An Incident Alert
Seeking more efficient and proactive video surveillance and camera management
University of North Caroline Greensboro (UNCG) is one of 17
campuses within the University of North Carolina system.
Founded in 1891, UNCG is the largest and most diverse university
in the Piedmont Triad region, serving more than 20,000
students and employing approximately 2,800 faculty members.
The university is in the heart of Greensboro, which boasts nearly
260,000 people, making it visible within the larger community as
well. Landlocked by local streets, the 200-acre campus with 30 buildings
poses unique security issues as it is crisscrossed with major
roads, making it a priority to ensure pedestrian and bicycle safety. As
a public institution, it is also largely open to the community and hosts
numerous events, activities, and services regularly accessed by residents
of nearby neighborhoods and the city at large.
UNCG has its own police department (UNCGPD) with more than
40 members, who ensure the safety of the campus. The police department
relies on its video surveillance system to alert them to incidents,
record video for forensic purposes and also provide video analytics
for traffic and crowd control.
Growing Campus, Rising Needs
With a growing campus and rising security needs, UNCGPD, with
the help of its integrator NETCom Cabling, located in Greensboro,
N.C., recognized it required a more efficient and proactive video surveillance
and camera management system. The days when DVRs could
provide the necessary recorded data quickly gave way to the need for a
more responsive approach such as a shared enterprise system to bring
together cameras, recording and the intelligent usage of both.
UNCGPD’s foray beyond the NVR/DVR world began with the
installation of the exacqVision platform, starting with its Z-Series
recorders to cover its parking decks. From there it began to incorporate
a hybrid platform, including exacqVision VMS, to support the
analog cameras used for the parking decks as well as the IP cameras
being installed for security elsewhere. The migration began several
years ago, but today the campus boasts nearly 900 cameras in use,
with about 700 IP and the remainder analog. Each recorder can handle
up to 128 IP cameras and 64 analog units, and it works with
thousands of IP camera models.
Within that time, the UNCGPD has also grown to become a state-of-the-art department with its own command and emergency operations
center where it can monitor and manage its video surveillance system.
Seeking the Right System
In selecting the exacqVision Z series, UNCG’s police department
was seeking an intuitive system that would put the necessary information
at the fingertips of whomever was on duty. It was also critical
to deploy a system with built-in redundancy to protect against any
data loss in the event of a power issue or system fail.
“It’s a pretty easy end-user experience for our officers without a lot
of technological background,” said Joshua Green, technical services
analyst for the UNCGPD. The software within the system makes it
simple to perform tasks such as playing back recordings or searching
for data using a single screen.
One of the biggest benefits of the Z-Series is its scalability, offering
one of the largest processors and fastest speeds of the DVRs on the
market. The system’s design also makes it easy to add new cameras
One of the common usages of the exacqVision platform, said
Green, is for traffic management. Using the video from the exacqVision system, they can perform tasks such as counting parking spaces
to know when a lot is full as well as to watch crosswalks to see how
pedestrian and vehicle traffic is moving or where people are congregating.
It can also be used to help the police department determine
where to put resources: How many people are in the workout room
and does that area need extra patrols, or are their concerns about
equipment in the computer lab and how should that be monitored?
There is also time-savings to be gained by working with the VMS, a
system that lets the user easily search recorded video with a timeline
search. Green recalled an instance when someone was concerned that an
iPad had been stolen, but a quick check of the video showed within a matter
of minutes that the item had been safety stored away, rather than taken.
The system’s built-in redundancy is also critical for a department
that relies on video for detection and investigation. It has a failover
feature that protects against both power and system failures.
The Test of Time
As a long-time user of the Z series and this VMS, UNCG, NETCom
and Intelligent Marketing Inc. are quick to share their success stories
and concerns to improve the product. “These guys, (Tim Reese, sergeant
for the technical services area, and Green), are working with
Exacq engineers on changes that everyone will benefit from, such as
improvements to the mapping feature,” said Bob Moulton, North Carolina
territory manager for Intelligent Marketing, a security manufacturer
rep firm that works closely with end-user customers.
Reese said the ability to make integrations down the road because
of the scalability of the system, whether it is adding card access or
expanding the number of cameras, makes the Z -Series a smart strategic
investment for the university.
“We are looking to the future of our surveillance system to ensure
the safety of the university’s students, faculty and visitors,” said Reese.
Migrating to and implementing a new NVR platform “provides the
university with an important foundation for future surveillance capabilities
Systems integrator NETCom Cabling concurred with those sentiments.
“We enjoyed the opportunity to collectively work together with the
University of North Carolina’s police department and Intelligent
Marketing Inc. to support the University’s goal of continuously making
improvements to ensure the campus remains secure,” said Aaron
Spivey, Director of Security at NETcom Cabling. “Together we’ve
achieved that objective and we look forward to continuing to work
together in the future.”