IP video secures largest Alaska school district: broken glass, fights and fires abated

The school districts of the Southern and Central Alaska communities of Anchorage, Eagle River, Chugiak and Girdwood encompass almost 2,000 square miles, and more than 48,500 students attend its 130 schools and programs. This makes the Anchorage School District among the most geographically dispersed in the USA.

To address rising vandalism such as broken windows and recurring playground fires at elementary schools, Anchorage School District (ASD) began installing and experimenting with video security and surveillance systems.

Vandalism is the ultimate reason for the video systems. But as things have played out at the high school level, we’ve had a good deal of use in accurately identifying students involved in fights, even vindicating the non-aggressor. With video, we can quickly see who the instigator was and act accordingly. – Kelly Kass, Project Manager, Anchorage School District

From the initial installations the district saw a reduction in vandalism, and they were able to record a few events that helped with suspect identification. But it was the overall increased situational awareness that deemed the initial test a success. Administrators decided to install more cameras and build a more capable video management system.

Window breakage was so bad that one year we boarded up every window in the Anchorage School District that wasn’t in plain sight of the community. After the cameras were installed, we started seeing a reduction of breakage, and now we’ve stopped boarding up the windows altogether. – Kelly Kass

The A.J. Dimond High School is one of eight comprehensive high schools in the Anchorage School District, home to approximately 1,750 students and over 150 faculty and staff. Officer Mark Wells is the School Resource Officer for A.J. Dimond High School, who works on-site to reduce juvenile crime through law enforcement, education, and prevention programs. Officer Wells uses the Milestone video surveillance system at the school on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

I monitor several different locations, but from a usability perspective, they’re all pretty close to the same. The systems are all Milestone-based, so I’m very comfortable going to each school, accessing their video, navigating the system, and researching events. – Officer Mark Wells, School Resource Officer, A.J. Dimond High School

Read the full Anchorage School District case study.