Making Schools Smarter: Vaping Detection and Surveillance Help Deter Smoking

It has been 13 years since e-cigarettes first entered the market. While the first generation resembled a cigarette, these devices now come in a sleek and high-tech design that is often able to be hidden in broad daylight. The rise of e-cigarettes, which is now known as vaping, has increased in recent years among youth and young adults. According to The Truth Initiative, in 2018, the U.S Surgeon General issued an advisory about the youth e-cigarette “epidemic,” and since that time, rates have continued to increase in teens and young adults.

However, the discreet nature of vaping makes it hard to detect when it’s being used on school grounds. But the rise in intelligent sensor technology, such as the HALO Smart Sensor, coupled with the ability for this technology to seamlessly integrate with Pelco video management technology, makes it possible for school administrators to detect vaping and respond through the Event Monitor Service within the VideoXpert VMS. Not only does the technology offer alarms data through its Event Monitor Service, but also cameras and technology that can help you deter the likelihood of the continued behavior.

For example, a HALO Smart Sensor installed in a hallway bathroom can offer security leaders an indication when vaping is detected. Couple this with video surveillance placed in the hallway and used to identify the students responsible for setting off the sensor can help administrators thwart usage and address incidents in real-time.

VideoXpert’s open and scalable system is easy to install and deploy and offers a robust feature set, including:

  • All events generated from the Halo Smart Sensor (vape detection, for example) can be received by VideoXpert and actions can be taken (such as a PTZ preset) to respond within the VMS. The VideoXpert Event Monitor Service is capable of being configured to poll for alarms from various devices, taking the alarm data it gathers and performing various actions when an alarm state change occurs.
  • VideoXpert is an integrated solution that provides monitoring of multiple facilities from one location, operators can view multiple areas on school grounds.
  • Analytics that help you automate tasks and alerts to detect behavior and improve an operator’s response time.
  • Industry-leading cameras give officials the ability to see all angles and details of a scene with a limited number of cameras and in all lighting conditions.

  • Panoramic cameras fill the gaps in coverage. The Optera Multi-Sensor provides a seamless panoramic view at a high resolution, while an Evo Fisheye has 3D dewarping technology that allows live and playback scene analysis.
  • Fixed IP cameras can be positioned to cover blind spots where students can hide and vape. The Sarix Enhanced for unmatched image quality and High Security Corner Camera for wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling coverage of small/medium spaces like cafeterias can help ensure no area of school grounds is missed.
  • PTZ IP cameras zoom in for details. The Spectra Enhanced is known for its speed, accuracy and reliability, while the Spectra Professional provides up to 20x optical zoom for detail.
  • Monitoring during school and after school hours doesn’t have to be costly; Pelco’s technology is readily available in the cameras and are designed to meet a school’s surveillance needs.
  • Pelco’s Smart Compression reduces storage costs to preserve video quality. It can lower bandwidth and storage requirements by up to 70% so you can continuously monitor activity.
  • SureVision low-light technology enables you to get the best possible image in little or no light conditions making it possible to identify vaping even at night.
  • Pelco Camera Link enables operators to link specific cameras to track a person of interest once identified by school officials.
  • Integration is an integral part of a holistic approach to school security and the relationship Pelco has with HALO Smart Sensors provides school officials with the ability to deter, identify and respond to vaping on school grounds. Click here to learn more.

    Case Study | Lewiston-Porter Central School District

    About Lewiston-Porter Central School District

    Located in the historic town of Youngstown, NY, Lewiston-Porter Central School District is responsible for ensuring the safety of approximately 2,100 students and 375 full-time employees. Only 15 miles from Niagara Falls, the town itself is a 64-square mile community nestled along the Niagara River on the Canadian border. Referred to locally as “Lew-Port”, the K-12 public school district is comprised of six buildings; four school buildings on a campus setting, one former administration building and one community resource center utilized for staff development and various athletic and community activities. The district promotes a diverse learning environment with a focus on the individual student and respect for all.

    More Information on Lewiston-Porter Central School Discount Case Study

    VMS In Action – Case Study: Eaton High School

    School safety has perhaps never been more important than in 2019. Always on the minds of parents, students, faculty, and staff, educational facilities cannot afford to ignore potential security risks and challenges. Decision-makers require cost-effective, intuitive, and versatile video surveillance solutions to ensure both the safety of people and the security of campus facilities.

    Pelco provides video management solutions and video surveillance cameras for a range of industries, including educational facilities, universities, colleges, alongside primary and secondary schools. Our IP video surveillance solutions integrate with a range of systems and analog cameras to bring an affordable, functional VMS for schools.

