Integrator Adapts with Public School System’s Needs
The Elkhorn Public School district serves a rapidly growing suburban Omaha, Neb., community and has 4,200 pre-K-12 students and 10 buildings. Roger Breed, superintendent, says that the district initially resisted spending money on security. “We wanted to use our limited dollars for teachers and instructional materials,” he remembers. That changed 10 years ago when the district lost significant property in an elementary school break-in and student cars were being vandalized in the high school parking lot. The district had a safety and security assessment conducted and then began to work with Elkhorn alumni Jon Driscoll, president and COO of Hawkeye Vision, an Omaha security manufacturer and integrator, to deploy security measures.
“Our initial goal was to protect property,” continues Breed. “Cameras and motion detectors were the first technologies we deployed. Hawkeye showed us how we could hook up our cameras to monitors in each school and to monitors at the police station using the Internet. That was valuable because police have staff on duty 24/7 and we don’t.”
Elkhorn has continued to build its security system based on information and technology updates from Hawkeye. After Columbine and September 11, the district’s primary security goal became protecting people. The security system today includes building entrance and grounds monitoring, interior cameras in public spaces, motion detectors and door alarms.
When evaluating new security purchases, Breed says that meeting the intended purpose is more important to him than lowest cost. “We would rather scale back the number of products we initially purchase than buy less effective ones,” he says. When evaluating products, Breed doesn’t need to know all the technical details. “We’re replacing some of our older cameras and Hawkeye told me that, for not a whole lot more money, I could have megapixel cameras. I don’t know what makes a megapixel camera better, but I could sure see the difference when Hawkeye showed me a comparison of images.”