DePaul Replaces Analog Cameras with Axis and Milestone IP-based System

DePaul University is using network cameras from Axis Communications as a security measure on its two main campuses, which are interwoven with surrounding residential and commercial communities in Chicago. Over the course of this past summer, DePaul replaced a legacy system of various analog cameras--each running on coaxial cable and requiring a digital video recorder to record events--with Axis network cameras.

Over the course of two months, Axis partner Pace Systems installed 225 Axis 214 PTZ and 225FD cameras in lobbies and hallways and on the exteriors of residence buildings. In addition to network cameras, Pace installed a video management system from Milestone Systems and five centralized servers that replace the need for individual DVRs at each residence building.

IP video technology enables the university to use one center to review incidences of interest occurring at any residence hall. A dispatcher monitors select cameras at the center. In addition, security staff can access camera views from any PC in case of emergencies.

DePaul also took advantage of Power over Ethernet (PoE), which now provides electricity to DePaul's network cameras via the same cable as used for the network connection--as opposed to a power outlet. For the future, DePaul will be installing smaller servers in the field which will provide backup for storing the video and minimize bandwidth use until off hours.

"Axis network cameras offered us the best quality for the money and provide a superior warranty," said Bob Wachowski, director of public safety for DePaul. "We are extremely happy with how the installation proceeded and the final result. Beyond deterring crime and unruly behavior, the high clarity of the new system has enabled us to successfully identify perpetrators of several incidences. As a result, we've reduced campus crime and made our students feel safer."

In the future, Wachowski said DePaul will replace the remaining analog cameras on campus and may implement wireless systems so that campus patrol cars, for example, have immediate access to incidents. In addition, DePaul intends to expand the use of Axis PTZ network cameras to other high-traffic outside areas of the campus to improve safety using their pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities. These will be integrated with Chicago's 911 system so that in case of an emergency, Chicago police can immediately see the area in question.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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