    Case Study: VMS At Eaton High School

    Below, we take a look at how a high school in Eaton, Colorado, utilized security cameras and VMS to their advantage. They found that video surveillance benefits school campuses in myriad ways — many of which they did not anticipate!

    Background: VMS & Video Surveillance Setup

    We got the privilege of interviewing Rick Kauffman, the assistant principal at Eaton High School, who informed us that their student population is typically in the range of 500-600. They implemented 50 cameras on campus, with 75% of them being internal and the rest set up externally. Said Kauffman, “All of our hallways, our library, any place you are going to have student flow, there is going to be a camera internally. Student parking is covered. Staff parking is covered. We have a 360 camera in our commons area, which is where the kids eat.”

    Deterrent For Vandalism

    Kauffman says that, initially, the video surveillance system was installed to provide a deterrent for inappropriate behavior, both internally and externally. “Our issue was [that] we were dealing with a pretty high degree of vandalism and it got to be a rather expensive repair/cleanup… So I would say that our initial interests were related to some damage that was done to the buildings, and then obviously it has grown into one that we are now looking obviously at building security and keeping people out of the building that shouldn’t be here and keeping people in the building that should be here.”

    Kauffman offered additional insight regarding how their VMS allowed them to more accurately distinguish between guilty and innocent parties. “The cameras do two great things for us: either prove fact, or disprove allegations.” Security camera systems not only deter vandalism, but they help accelerate the investigative process as well.

    Resource Management

    It didn’t take long for authorities at the school to tap into the versatility of their video surveillance system. While deterring vandalism was always a priority, Kauffman and others quickly realized how effective their VMS was in monitoring potential security threats on campus, be they external or internal.

    What’s more, Kauffman observed that their security camera system improves operational efficiency. The cameras afforded them the ability to minimize the resources dedicated to investigating potential security concerns. Kauffman sums this point up well; “…it does minimize the amount of leg-time, people-time, to actually investigate what happened.”

    Ensuring School Safety

    Most importantly, Eaton High School became a significantly more secure facility, and it didn’t take long for the school to put the VMS to work. “…we went into a lockdown because of a series of ominous threats to the school. And the cameras were used specifically to make certain that that individual came nowhere near the building. From that point, I’d say these things are priceless.”

    For more on how Pelco solutions can help your school safety and security through VMS and video surveillance solutions, reference our resource on Intelligent Video Surveillance Solutions for Education at your convenience. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for video surveillance cameras that keep your school safe and efficient!

    What Security Challenges is your Campus Facing?

    As the lead for a campus security team, every day brings with it new and unique challenges that your team must be ready to respond to with a moment’s notice. Having the right tools and strategies in place will undoubtedly aid in your team’s overall success.

    For the purposes of this article, we’re thinking of a campus that contains multiple buildings with common outdoor gathering areas, that is situated on large, easily accessible area. This could be a college campus, a large private high school, a large corporate property, a resort, or even a religious institution. Your campus may have residences on site or not, but there are going to be similar challenges faced across these environments.

    One of the first things that comes to mind is that you are going to need cameras that have the capability of maintaining a pixel density that allows you to identify people from a long distance of perhaps hundreds of feet. While this is possible with fixed, megapixel cameras, and those would be a great place to start, augmenting these fixed cameras with High Definition Pan-Tilt-Zoom, or HD PTZ cameras will add versatility and usability to your surveillance deployment, if you have a named public safety office. A camera like this would enable security personnel to take control over a camera as needed to perform real time investigation of incidents as they happen.

    Perhaps a flash mob has formed, or that there is a car accident, or even a medical emergency on a public area. Instead of having to watch from a distance, you can move a PTZ camera and zoom it in to maintain a high level of detail even from long distances. Making sure your camera is high definition will also help make sure that the image is clear and usable. How many times have you seen security footage from a local TV news segment and thought, “what’s the point of having a camera if you can’t make out anyone on the video?”

    Even if you don’t have a public safety officer available to monitor your campus, a PTZ camera can still make sense as a solution. Perhaps there is an emergency intercom system strategically placed throughout your campus. A PTZ camera can be integrated and programmed to automatically pan tilt and zoom to a preset location based on an event from your intercom system. At that point, even if no one is watching, having surveillance on the person using the intercom can still be of value when video footage is reviewed later.

    Does your campus have any unique challenges that you’re currently reviewing and looking to solve? I’ll be available to take your questions live on August 9th, during the Security Professional’s Guide to Mid-size Solutions Webcast. I would be more than happy to discuss possible solutions and strategies for you and your team during this free digital event. Register below for more information.