June 17, 2024 by Grace Christoff

Safer Schools within reach for any size district

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Industries: Education

Topics: School Safety

jason smith quoteWith school-related violence and crime at an all-time high, the Saranac Community Schools are working to make the schools in the district safer and more secure for students, staff, and community members. The predominantly rural district located in central Michigan searched extensively for a connected communication and security technology system that would be a good fit for the security staff, work with their existing technology investments, meet their budget requirements, and also quickly access in-person support when needed. The Motorola Solutions safety and security ecosystem met all of Saranac’s needs and more. 

The district went from a few plug-in cameras to a comprehensive security system that covers 75% of the indoor and outdoor spaces, analytics software that allows them to view multiple cameras at once and remotely monitor the parking lots, grounds, and building perimeters. They also used the analytics to create alarms that alert teachers and faculty of abnormal behavior, whether a student wandering the halls or an unknown individual on campus. The MOTOTRBO Ion radios, with the ability to connect to both Wifi and LTE networks, help ensure the teachers and staff never miss an alert so communications remain intact even if the WiFi goes down or the network is interrupted. The Saranac district administrators also appreciate the highly dynamic camera range that automatically adjusts to the lighting throughout the day, making sure they always have a clear view. 

With the current success of the system and the seamless integration, the district has already made plans to expand with additional technology. Their next priority is to fill the gaps in their cameras by adding additional cameras to sports fields and parking lots and implementing a Capacity Plus radio infrastructure to further improve communication between district buildings. Adding Motorola Solutions ecosystem products, such as the access control, could also help staff to better monitor doors and check that they are closed and secured throughout the day. The district may even consider working with Motorola Solutions to install sensors across campus facilities to monitor for flood waters, chemicals, and odors such as vape smoke. 

Even as a smaller school system, Saranac’s integrated security system was easier to attain than many first anticipated. “Even a small rural school system can make some wise investments to dramatically increase security,” said Jason Smith, Superintendent and Transportation Director of Saranac Community Schools. “And the ability to keep what you already invested in and then add to it as budget and circumstances allow is so critical.”

Read the full Saranac Community Schools case study.

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