Edwardsville Community Unit 7 District Schools have installed an array of IQeye indoor and outdoor HD megapixel IP cameras throughout the school district. The Edwardsville School District comprises 185 square miles, serving 7,500 K-12 students at 14 school locations.
The Edwardsville School District has always been relatively advanced in their application of security technology. Starting in 2000, the district installed analog cameras and VCRs for video surveillance. Soon, that technology proved unsatisfactory, and in 2003 they switched out the VCRs for DVRs and upgraded the analog camera technology. By 2007, Edwardsville was ready to move fully to an IP video surveillance system.
“As new buildings came online,” related Director of Technology Bill Miener, “we wanted to take advantage and utilize the new technology that was available.” In the new buildings, Miener and team used encoders to put the analog cameras onto their expanding IP network. By 2007, Edwardsville was ready to make the jump to switching out their analog cameras and encoders. They were looking for the increased resolution, clarity, and PoE capabilities available from top-line megapixel IP cameras.
“We looked at a lot of different cameras. The IQinVision representative gave us a few IQeye cameras to test drive. We took several camera models to a number of different sites and viewed the video on laptops. After testing for a few weeks, we really liked what the IQeye cameras offered and they were affordable for our budget. We put in 48 IQeye cameras initially, and upon completion we clicked through those 48 camera views—I have to say we were quite pleased.”
Edwardsville has deployed 471 IQeye cameras to date—two-thirds are indoor cameras and the rest are located outdoors. IQeye Sentinels are installed in the outdoor locations and Alliance domes indoors, with resolutions ranging from 3 MP up to 5 MP. Camera data is managed by Milestone open platform software for IP network-based video surveillance.
Miener recounted how legacy PTZ cameras started wearing out right about when the warranties were expiring. Rather than replace the PTZs, Edwardsville schools now installs three IQeye Sentinels in a special housing, each covering a 60-degree field of view. “The Sentinels,” said Miener, “we love them.” In addition to the school buildings, Edwardsville has also installed 24 IQeye Sentinels to provide surveillance for a very large sports complex.
During the school day, a security officer in each school location does live monitoring of their own cameras, focusing on entrances/exits and doing a video “tour” throughout the building. Video is stored for 7-10 days in order for security staff to review any incidents which may have transpired. The results have been impressive.
“In the past with our analog cameras, if we were more than 15-20 feet from the camera, identifying someone was hard,” explained Miener. “Once we went with IQeye cameras, it’s been a leap in capability. At 60 feet, we see exactly what happened. The IQeye cameras are three, four times more effective. That was amazing for us and cost effective—now we install fewer cameras. When we have theft and vandalism, we are able to ID the perpetrators and hold them accountable. We don’t have a lot of problems anymore because the troublemakers know about the cameras; it’s a very effective deterrent.” In addition to monitoring at each school, at least three Edwardsville senior staff have access to all camera views whenever they need them.
Miener commented on his level of satisfaction with the school district’s IP video surveillance system, “We’re always looking for improvement and, of course, we’d love to have more cameras. Overall, we’re very happy with the job the cameras do—reliability, performance, image clarity. Another thing we like is our staff are not trained installers, but we can easily install and move around the IQeye cameras as needed. That saves us money, and eliminating our PTZs has reduced our maintenance costs. As far as what the product does, it’s a 10. IQinVision has given us some very good products that allow us to stay progressive while stretching our budget dollars.”