris Fulkerson shares some key insights into how productivity of security staff and the campus police force has increased since deploying a Cisco IP video surveillance solution.

“Every parent’s main concern is security for their college student. This Cisco Video Surveillance System has enabled us to multiply our security and police force by giving us eyes in multiple locations all at the same time. At Elon, the surveillance system has proven to be a real deterrent to crime. Our old system was very labor intensive to install and operate.  With this new system it takes just 10 seconds to deploy a camera.  We are excited that it gives the power and flexibility directly to police to operate the system instead of requiring so much IT intervention.  We are now free to leverage our investment and integrate surveillance with the rest of our physical security systems.” 

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New User Interfaces in Cars – flashy but are they safe?

Up until recently I was an owner of a hybrid car from one of the leading car manufacturers. The mechanical side of the car was good but I always had some serious doubts about the car’s cockpit. In particular, the touch screen mounted squarely in the middle of the dashboard, presumably to be equally accessible to the driver and the front passenger.

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Dangerous Travel

I recently had the opportunity to fly out to HQ and while this was not my first opportunity to do air travel this year (refer to my blog about Alaska) I did make some observations about business travel, and trust me, they relate to Manufacturing. By the way, and I do this totally tongue in cheek, part of the trip was to record some new videos to give you all more reason to see me and make fun of me. So hang on! That’s my plug to come back. Read More »

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