iXP Designs and Implements a Public Safety/ Security Solution for the Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University
Sector: Higher Education
Focus: Campus Public Safety and Security
The Johns Hopkins University constantly seeks ways to provide a safer environment for its students and employees on its Homewood campus, a 140-acre main campus, located in northern Baltimore. With its wide distribution of facilities, some in adjacent neighborhoods and on public streets, a student enrollment of more than 7,000, and more than 6,000 faculty and staff, the campus poses complicated public safety and security challenges. Johns Hopkins envisioned a state-of-the-art integrated communications and a SmartCCTV network that would enhance the services provided by the Campus Safety and Security Department.
Johns Hopkins selected iXP because of its reputation among U.S. colleges and universities as the leading provider of public safety consulting and mission-critical technology integration and operational services. iXP has successfully delivered such services to higher-education clients that include Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Syracuse University, Arizona State University, and the University of California at San Francisco. Johns Hopkins was particularly impressed with iXP’s work at the University of Pennsylvania, where iXP designed and installed emergency communications systems and integrated a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system, staffed and managed its communications center for many years, and continues to provide ongoing technical support to keep Penn’s security systems in peak operating order.
In the 12 months immediately following the system’s installation, Johns Hopkins was able to monitor, respond to and intervene in more than 100 potentially dangerous situations.
Campus Safety and Security personnel have described the proactive campus monitoring solution as a “force multiplier,” enabling them to safeguard more areas than they could with just officers on the street. The blend of new technology and operations has enhanced the effectiveness of the university’s security staffing model. It may not be feasible to station an officer on every campus street, but the SmartCCTV system allows Campus Safety and Security personnel to conduct virtual patrols.
By automating and issuing prioritized alerts, behavior recognition also practically eliminates the fatigue-based errors that derive from too few operators watching too many video feeds.
What the Future Holds
Since completion of its first project (described above), Johns Hopkins has retained iXP to build a new communications center that will house monitoring and dispatch personnel and operations under one roof. Construction of the facility is underway. In the meantime an interim monitoring center has been established, from which SmartCCTV monitors are in contact with security dispatchers by radio and telephone. When iXP brings the new communications center online in summer 2006, the monitors and dispatchers will sit side-by-side, have access to the same information, and be better able to coordinate work and relay information to foot patrols. They will also be using new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and recording and logging systems. The new facility will be the most sophisticated command and control center of any university in the U.S.
iXP is in the process of adding dozens more SmartCCTV cameras to the Johns Hopkins network, which will provide even greater coverage. iXP has already upgraded the university’s existing blue-light emergency telephones and deployed new ones, created 80 safety zones throughout the campus, and integrated Johns Hopkins’ emergency telephone system with the school’s standard telephone system.
Founded in 1876, The Johns Hopkins University is one of the world’s preeminent and most influential research and academic institutions. It is affiliated with 31 Nobel laureates and receives more federal research and development funding than any other university in the U.S. The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of the university dedicated purely to research and development, has made important contributions to national security and space exploration and developed more than 100 biomedical devices. All students at Johns Hopkins are encouraged to pursue original research at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and nearly 80 percent of undergraduates produce research by the time of graduation. The university boasts a wide range of strong academic programs, among them art history, biological and natural sciences, biomedical engineering, creative writing, history, international studies, medicine, political theory, and public health.