Access Control in the Education Sector
An Open Options & DPS Success Story
Denver Public Schools (DPS) is comprised of more than 200 schools, including traditional, innovation, magnet, charter, and pathway schools. Serving one of the fastest-growing school districts in Colorado, the DPS safety department is constantly working to create a safe and secure environment for over 90,000 students, 15,000 staff members 24 hours a day, 78 days a week, 365 days a year.
Led by Chief Michael Eaton, the department has over 140 team members including investigators, armed patrol officers, dispatchers, emergency preparedness professionals, and campus security officers. In addition to training district staff in emergency management, DPS protects their stakeholders from harm and offers guidance to school administrators to enhance school safety in a wide variety of situations.
DPS was in need of an access control solution that would be capable of scaling and widespread flexibility, and after much research chose Open Options as their partner.
The DPS communications center handles over 20,000 calls for service each school year and also monitors all radio communications between their command and patrol staff. The center trains extensively with the Denver Police Department for a wide range of situations. Through their radio communications system, they are able to communicate with every police district in the city as well as Denver dispatch. The center also works in collaboration with jurisdictions across the metro area, the US Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and Secret Service.
“At the core of all our efforts in safeguarding our students, faculty, and staff, is our campus security protocols and perhaps most importantly, our access control system,” said Eaton. As security for a school district has many layers, DPS needed a robust access control system with an abundance of features.
While an access control system serves as the primary component of a security system, coupling it with additional technologies, such as video management, wireless locks, visitor management, and more, allows for a well-rounded solution that covers multiple aspects of campus security.
This is where DNA Fusion comes into the picture.
“DNA Fusion essentially allows us to tie all of our security technologies into our access control system, which plays a critical role in our day-to-day security processes,” said Melissa Craven, Director of Emergency Management for DPS. “For instance, the ability to pull up the live video on an alarm or door forced from the events grid helps us to assess and respond to the issue in a quick and efficient manner.”
In order to further streamline their security processes and procedures, DPS monitors all the components of their system across campuses from a single location. This significantly cuts down on responses time in the event of an emergency as all decisions related to campus lockdown or other high-threat situations are centralized.
As DPS looks to the future, they will be adding door position stations to all exterior doors, allowing operators to monitor perimeter security, as well as implementing graphic mapping across their system thanks to DNA Fusion. This will bring all of DPS’s technology together in an extremely user-friendly format, where operators can easily view and address events through strategically placed interactive icons and easily access all card readers, cameras, and intrusion points on the maps. This will drastically improve an operator’s ability to determine a false alarm versus an actual event and will aid in officer safety when responding, as well as asset protection.
“When looking for a security technology provider, it was essential for us that we found a partner, not just a provider,” said Craven. “Open Options provides a robust access control solution that continues to allow DPS to grow. From installation to the expansion of the system, Open Options has been there, and we look forward to continuing to grow together.”
Open Options truly believes in the power of flexibility and customer choice that provides options without neglecting the highest security standards. By providing a strong, scalable, and open-platform access control solution for Denver Public Schools they can rest assured knowing that Open Options will protect their most precious assets every step of the way.