Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) is a recognized leader in college and career readiness in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, offering a comprehensive curriculum to meet the needs of every student. The District consists of roughly 41 square miles tucked along the Texas/Mexico border and serves almost 16,000 students in four high schools, four junior high schools, fourteen elementary schools and two special needs schools. Administrative offices and warehouses are also part of the facilities belonging to Mission CISD.
For school districts across the country, video surveillance and security systems are no longer an option – they are must-haves. Mission CISD had an analog surveillance system in place, but found that its effectiveness was hampered by many limitations. First, the resolution of the images produced by the analog cameras was too low for identification. Next, after-the-fact forensic investigations were more difficult, if not impossible, to conduct due to the poor quality of the video that was captured. Finally, because the pan/tilt units were often facing the wrong direction at critical times, there was always a strong possibility that they would not capture video of an event that would be helpful in an investigation.
For these reasons, the analog system was deemed unable to meet the district’s current and future security needs without a significant upgrade. As a result, Mission CISD made the decision to deploy a new digital video system.
After conducting research over the course of five years, school administrators concluded that the best solution for their application was a megapixel video system. Once this had been decided, they set out to find the cameras that would provide the performance necessary to deliver the level of image quality Mission CISD required.
Working with the project integrator, American Surveillance Company Inc., located in Brownsville, Texas, the district selected Arecont Vision as their provider based on the company’s wide selection of high-quality megapixel cameras that include 180- and 360-degree panoramics and audio-enabled models. The many additional features standard in the company’s megapixel cameras, such as motion detection, day/night functionality, vandal-resistant housings, and remote focus/remote zoom, made the decision to use Arecont Vision’s products even easier.
The cameras in the system are controlled from a central monitoring station using the Milestone XProtect® VMS platform. This VMS is designed with the flexibility to handle a large number of cameras and camera types, spread over multiple locations, while maintaining the ability to implement future additions. This combination of features and functionality made it a great fit with the project requirements.
American Surveillance Company installed more than 700 Arecont Vision cameras and a storage system in a two-phase implementation across 28 Mission CISD locations, which are connected via fiber optic cable. The cameras transmit video to a central command center for storage and monitoring. The center is equipped with a video wall that allows operators to view live images or archived video of any of the installed cameras.
It was immediately apparent that the Arecont Vision cameras were able to capture greater detail in higher resolution than from the analog system, making facial recognition a reality. Post-incident investigations had been difficult using the analog system, and the remote zoom feature of the Arecont Vision cameras made that process much more effective and efficient. Operators can zoom in on any area of live or recorded video for better situational awareness and identification of individuals involved, along with the small details of an incident. Since the 180- and 360-degree cameras continuously capture a much wider field than the previous analog cameras, there was no need for pan/tilt cameras and the associated field-of-view challenges.
Another benefit of megapixel cameras from Arecont Vision is that fewer cameras are needed to provide the significantly improved surveillance coverage the new system provides.
“Having a complete field of view 100 percent of the time allowed Mission CISD to go back and have an important digital zoom capability for investigation needs. With one Arecont Vision camera, Mission CISD can now cover the same area as six or seven analog cameras,” said Jaime Escobedo, President and CEO of American Surveillance Company Inc. “The resolution of the video is so high that you can easily see all the details that you need to help resolve disputes or handle situations, both live and after the fact.”
Using H.264 compression technology to dramatically reduce bandwidth and storage requirements, the Arecont Vision cameras can capture full motion video at 30 frames per second at full resolution without compromising image quality at any point in the process.
Among the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras selected for installation at the Mission CISD were the AV2155DN and AV5155DN MegaDome® cameras, the AV1125 MegaView® camera and the AV20185DN and AV20365DN SurroundVideo® panoramic cameras.
“The system does exactly what Mission CISD intended it to do and the ROI of the system has already been proven by preventing some undesirable incidents from occurring,” Escobedo said.