Penn. spends $4.4m on court security

Tele-Plus and other integrators install surveillance, duress alarms
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Saturday, September 1, 2007

HAGERSTOWN, Md.--As part of a $4.4 million ongoing court security upgrade in Pennsylvania, Tele-Plus recently installed a card-access system and duress alarms in the Fulton County courthouse, which received $35,782.99 as part of the state-run grant process.
"Until a couple of years ago, no one [in Fulton County] was even worried about locking their doors," said Paul Schmidt, vice president of services, sales and engineering for Tele-Plus. In fact, when they put out their specifications for bid, he said, the court simply required a card access system "in good working order" and a duress system "in good working order," which "left things wide open for interpretation," said Schmidt. "They didn't know how it worked, but they knew what they wanted."
Tele-Plus, which also performs a wide array of telco and networking installations, went with an IP-addressable DMP system to accomplish both the card access and duress alarm solution.
The duress systems are vital to what Pennsylvania is calling a "first-of-its-kind-in-the-nation automated incident reporting system," said Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman.
At the end of 2006, the last time information was tallied, 752 cameras and 1,433 duress alarms had been installed by a number of integrators. Tele-Plus, which has 30 employees working out of headquarters here and a few satellite sales offices, has picked up business with other rural courthouses, Schmidt said.