AtlasIED's GLOBALCOM® platform supports the integration of a new communications system on JCCC's existing IP network, delivering a more reliable and efficient means of delivering emergency alerts campus-wide.
Whether the incident involves an active shooter, evacuation due to flooding, or something less serious like a faulty electrical line, fuel spill or weather advisory, having a fast, efficient means of notification is imperative for the safety of students, administrators, and visitors of college campuses. The consequences of these situations are not only detrimental to the well-being of the student body but the reputation of the school. How are universities dealing with these issues? Through better, more advanced mass communications technology. A 2019 Emergency Notification Survey from Campus Safety magazine shows that 57% of respondents plan to deploy new or upgraded emergency alert solutions compared with 51% in 2017.
Recognizing the wide range of emergencies that can occur on college campuses, AtlasIED offers flexible, scalable mass communications solutions to suit the specific size, scope and security needs of educational facilities. Recently deployed at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, were several components from AtlasIED's GLOBALCOM® line of communications products.
"The school had been using an outdated PA system for many years to pass along general announcements and emergency information, and administrators knew it was time for an upgrade," says Mark Rau, general manager of Sound Products, the commercial audio and security integration firm that handled the project. "There were no smarts built into the existing PA system; if a device wasn't working properly, nobody knew about it, which required our team to physically test the system every two months."
"Safety is paramount at JCCC," adds Alisa Pacer, JCCC Co-chair of the KOPS Advisory Committee and Director of Emergency Management. "We consider this our small city and needed a solution that could allow authorized staff to issue alerts throughout the 234-acre campus—to every one of the 20 buildings plus outdoor areas—in seconds instead of minutes."
As a commercial integrator of Atlas Sound for 30 years, Sound Products recommended AtlasIED's GLOBALCOM® system to JCCC administrators, highlighting its ability to continually monitor and maintain components on the network, its scalability and easy customization of messages. The fact that GLOBALCOM® could utilize the campus's existing IP network and PA speakers—a more affordable and less laborious option to a complete overhaul—was another perk.
Using AtlasIED’s Director software, the Sound Products programmers were able to customize a comprehensive, application-specific interface for JCCC’s GLOBALCOM® system. Using the newly created graphic user interface, safety administrators can select from a map that populates on computer screens at the campus police department, the specific buildings, outdoor areas or even certain floors of a building to send emergency notifications. With one tap of a button, the message can be transmitted to speakers campus-wide and even to speakers on JCCC's remote campus 20 miles away. The police department can choose to dispatch one of several pre-recorded messages or speak into a connected AtlasIED microphone for live announcements. If the speakers happen to be broadcasting a general message campus-wide or background music in the bookstore, the emergency alert overrides the existing audio. The interface also allows the JCCC police department to keep tabs on system activity and status. The map shows in real time which areas on campus are receiving messages and any part of the system that requires maintenance.
Password-protected touchscreens located throughout the campus, as well as any telephone handset or laptop loaded with the Director software, can be used by authorized personnel on the fly to deliver messages. As an extra measure of safety, GLOBALCOM® supports the integration of a third-party text-to-voice solution.
The third-party RAVE Alert emergency text messaging system sends text messages from JCCC staff to a device that translates the text to a voice message. This message is sent to the GLOBALCOM® software for audio distribution throughout the campus at the appropriate volume level.
Thanks to the implementation and customization of AtlasIED's GLOBALCOM® at JCCC, emergency alerts of all types are communicated to students, administrators, and visitors quickly, reliably, and efficiently. Security personnel no longer need to deal with separate audio systems to deliver general messages, music, and alerts. One unified solution built on AtlasIED's interoperable GLOBALCOM® mass communications platform handles every messaging task for the campus, now and in the future. As buildings are constructed or remodeled, the flexible, scalable design of the GLOBALCOM® ecosystem will enable easy, seamless integration of new features and products to fit the ever-changing security needs of the college campus and its law enforcement department.