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UMass Amherst deploys Salient for video, access control operations

The University of Massachusetts is shifting from analog to IP video surveillance, integrated with access control and intrusion detection on its Amherst, Mass. campus. UMass Amherst is standardizing its video surveillance operations using the Salient CompleteView Video Management Platform.

The move to Salient will enable campus security and safety staff to protect UMass Amherst’s population of 32,000 with a 24/7 view of its video surveillance and integrated access control operations.

The catalyst for the project came in 2017 when UMass learned that its legacy video recording and camera system was going to be retired. With that date looming, the university’s in-house systems integration department and other campus stakeholders began conducting technology evaluations to assess the best path forward.

Some of UMass Amherst’s wish-list items for a new video surveillance system included:

  • An open, scalable platform to incorporate legacy cameras as well as connect the latest high-definition IP networking cameras.
  • Robust Software Development Kit (SDK) and system programming openness,
  • Integration with Active Directory to manage groups and users centrally,
  • Ability to install third-party applications on the VMS recorders to meet compliance with university policies,
  • Centralized monitoring platform for cameras and recorders, and
  • Automatic software and firmware updates
  • Intrusion detection married with video

Using CompleteView, UMass Amherst can centrally monitor its network of 1,700 IP cameras and legacy analog cameras that safeguard the 51 residence halls and 225 buildings that make up the campus environment.

The system needs to cover some 1,500 acres, so UMass Amherst wanted to optimize its video system to enable security and safety staff to remotely assess a situation or diagnose an alarm from the university’s access control platform — the Tyco Software House C•CURE 9000.

“The ability to ascertain why an alert was occurring without having to deploy resources to drive across campus to visually assess a situation is huge,” says Jim Meade, residence hall security manager for the UMass Amherst Police Department.

For example, a residence hall door near a bus stop frequently experiences alarms in cold or rainy weather because people are standing inside the doorway to keep warm and continuously open the door to check for the bus. “This is when the video saved us time and resources in investigations when it was actually a non-alarm,” says Meade.

Video feeds and intrusion detection alarms are fed directly to the UMass Amherst Police Department for real-time monitoring and response using the CompleteView VMS. CompleteView also provides the capability to add more high-resolution cameras as surveillance needs change and grow, and UMass already has two new buildings slated to be added to the video network.

Because the university maintains a decentralized video recording approach, where all video is stored locally, CompleteView’s Dynamic Resolution Scaling feature preserves network bandwidth availability when live or recording video is pulled by other video users and transferred to other locations for investigation.

“We were very pleased to have provided UMass Amherst with a future-proofed migration path as they move from analog to an IP infrastructure,” says Jay Mele, vice president of sales, Salient Systems. “Leveraging CompleteView’s open platform approach, the university is well positioned to easily add high-resolution cameras or a variety of other integrations to their security system now and in the years to come.”

Additional information about UMass Amherst’s video and access control system is available in a new case study compiled by Salient.

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