Cameras Drive Protection of Students and Cars in Texas
An academy with locations throughout Texas protects its schools and physical assets with video surveillance.
For 30 years, Texans Can Academies have encouraged young people who have previously struggled in traditional learning environments to attain their high school diplomas. These public charter schools, now totaling 11, are found throughout Texas, including Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and Fort Worth. Serving students ages 14–21, the campuses are equipped with special resources that address some of the roadblocks that may have prevented students from successfully completing school through traditional outlets. There are programs for students with learning disabilities and childcare centers in select locations for members of the community and students who have children (Wee Can Academy). There are also two half-day programs available to accommodate students who need to work to support themselves or contribute to their family’s finances.
But these academies aren’t exclusively designed for dropouts or returning students. They provide learning opportunities for those who simply need smaller classroom sizes and those who move frequently and need more individualized attention. Each Texans Can Academy takes a hands-on approach to learning, and most classes have no more than 15 students.
Requirement: Affordable, Multi-Site Surveillance
Tasked with preparing students for a successful future, Texans Can Academies hold the safety of their students, faculty, and visitors as a top priority. Texans Can has a sister organization, the nonprofit Cars for Kids, that supports the schools via proceeds from vehicle auctions. People donate cars, boats, and other vehicles that are subsequently sold through an auction each Saturday in Dallas. “Write off the car, not the kid,” is Cars for Kids’ trademarked tagline. The organization wanted a video surveillance system not only to protect people at the schools, but also to provide visibility into other assets, including vehicles up for auction.
Texans Can officials sought reliable surveillance for both inside and outside of three school campuses. Although none of the campuses had significant problems with violence or theft, Malcolm Wentworth, COO of Texans Can and Cars for Kids, said that if there were to be an incident, the organization wanted a surveillance system that would “not only document that it happened, but identify the individual or individuals,” he said.
Additionally, the Cars for Kids facility had two buildings spaced about 100 feet apart that needed a comprehensive security solution, ideally without running wire in between the buildings.
Recognizing the need for a sophisticated surveillance system that covered both the school campuses and the Cars for Kids auction site, Texans Can sought the expertise of ASG Security, a leading integrator, to find a system that met its needs.
Solution: Cameras That Capture the Details
After researching camera models across the market, ASG Security selected Hikvision equipment for three Texans Can campuses thanks to the high value and high image quality the devices delivered. ASG opted for the DS-2CD2232-I5 series, a 3 MP EXIR bullet network camera, as well as the DS-2CD2132-I series, which is a 3 MP infrared fixed focal dome camera, along with 16- and 32-channel NVRs. These options combined to provide a complete surveillance solution that gave Texans Can the ability to monitor their campuses and keep staff and students safe.
The Cars for Kids facility was also outfitted with Hikvision products — the Dallas site now boasts 40 Hikvision cameras in the two separate buildings. ASG addressed the wiring situation by linking the two buildings via a wireless bridge and an 8-port PoE switch. The 2132 and the 2232 series cameras, already providing crystal clear video images on the campuses, also offered the superior quality needed to preside over large cash transactions at the auction house.
Fred Harris, core commercial sales representative for ASG, explained how his company chose Hikvision for its user-friendly product line that offers superior performance. “We as an integrator have the opportunity to sell any number of different brands, but we chose Hikvision because it’s easy to use, easy to install, very low maintenance, and very high quality,” Harris said.
Results: Fewer Disruptions, Peace of Mind
A strong, reliable security system has helped to give peace of mind to staff and students at Texans Can campuses. Before Hikvision surveillance equipment was installed, there were false fire alarms weekly, which disrupted staff and students and created confusion. Now, Wentworth said, the false alarms appear to be a problem of the past.
Indeed, Hikvision solutions met and exceeded the organization’s diverse set of security needs, including those for the auction site. Hikvision cameras are capturing every detail of the auction operations, and thanks to the high quality of these devices, people can bid online and still have a fairly good idea of what they’re trying to purchase.
“Hikvision cameras are the best I’ve ever seen,” Wentworth remarked.
School needs to be a safe place, especially for students who have encountered prior roadblocks to their education. Texans Can Academies have further ensured the safety of both staff and students with advanced surveillance equipment from Hikvision. Not only are the cameras capturing any questionable activity, but they are also supporting operations at Texans Can’s sister organization Cars for Kids.
“When we research a product, we look for something that makes sense to the customer and makes sense to us,” said Chad Dawald, vice president and general manager of ASG. “We’re thrilled to deliver Hikvision security solutions to Texans Can.”
More than 1,600 students graduated from these schools last year. With its hands-on approach, strong relationships between students and teachers, and high-quality surveillance system, Texans Can is set for success for another 30 years.