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July 10, 2013

ULM video-surveillance security system featured in "Commercial Building Products" magazine

Over the past few years, the University of Louisiana at Monroe has progressively implemented a new video-surveillance system in various locations across campus, raising the level of security for students, employees, and guests.

The joint efforts of the ULM Computing Center and the University Police Department to incorporate this system were recently featured in the June 2013 edition of "Commercial Building Products" magazine.

Chance Eppinette, interim director for the computing center, said, "We are very excited to have this opportunity of being recognized in a national setting for our attempts to proactively provide a secure learning environment at ULM. This is also the first time the ULM Computing Center has been recognized in a publication of this manner."

According to the magazine article, "It became clear to the university's computing-center team – those responsible for over-seeing all technological installations on campus – that security technology would help better protect university assets and safeguard students from potential threats."

Though some residence halls and classroom buildings already had analog-based digital video recorders installed, the article notes how the university computing center found the technology "restrictive and obsolete."

Upgrading the system to a more suitable technology became a priority for the university.

After researching several options and investigating its use in other institutions, ULM chose to install Genetec's video-surveillance system Omnicast.

Eventually, the university also combined Omnicast with the security platform Security Center, which includes the Syngergis access-control system.

Eppinette, along with Adam Taylor, a video-and wireless-network technician, and David Calloway, an IT tech-support analyst, directed the first stages of the project.

The article describes how the team received help from United Automation in West Monroe, by using technology from Genetec Inc., "to deploy [the] enterprise-level security platform that would secure more than 40 buildings across the campus."

Now, as the article states, "Omnicast is managing almost 850 cameras, and Synergis is managing more than 300 secure card-access doors in the most critical areas, such as classrooms, computer labs, the activity center, residence halls, and all main entrances and corridors."

The implementation of these security systems has "made ULM a flagship organization in Louisiana, drawing other security directors from nearby hospitals, universities, and K-12 school districts to observe the platform's capabilities first hand," according to the article.

This combination of the Genetec equipment provides residential life and police officers with immediate access to video footage of specific locations at specific times, allowing for quicker investigations into disturbances, complaints, and criminal activities.

"Our staff works hard, and they take pride in the job they perform," said Officer in Charge Steve Mahon of the University Police Department.

"The new security platform is a powerful crime-fighting tool and enhances our ability to make this campus safer."

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