Harris County deploys next-generation security in 150 public buildings
Harris County, Texas, has deployed a next-generation security system in the county’s nearly 150 buildings across more than 1,777 square miles in Houston and the surrounding areas. According the county, the system from Honeywell replaces older systems and makes the buildings more efficient and easier to operate by integrating access control security cameras, alarms and monitoring. Previously, each county building had its own security products that didn’t “talk” to one another, creating a complicated network and increased work for county employees.
Harris County employs more than 15,000 workers to support its nearly 5 million residents with services including public safety, jails, law enforcement, courts, library services and licensing facilities.
Texas-based security integrator ESI Fire and Security Protection worked with Harris County to identify its needs and implement the security platform using Honeywell’s Pro-Watch Intelligent Command security management system, which networks both thermal and video recorders and cameras.
“The security and well-being of the Harris County employees, visitors and residents is always a top priority,” said retired Maj. Gen. Rick Noriega, interim executive director, Harris County Universal Services. “This project allowed us to improve our systems and gain better insights into the county’s buildings to provide a safer environment. The solutions provided by Honeywell and ESI also better set the county up for the future—we can test and actively add technologies to address new needs with this flexible but scalable system.”
According the county, immediate benefits for the county include:
- Saving taxpayer dollars through better analytics that reduce false alarms and help first responders.
- Monitoring from a single central control station for improved situational awareness.
- Creating healthier building environments by leveraging people-counting technologies and analytics to manage health and safety compliance, such as social distancing.
- Streamlining systems to create operational efficiencies and save the county resources that can be redirected to other critical infrastructure or services.
“Through a collaborative effort with the county and ESI teams, we created a more efficient and safer environment for people who work and visit Harris County public buildings,” said Rick Koscinski, general manager, North America, Honeywell Commercial Security. “With a county as large as Harris County, it was no surprise that they had multiple, disconnected systems put in place over the years which limited efficiency and connectedness. Now the county has a fully customized solution that is built to evolve with its needs that will not only help increase safety and awareness but also create an improved building experience for its employees and building visitors.”
Harris County is testing features including using the system to alert a precinct when a public park is reaching capacity and monitor building occupancy levels to comply with local health regulations. The county also is looking into integrating biometrics solutions from Atlanta-based IDEMIA for its courthouse. The system uses facial recognition and could be used at entrances to recognize employees and frequent visitors, such as judges and lawyers, using data stored in the Pro-Watch system, removing the need to scan a badge and creating a frictionless and efficient access system. To learn more, visit us.harriscountytx.gov.