Page 107 - Security Today, September/October 2021
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"The beauty of these investments is that even though they’re being used to combat COVID-19, the technology will continue providing safety and security value to a campus – whether an educational institution or medical complex – long after the virus has run its course."
can program a pre-recorded message to play throughout the day reminding everyone to follow CDC guidelines, wear their masks cor- rectly, and keep three feet apart from one another.
Analytics. Many institutions enhance campus safety and security with the use of video and audio analytics. Video analytics provide early detection and proactively trigger alerts to potential security threats like motion, loitering, and perimeter intrusion or track opera- tional issues like queue wait times or occupancy capacity. There are audio analytics that listen for sounds of aggression, breaking glass, weapons fire, and other acoustic signature that indicate danger to individuals or property. During COVID, analytics could detect whether persons are wearing masks or maintaining social distancing.
In school cafeterias, for example, video analytics can alert cafeteria monitors to intercede when too many students are sitting closely together or trigger an audio message to students to move to separate tables. If a student has tested positive for COVID, intelligent search analytics can be used to pull up video footage the shows everyone on campus they recently met, so they could be informed and tested.
Radar. Radar is also gaining traction as a warning system for after-
hours intrusions into areas, such as athletic fields and hospital reha- bilitation pools. The technology is often integrated with surveillance cameras to track trespassers or wandering patients to prevent safety and liability issues. When tied to intelligent audio systems, they can trigger a specific targeted message depending on the event – whether a warning to vacate the premises or an alert to staff that a patient has exited their room. In hospital settings, radar is often used on helipads to warn of any obstructions needing to be cleared before a helicopter arrives. During COVID, radar could detect someone approaching a school or hospital and trigger a message directing him or her to a single point of entry where they can be screened for health issues and issued a mask before entering the building.
Financing Technology Investments during COVID
With so many school districts and hospitals strapped for funds, financing any new technology investments might seem out of reach. However, in 2021 the federal government passed two economic stim- ulus packages – the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, which earmarked funding to schools and hospitals that can be used to pay for these types of projects.
Schools would need to submit a proposal to their respective state’s Department of Education, while hospital would need to apply to their respective state’s Department of Public Health. The important thing to remember when applying for these grants is to frame the proposal in terms of how the investment would help your institution prevent or mitigate the spread of COVID.
Schools and hospitals can apply for these monies through Decem- ber 2024 or until their state’s allocation has been exhausted.
Bruce A. Canal, CPP, is the business development manager for K-12 and Higher Education for Axis Communication, Inc. Paul Baratta is the healthcare business development manager for Axis Communications.
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