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June 19, 2014

Facilities updates campus security systems

By Timothy Simko

Over the last few years, Cleveland State University has been upgrading the security features on the campus in stages. In the ongoing improvements, the door locks are being updated to the new safer industry standards for mechanical and digital key systems and the security camera network is being expanded.

“The improvements currently underway are large and small projects that are part of the overall plan to enhance the existing Access and Security Systems on campus,” Joseph Han, assistant vice president of facilities and safety, said.

Control PanelCleveland State spends about $120,000 per year on security upgrades, according to Han.
However, Cleveland State has put aside more money to make the planned improvements to the campus this upcoming year.

“Last year, CSU put an additional $80,000 toward upgrading digital recorders that store recordings from the approximately 1,100 cameras on campus,” he said.

“This coming year, CSU will put an additional $100,000 from deferred maintenance funds toward security related projects, and approximately $60,000 toward upgrading access hardware.”

This project includes upgrading the door locking systems—both electronically and physically—and expanding the Cleveland State video network and electronic key boxes slated to cover the west end of campus.

Dan Ivan, manager of access control and security systems, explained that the door cores and keys are transitioning from a seven pin (7P) core to an eight pin (8P) core.

“This accomplishes two things, one it eliminates all the old 7P keys from being able to be used in the building,” said Ivan. “Two, the 8P key blanks are not available for distribution and sale to the public.”

The upgrade of the campus to the 8P key system has been underway since its release in 2010, with both systems being incorporated in the construction design of all new buildings, according to Ivan.

According to Ivan, the system upgrades are capable of providing transaction reports by person or by door. If a cardholder is authorized to enter a room, the system reports “Valid Read Access Granted" each time that they access a locked door.

All of the upgrades being made to the campus will be completed by November 2015.

The Facilities and Safety Team, also known as F.A.S.T., confirmed that the university would be using outside companies to help with the project.

“The short answer is yes, outside contractors will be utilized,” Ivan said. “Depending on the scope of the project, dollar amount and quantity of work, qualified skilled professional contractors are able compete for the projects either by quoting as requested, if under $50,000, or providing sealed bid documents if over $50,000 but less than $200,000.”

Ivan explained that Security Systems of America, Vasu Communications, Bozworth Digital and Simplex Integrated Security Systems completed recent projects on campus.

In reference to the Cauldron article, “CSU in the line of fire” by Kevin Buryanek—which questioned the preparedness of Cleveland State in the event of a school shooting—F.A.S.T. explained what CSU is doing to prepare the campus in such an event.

“The CSU police officers are trained in Active Shooter Response (ASR),” said Tony Traska, captain of the campus police department, said. “The department has a certified instructor in this area who teaches our officers the most up to date best practices on how officers should response to active shooter situations.”

Traska explained that campus police are currently going through two days of updated ASR training during their in-service training classes throughout 2014. According to Han, F.A.S.T. also routinely conducts tabletop exercises to confirm their readiness.

Ivan explained that the systematic upgrade of the campus to Electronic Access Control system has been underway for nine years beginning with the Inner Link security project. He also explained that the key system of the campus has been underway for a few years.