The Butler County Sheriff’s Office, located in El Dorado, KS is charged with providing enforcement services to the more than 65,000 residents of Butler County, security at the Butler County Judicial Center and operating the 230-bed Butler County Adult Detention Facility. The agency’s adoption of IP-based video surveillance at the Judicial Center and Adult Detention Facility validates the safety increases high definition video provides versus traditional analog video surveillance.
In 2012, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office determined it needed to upgrade its existing analog video surveillance system at the Judicial Center and Adult Detention Facility. When the Judicial Center was built in 2003, the security system had 17 analog cameras and a PLC-controlled access control system. The disparate systems, especially the access control system, began to show its age and had become difficult and expensive to maintain.
As a first step in upgrading its access control and video surveillance system, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office worked with 4PC, an IP security specialist based in Augusta, KS, to upgrade the Judicial Center’s legacy access control system with Honeywell’s Pro-Watch® security management system. It wasn’t long after this initial investment, however, that the agency contacted 4PC to inquire about the full capabilities of the Pro-Watch system. The Sheriff’s Office was responding proactively to an escalating security risk that was affecting judicial facilities across the U.S.
To upgrade the Sheriff’s Office existing analog video surveillance systems, 4PC replaced the Judicial Center’s 17 analog cameras with 46 1080p equIP Series cameras and two MAXPRO® network video recorders (NVRs) to store the video. The cameras are controlled electronically through computer consoles and Honeywell’s UltraKey Plus keyboard using the Honeywell MAXPRO video management system (VMS).
“The analog cameras the Sheriff’s Office previously used were obsolete compared to today’s modern IP cameras. IP cameras today have a resolution that’s five to six times better than analog.”
Coby Hayes, CEO at 4PC
IP cameras today have a resolution that’s five to six times better than analog. At the Adult Detention Facility, 4PC replaced 48 analog cameras with 96 1080p equIP series cameras and three pan tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras, doubling the facilities monitoring capabilities. 4PC also installed three MAXPRO® NVRs to store video being captured by the cameras. The digital storage gives deputies the ability to pull up video footage quickly and remotely, if needed.
The upgrade and expansion of the video surveillance system at the Judicial Center allowed the Sheriff’s Office to provide remote access of pertinent personnel to the system. Through MAXPRO® VMS, judges and district attorneys can view the Judicial Center’s camera feeds remotely from their desktop computers.
“Providing judges and district attorneys access to the Judicial Center’s video feeds has really helped increase the safety of the courtroom staff,” said Herzet. “From their desk they can easily and quickly verify if a person or a group is waiting to speak with them in the hallway or outside in the parking lot. It’s a significant safety and security benefit during high profile court cases.”
And as an integrated security system, the Pro-Watch® platform, is helping deputies efficiently keep records of employees and visitors entering and leaving the building through video surveillance and electronic access control. “The automation that comes with having an integrated security system is incredible,” said Herzet. “From the security desk our deputies can see who is entering and leaving the building from multiple access points and follow individuals of interest throughout the courthouse.”
For deputies at the Adult Detention Facility, the enhanced video clarity and monitoring is having a significant impact on safety. When an incident such as a fight occurs within the detention facility it can escalate quickly, requiring an immediate response. Taking advantage of the added situational awareness the cameras provide, deputies are able to quickly assess an incident, identify any potential dangers and respond to the scene with a game plan.
“Previously, we identified people in the footage from the color of their cloths and physical mannerisms. Now with the new high definition cameras we can see faces clearly and zoom in on objects so finely as to read handwritten words on a piece of paper,” said Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet.
4PC also configured four Apple® iPad devices for the Sheriff, Undersheriff, and shift supervisors at the Judicial Center and Adult Detention Facility to access the video surveillance system remotely. “Equipping our shift supervisors with iPads gave them the flexibility to be away from their desk and interact with deputies working in the field,” said Herzet. “The iPads are setup to access the video surveillance systems at both facilities and can be used anywhere there’s Wi-Fi® access.”