Education, Local News

H-F school board considering security updates

The District 233 school board is expected to approve a contract for security improvements at Homewood-Flossmoor High School at its Tuesday, May 16, board meeting.

This year the district made security improvements to doors at both the North and South Buildings, installing automatic door locks that eliminated the need for keys and gave administrators remote access to control the door locks.

Steve Richardson, director of Information Services, recommended to the Finance Committee at its April 25 meeting that the board approve a contract with ITR Systems of Downers Grove for the Avigilon Alta Video Surveillance System to improve security through enhanced video. The $317,995 proposal includes various cameras, cloud storage for 271 cameras on campus and a five-year license agreement. 

The shift to Avigilon will also give the security team an easier way to access camera information, and it gives H-F the capability to move camera data to cloud-based storage, Richardson told the committee members. The files now are locally stored.

“It will be more accessible and secure with end-to-end encryption,” he said.

The cameras in Avigilon’s proposal would give “very high definition and zoom-in capabilities,” he noted, and will allow H-F “to integrate with the door lock system.” It will be easily accessible by Flossmoor police and fire personnel in case of emergencies. 

The security system also will give better continuity between the two H-F buildings and give immediate access to information from “a web browser, phone, tablet, app or computer. That’s huge for our security,” Richardson said. “Right now (security staff) can only see it from the computer on their desk.”

“The system fully integrates with every system we have in the school, our phone system, our PA system, door lock system. That’s amazing technology,” he said.

“Administrators can program the system to reach and alert on certain anomalies, such as loitering, abnormal volume levels and much more,” Richardson explained in a report presented to the board. “This system will even detect and alert on unusual activity, such as a ladder being placed against a school, or a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction through a driveway. Vape detection and license plate recognition solutions are also available.”

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