CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) — For every parent, student and educator, school security is a top concern right now. And while many safety proposals are being floated, the latest technology already is at work in several states engineered by a growing company Created in the Corridor.
“From my office I can see every camera in the district,” said James Huff as he described one of the advantages of the new high definition security system installed last summer throughout the Marion Independent School District. Huff, the district’s IT Coordinator, said 124 cameras keep a watchful eye in and around every building plus the concession stands at the district’s ball fields.
“Most of the cameras, the indoor cameras have a better than 180 (degree) field of view so from the angle that they’re going we can see up any hallway,” Huff said.
Outdoors, cameras can see up to 360 degrees and thanks to integration that’s easy to navigate, administrators in each building can access recorded video and audio at any moment. “The VI Motion Plus software that we got from Inteconnex from a vendor down in Houston that they work with allows us to basically point and click to any camera we want and that allows us to view anything that we’re requested to view.”
Those high-def cams go as high as 30 mega pixels.
“(It) doesn’t help just to have video when you can’t really make out faces or license plate numbers, certain things like that,” said Marc Meyer, President of Inteconnex. “It’s very important that you get the amount of detail that police need to do a forensic investigation.”
Meyer founded Inteconnex eight years ago, applying an IT background in the physical security market. The bulk of the Cedar Rapids-based company’s systems are video management and access control, the latter of which Inteconnex installed at the Eastern Iowa Airport. They primarily serve large enterprise systems including hospitals like Unity Point St. Luke’s and Mercy Medical Center. The company designed and installed a large web-based traffic surveillance system in Lincoln, Nebraska, giving news organizations and the public access to the city’s eighty cameras. But Inteconnex is doing most of its business with universities and k-12 education in Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado.
“That’s probably our biggest growth area right now,” explained Meyer. “We probably have more than twenty school districts that we’re actively working with now throughout the three states and that just continues to grow.”
Right now, the company’s engineers are designing a new proposal for the Highland Community School District in Washington County. It’s the engineering that’s key, from integration to data storage.
“The hardest part of making the sale to the customer is not the technology, not the cameras,” said Inteconnex Chief Technology Officer Gary Sicard. “They’re going to look at them and go, ‘those are great, that’s what we need.’ How do we get what we want—six months (storage) of every camera in the district—how do we get that? That’s the part that goes into the engineering up front.”
“We do design software that interfaces different systems together, so we have special expertise in systems integration,” Meyer said. And that expertise is paying off. Since Inteconnex started in 2010, it’s grown from six employees to twenty-five and it’s still adding staff.
Added Meyer, “We’ve more than tripled the size of our company here.”
Meyer sees Inteconnex expanding into two more states within the next few years. If you have security concerns, you can learn a lot more about the company HERE.