By Na’Chyna Rogers
As the completion of the 18-month renovation project nears, the college recently began upgrading security cameras across the campus as well.
Plant Services Director Tom Ramler said the college is working to stay on what he calls the “cutting edge of technology” with its new system. Ramler said he has been working closely with Sebastian Barron, NTCC IT specialist, to negotiate an arrangement to replace all of the existing cameras with new ones that will provide sharper images with infrared technology 24 hours a day. “When there are things that happen on campus, we will be able to identify who is involved, and this will allow us to address those issues on a case by case basis,” he said.
Ramler said the new cameras have already been installed in student services and will be replaced across campus over the next few months. He said more than 200 cameras will be located at various locations on the NTCC campus, including some areas that did not previously have cameras.
Northeast Vice President for Administrative Services Jeff Chambers said that while the college purchased the new cameras from K1 Security in Rockwall, the devices are actually being installed and managed in-house by the NTCC IT department.
Security Coordinator Russell Taylor said based on past experience, it was a good decision to allow the college to manage its own system.
“We could have gotten an upgrade from a contractor, but we chose to go in-house with the hopes that with it being in-house we might get better service,” said Taylor. “Like when a camera goes down, with it being in-house then maybe the camera gets repaired a little faster.”
Barron said the new cameras offer the ability for the college to monitor activity across the campus. “They are 1080p HD cameras, while the ones we have now are just standard definition camera,” Barron said. “The software is updated, it’s a lot easier to manage and a lot easier to work with.” He added that the new cameras are also more reliable and have not gone down one time since being installed a month ago.
Ramler said the new technology also offers the ability to monitor the parking areas more closely. “Because they have a far sharper image, we will be able to see license plate numbers we couldn’t see in the past, and faces of people as they get in and out of vehicles,” he said.
Barron said they hope to have the cameras across campus installed and fully operational by August.
Ramler said the goal is to make Northeast as safe as possible for those who move about the campus on a daily basis.
This goes hand in hand with all of the other upgrades on campus. We are trying to be all that we can be,” he said. “You can have the most modern campus, but if it’s not a safe place to be, all of the modern equipment doesn’t mean a thing. Providing a safe and secure campus is job one.”