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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

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.


Sports

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com