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Offering High-Tech Security

Nassau BOCES unveiled its communications command center last week,  aimed at providing better security to school districts and allowing first responders real time audio and video.  

 

The center in Westbury provides round-the-clock monitoring and security by tapping into a school district’s existing camera system. Operators watch several screens in the room, which brings up live feed. Operators are not looking at video from all the participating schools at one time; instead video only comes up on the screens when an event happens. These events include doors opening, people in restricted areas, or fire/panic alarms going off. 

 

The operator is to use pre-defined responses based on the situation. If a panic button is pushed, a script will come up prompting the operator to contact the police, and providing phone numbers of the superintendent and other personnel.  Scripts were negotiated with the police department to ensure the best response was executed for each potential scenario. 

 

“It’s not about what they see, it’s about how they respond. This is an event driven system. As an event occurs, they respond to the event. It’s not about watching a hundred cameras, it’s more effective having the system telling you when something is triggered and go exploring why it occurred and get deep into it. By centralizing our response, a script pops up and they have a step by step checklist,” said Nassau BOCES District Superintendent Tom Rogers. 

Because all the monitoring is done at a centralized, off-campus location, this also adds an added security and economic benefit. 

 

“What’s the point of all the security, if no one’s watching it? It’s nice to have something that affordable because we don’t have to spend a lot on personnel. A command center is also usually at the same place where there’s a problem, so it’s nice that this is away from our facility,” Jason Lopez, Chief Technology Officer at Roslyn, said. 

 

Another major benefit of the security command center is its partnership with the Nassau County Police Department.  In a crisis situation, the police department can tap into the security feed and have access to digitized floor plans of the school, complete with links to security cameras. During an emergency, officers will be able to receive real time video and see exactly what is going on in the school and where. They can see video and have access to the floor plans not only at the command center, but also en route to the school, using iPads or their mobile devices. 

 

“We can share information that can help the police department potentially deter, detect, and prevent these horrific events from occurring. And that’s our goal. This is an ongoing process and a step in the right direction. We will as a department, be able to take real time information, get it to our 911 dispatchers and the responding officers as quickly as possible in responding to critical situations,” said Lt. Kenneth Strigaro from the Nassau County Police Department. 

 

The security command center is currently testing out the program in the Plainedge and Roslyn school districts and Rogers notes that there has been a lot of interest from other districts. In order for a school district to take advantage of BOCES’ security services, the district must first be part of Nassau BOCES’ fiber-optic network, Bo-TIE.  Currently, 31 districts are hooked up to this fiber-optic network and if they chose to use the security monitoring system, it can be set up in minutes.

News

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”

A little bit of Hollywood has come to Plainview. The Loft Sound Studio, a Plainview-based vocal and performance training facility, is the creation of lifelong music artist Donnie Klang

and Matthew LaPorte. The duo says that they draw upon their personal experience of the ups and downs of the recording industry to give kids today the chance to be superstars.

 

“Essentially, we’re looking for the next Justin Bieber, someone we can train and teach them how to really become an artist, put them on YouTube and hope they really blow up,” said

LaPorte. “If they do, through our connections that we made while we were in the music industry the past 15 years, we would try and get them a record deal.”

 

The Loft Studio, located at 1530 Old Country Road, already has a list of achievements, including protégé Madison Beer, who got attention after Justin Bieber tweeted a link to a video of her singing. She is currently signed to a record deal on Bieber’s label in Los Angles.


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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