Grounds Security

School District Police Department Overcomes Budgetary and Technology Challenges to Bridge the Security Gap

A new protocol for designing a video surveillance system with camera placement on the outside perimeter facing inward is being deployed by the Compton Unified School District (USD) Police Department.

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A jungle of outdated and damaged cabling from a defunct analogue video surveillance system hung from buildings throughout the grounds of the Compton USD Police Department before a new system was installed. Mario Benitez of Advanced Alarm in Santa Fe Springs, California, remembers the mess that existed before he began implementing an IP surveillance infrastructure in the area that houses the Compton USD Police Department buildings, police vehicles, evidence sheds, and other municipal structures.

Located in a suburban Los Angeles community with a high crime rate, the Compton Unified School District (USD) Police Department is committed to providing a safe and secure educational environment for students, staff, and parents. It strives to prevent criminal or delinquent behavior that has a negative impact on the educational process within the schools and community.

Compton USD Police Department officials choose to work with Benitez to upgrade surveillance because he presents an economical yet scalable solution that would span the long-distance 2.5-acre grounds without the need for trenching cables. The system would allow officers to remotely monitor video feed directly from Compton school campuses, adding another layer of security to the department’s functionality.

The project requires months of planning, a process that involved mapping the project on paper, strategic alignment of networked devices, performing an audit to ensure operability, and final integration and deployment. Benitez designs a customized Dahua Technology security system that monitors the premises from the outside perimeter facing inward, a configuration that provides better views of the four buildings, three gates, and grounds of the command center.

Partnering with Dahua sales and engineering staff, Benitez deploys a solution that includes 20 Pro Series 4MP WDR fixed lens Wi-Fi cameras, a 32-channel NVR, three smart switches, one surveillance management center, two 2.4 and 5.6GHz indoor access points, and four 5.6GHz wireless video transmission devices to create a locked wireless connection. The first unit wirelessly connects six to eight IP cameras on the remote end. The second unit is connected to the NVR network and transmits a signal from the remote cameras. The bridge requires an unobstructed line of sight to create the link. The Dahua IP cameras and NVR proved to be beneficial because they offer a flexible solution that doesn’t require physical cabling to connect.

“This is one of those projects where the heavy lifting comes in the planning stages. It was a complex project, but the Dahua team was very knowledgeable and helped us put together a powerful solution,” said Benitez. “So, when it came time for the installation it was fast and everything went smoothly.”

The plan includes leveraging a motor on the back gate of the property to access a 110-volt circuit for power to send a signal across a wireless bridge. With strategic placement of cameras elevated on support poles, the video surveillance cameras capture both the perimeter and interior of the Compton USD Police Station grounds.

From the police station command center, officers closely monitor the grounds, buildings, and vehicles at a glance to safeguard the facility and its assets. The scalable system meets both immediate security needs and provides for future improvements.

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