Ascension Public Schools Takes Proactive Measures Against Vandalism with Video Insight
Ascension Schools, located in Donaldsonville, LA, just southeast of Baton Rouge, has 27 school campuses and more than 20,000 students. A district known for being proactive, Ascension Schools greatly enhanced its security measures after being met head on with a vandalism problem.
Vandals Causing Thousands of Dollars in Damage to School Buildings and Equipment
Right after school let out for summer vacation two years ago, a Donaldsonville High School janitor happened upon a nasty scene: The front of the school was covered in graffiti; the glass doors were shattered; and inside the building tables and chairs were overturned.
With no video surveillance system in place, there was no record of what had transpired. And because the individuals responsible likely knew there were no cameras, the school – and district – were a target for potential future violence and theft.
Ten students were eventually arrested for the senseless crime at Donaldsonville, but administrators sought additional security, which would concretely aid them in future investigations. That security came from Video Surveillance Software provider Video Insight, which developed a Video Management System (VMS) for Donaldsonville and additional Ascension Parish high schools.
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Working with local Louisiana system integrator LaTech, Video Insight provided an affordable solution for Donaldsonville High, which would allow them to not only record incidents like the destructive vandalism that took place but also to help quickly identify suspects in the event it happened again and serve as a deterrent to future crimes.
Donaldsonville High School Principal, Esrom Pitre, said a couple of break-ins have occurred since the VMS installation, but this time the crooks were caught on camera. “We were able to apprehend the suspects coming out of two classrooms,” he said.
The VMS, developed by LaTech Security and Surveillance using Video Insight software, consists of strategic placement of 48 IP cameras (3 Arecont Vision IP megapixel and 45 ACTi) operating on the new 4.2 version of the Video Insight software. User friendly, feature-rich and affordable – Video Insight video surveillance software is on more than 4,500 school and college campuses nationwide.
“The Video Insight digital video management system is the ideal school security system for any size K-12 district or university,” said Video Insight Chief Technical Officer, James Whitcomb. “Our video surveillance software is the only product on the market that is tailored specifically for the education facility market.”
The Video Insight VMS solution provides map and floor plan-based navigation, along with Web browser user interface. It also supports unlimited locations and security cameras. The ease of use allows schools to incorporate Video Insight into their security plan without taxing the technology department (as training for use by school administrators is minimal) and the system is designed to operate on the existing infrastructure. Video Insight is an IP technology, but can be adapted to older technology, such as analog cameras and DVRs.
Video surveillance technology is used primarily as a deterrent to crime, fighting and other discipline issues, but school users have found a variety of additional uses for their Video Insight VMS. Another Ascension Parish high school – Dutchtown – is also using the system to keep hallway traffic moving efficiently.
“We instruct teachers, have your classes use this stairwell because all the others are trying to go through the middle hallway and it’s crowded,” said Dutchtown Principal, David Alexander.
The Ascension Parish project involved placing cameras at all four high schools and an alternative school. The long range plan is to have the Video Insight VMS using IP cameras at all 28 parish schools within the next two years.
Other Video Insight users have reported using the VMS to monitor testing centers to ensure integrity during state assessments, maximize facility usage by grouping younger and older students together in buildings that have a high presence of cameras to monitor their interaction, and for crowd control at sporting facilities and events, among many other uses.
“Once a school implements a quality VMS like Video Insight and they discover how easy it is to monitor live or recorded video, make a video clip and get it to the proper authorities almost instantly in an emergency situation, or get a close up view of a license plate from a suspicious car in the parking lot – they wonder how they ever operated without it,” said Whitcomb.
“Providing education in a secure learning environment is the top priority for school administrators. Video Insight makes achieving this goal a reality for thousands of school administrators across the nation every day.”