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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

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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