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How AI Video Analytics can Improve School Security

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Even the most efficient school security teams cannot prevent security hazards like school shootings without an effective threat detection and response mechanism. On average, a US school has about 526 students, so monitoring them without an effective school security system is next to impossible, and keeping track of students and the school staff is essential. It enables the security personnel to detect and isolate threat actors, and restrict their entry into populated zones.

Over the past decade, 180 school shooting incidents have been reported in the US. These have claimed 114 lives and left 242 persons injured. Also, thousands of others who witnessed such incidents are left petrified and traumatized for years. Children don’t deserve to be put through so much pain and grief and must therefore be provided with a safe learning environment. A place where they don’t have to worry about someone pulling a trigger.

While experts argue that this menace can be curbed through effective gun laws and easy access to mental healthcare, physical security cannot be neglected. The solution to this problem may lie in the deployment of advanced AI-based gun detection, perimeter protection, and intrusion detection systems. Thus, it is time to embrace intelligent school security systems that leverage the power of AI and machine learning to detect and report anomalies. Such technologies create a security infrastructure capable of thwarting criminal attempts effectively.

How AI Video Analytics can Solve School Security Challenges

Times are changing and while the gun laws are yet to follow the suit, school security must be prioritized. At present, schools across the US are not completely safe despite having tens of security cameras and an efficient security team. As most security cameras are only there to provide reactive relief, those are useless in the real-time detection and prevention of threats.

Conversely, the AI-powered cameras don’t just record threats but analyze the video streams as soon as the footage is captured. If an anomaly is detected, it tracks and reports that in real-time by sending notifications and alerts. Unlike humans, these technologies do not have limitations such as short attention spans, fatigue, and confusion. We shall now delve deeper into some of the common school security challenges and figure out how AI video analytics can solve them.

Continuous Threat Detection

The best thing about using AI video analytics for threat detection is the fact that machines are emotionless and do what they are supposed to. Once configured to detect and notify threats and dangerous events, the algorithm does the rest based on a set of predefined instructions.

Unlike humans, machines do not err and only do what they are programmed to do. That too, without being overwhelmed by emotions such as fear and anxiety which cloud an individual’s decision-making ability.

Recent school shooting incidents at Parkland and Santa Fe occurred due to the confusion that arose among security personnel. In the Parkland case, threat isolation was delayed despite the fact that the attacker walked in with a rifle case. An AI video analytics solution would have instantly detected and classified the rifle case as a dangerous object. Integrated with an ACS, it could also have triggered the access control measures.

Object Detection

Conventional security cameras lack the ability to effectively detect objects such as guns and knives. A peep into some of the most recent school shootings clearly indicates this.

For instance, in the Stoneman Douglas shooting case, the suspect walked into the school with a rifle case. The suspect did so despite being restricted from carrying even a regular backpack due to his behavior such as making threats to other students. In such cases, schools can use AI video analytics to restrict access and to inform the concerned law enforcement agencies about it. Most importantly, it can be used to lock populated school areas to protect other students, and that too without the security guards risking their lives.

Also, authorities can integrate an attendance system into Scylla to specifically point out the delinquent. The best thing about Scylla is that if it detects someone with a dangerous object, it tracks such individuals as long as they are within the school campus, even if the gunman hides the weapon due to the proprietary object tracking technology.

COVID-19 Compliance

As businesses recommence operations, they are required to enforce COVID-19 compliance measures such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, occupancy limits, and so on. The implementation and monitoring of these measures can be costly, which makes it impractical for loss enduring businesses.

As the lockdown has been economically challenging for most businesses, it is essential to explore innovative and cost-efficient alternatives like Scylla AI video surveillance modules that can add an additional intelligence layer on top to monitor for face mask usage, social distancing compliance, and contact tracing. All of this without risking your security team, as they can be notified about non-compliance while at a remote location.

Access Management

School security begins by breaking down the entire campus into multiple zones and then deploying necessary technologies to limit access. Below mentioned are some challenges associated with the implementation of access management systems along with suitable solutions.

1. Security Infrastructure with strong access control

School authorities must strategically plan the technologies required to monitor the entire campus. Earlier, this included CCTV cameras and access control cards, but those technologies no longer suffice. So, the school security system must include a powerful intrusion detection system that easily integrates with the existing security cameras and can be connected to access management systems to initiate preventive actions when a threat is detected.

Let us re-evaluate how Scylla could have prevented the Stoneman Douglas shooting incident which we earlier discussed. In that case, Scylla’s object detection module would detect the dangerous object and report it to the security guards. In the meantime, alerts would be sent to the concerned law enforcement authorities with information on the time and location of the detected incidents. Scylla also supports active shooter tracking in real-time even if the weapon has been hidden as we take the whole appearance of the individual into account.

2. Centralized locking

The ability to limit the access to different parts of the school campus gives the security personnel an opportunity to control potential damage. When used in conjunction with Scylla’s object detection module, it enables the school security personnel to identify threats and keep track of them. Once identified, the suspect can be locked out from entering populated zones like classrooms, library, school office, and other similar areas.

3. Powerful Fight Detection

In 2019, 366.7 violent crimes were recorded per 100,000 individuals, which can be drastically reduced by deploying AI video surveillance to detect and report such incidents. Scylla’s fight and violence detection submodule runs real-time assessment of potentially dangerous events. As this sub-model is trained on a large dataset, it performs visual crowd surveillance with 92.95% accuracy. However, it must be supported with the right set of surveillance cameras which are properly positioned to detect anomalies. Scylla is a next-gen AI video surveillance solution that can be configured to work with all types of surveillance cameras, including drones to monitor airports, parking lots, prisons, and other public places.

4. Cost-Effective

The declining costs of AI-based technologies and reduced storage expenses due to cloud usage have made deploying video analytics cost-effective. This works extremely well for schools and colleges that often have a tight budget but need advanced security solutions. AI video surveillance is ideal for a school setting because it automates threat detection without increasing recurring costs and school authorities do not have to bother about recurring expenses such as salaries and wages as in the case of hiring additional security guards.

Also, when you deploy solutions like Scylla, the hardware requirements are seven times lower than other similar solutions available, which results in additional savings. Despite the negligible costs, Scylla’s AI-based security solution offers much greater coverage than the conventional systems. It is proactive and provides real-time threat detection which reduces the response time.

Final Takeaway

Due to the large number of students in each school, it would be unrealistic to expect only a handful of security guards to monitor each one of them. The stationery security cameras do not make this any easier because their digital video recorder only gathers information and stores it for later use, which makes them ineffective in the current times when the definition of violence is fast changing.

Therefore, the need of the hour is a well-planned security infrastructure capable of mitigating a wide variety of risks such as school shootings. And this can be made possible with a solid AI based solution that works proactively to detect, notify, and isolate threats in real-time.

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