Thomasville City Schools Partners with VideoSurveillance.com to Install Security System
Located in Thomasville, Georgia, Thomasville High School has an enrollment of 480 students. Ensuring the safety of students and faculty has always remained a chief concern.
In an effort to enhance student safety and deter unruly behavior, Principal Todd Mobley & IT Director Wes Davis upgraded security with a video surveillance system.
Since the deployment of a video surveillance system, Thomasville High School has seen a significant reduction in the number of student fights and behavior problems.
- Reduces problematic behavior
- Signifcantly decreases number of student fights
- Identifies individuals entering and exiting school
- Holds students accountable for their actions
Unique Building Shape Makes it Difficult to Monitor
Thomasville High School serves a diverse student population in Thomasville, Georgia, a town of just over 18,000 residents. Principal Todd Mobley is responsible for ensuring the safety of students and faculty to the best of his capabilities. What makes the school so unique is its physical layout — the high school property consists of eight connected indoor building pods, each resembling a hexagon in appearance. The hallways connecting the pods are vulnerable areas of the school because they aren’t visible to the principal or school administrators, and serve as the point of interaction between students who enter and exit classrooms. Each pod is equipped with an entryway door for safety reasons, but is not permitted to be opened during school hours. All visitors and students are required to enter the school building from the front door entrance where the administration office is located. Bolstering security at these entryways was one of the principal’s major objectives, as he had no way to monitor or view students interacting or identify those using the pod exits. “If there was a student fight, there was no way for us to know who was the first to instigate that fight,” said Mobley. “It made it much more difficult for us to take disciplinary action.”
Mobley believed it would be far more cost-effective for the school district to invest in a surveillance system instead of hiring additional security personnel to patrol the hallways. As soon as Mobley received funding and approval from the school district to add surveillance cameras, he asked his Director of IT Wes Davis to help him find a security integrator skilled enough to design such a system.
Thomasville High School Recruits VideoSurveillance.com
Wes David, Thomasville High School’s Director of IT, worked with Principal Todd Mobley to find a video surveillance firm capable of designing security camera systems. David thought that a job this big would require dozens of cameras. When looking at VideoSurveillance.com as a potential security partner, he was immensely pleased with the consulting process and the company’s expertise in building custom security camera solutions for schools.
“I needed a system with at least 20 cameras, and you guys knew exactly what to recommend,” said Davis who described the first time he spoke with an IP video expert at VideoSurveillance.com. “You provided an all-in-one solution and that’s what we wanted.”
VideoSurveillance.com also helped Wes Davis evaluate the best locations throughout the facility and along its exterior to install the IP cameras. These locations were carefully audited to ensure cameras captured an optimized view of the scene. VideoSurveillance.com recommended camera placement in the hallways between each classroom pod to get a clear view of the students coming and going from their classrooms. “I wasn’t sure where we were going to install the cameras — VideoSurveillance.com helped us with that.”
The company’s IP video specialists provided Davis with a complete equipment specification and installation plans to meet its security needs, and determined that the placement of HD network cameras inside and out would capture the amount of detail needed to identify problematic students.
VideoSurveillance.com Designs Scalable IP Camera Solution Featuring Optica
In order to provide detailed monitoring of the school hallways, Thomasville High School would need high definition IP security cameras. VideoSurveillance.com designed a scalable IP security system featuring the Optica D282 HD indoor mini dome network camera and the outdoor DV104 HD dome. Twenty-one Optica D282 cameras would cover all hallways connecting the classroom pods, delivering clear video of student activity. Nine outdoor cameras were strategically placed around the perimeter of the school to monitor students and visitors entering and exiting the school.
The Optica D282 is an ideal security camera for capturing faces on cameras as the HD resolution makes it easier to recognize and identify the person. The D282 camera boasts full HD 1080p resolution, discreet low-profile housing, wide dynamic range, digital zoom, and a unique feature called Vertical View Mode, which maximizes available camera resolution for vertically-aligned scenes such as hallways. “I can easily tell who the person is by looking at video and identify them,” said Mobley.
To safeguard the school’s exterior, VideoSurveillance.com recommended the Optica DV104 vandal-proof outdoor dome. The DV104 is built with protective armor to withstand physical mistreatment. Vandal-proof cameras are essential in school settings where there’s a constant flow of passersby.
The network video recorder (NVR) has allowed Thomasville High School to expand its system as needed. The NVR supports up to 64 cameras and holds 3TB of video. The cameras at Thomasville High School record 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure all activity is recorded. “This allows me to see who enters the school at all times. I can easily pull up recorded video, whether I’m in the office or using my iPad,” noted Mobley.
Principal Mobley frequently views live and recorded video from a large computer monitor in his office. In addition, the school’s assistant principal and resource officer have access to the video, so there’s always a set of eyes on the screen at all times. Mobley added, “I can see every camera by looking at my screen, including every entrance into the building — I’ll know if someone is using the wrong doors to enter the building.”
Virtual Integration Support Offered Throughout Installation
Prior to system installation, VideoSurveillance.com configured the NVR to ensure Thomasville High School would have access to all camera streams. The technical support team also tested the cameras before shipping, made certain they were functioning at peak performance, and added IP addresses to each of them. The team was available throughout the installation process to guide the school’s IT Director Wes Davis as he ran the network cables onsite.
Lastly, the technical team showed Thomasville High School how to access and view video remotely from an iPad, one of the many advantages of owning an IP camera system. If a school alarm is sounded when class is not in session, Mobley opens up the remote monitoring app on his iPad to see if anything suspicious was recorded on camera.
IP Camera System Decreases Number of Student Fights
The school’s IP camera system has delivered numerous benefits, including a dramatic decline in the number of student fights. According to Principal Mobley, the cameras have acted as a successful deterrent, as students are made aware that all of their actions are recorded on camera from posted signs. Says Mobley, “The system has helped reduce the number of repeated offenses, and help with student accountability.”
In addition to reducing aggressive behavior and physical confrontations among students, the cameras serve as a solid evidentiary tool in case something does happen on camera. “If two students do get into a fight, I can see who started it by looking at the camera footage.”
What’s more, Principal Mobley watches live video to find ways to improve student behavior. “If I see a student of mine who doesn’t return their tray in the cafeteria, I’ll call them into my office — you wouldn’t want them doing this at home, so why would I let them do it here.” He stressed the importance of teaching students proper etiquette and polite behavior.“ It’s helped them become better individuals.”
Overall, Mobley is incredibly happy with the results, and plans to installs more cameras outside with help from VideoSurveillance.com. “The security camera system has had a positive effect on disciplinary issues.”