Written by Betsy Abraham Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00
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.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00
U.S. Air Force Veteran Mario Dell’aera, 80, of Levittown said he first volunteered for service in 1952, during the Korean War.
“They called volunteers ‘regulars,’” he said, reflecting back to when he first enlisted.
From 1952-1956, Dell’era called the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev. home. The base, he said, operated 24 hours, 7 days a week, training pilots to fly overseas into Korea.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.
All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.
Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.
Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.
In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.
“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”
With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.
Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.
The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.
The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “
At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.
Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.
Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.
The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.
In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.
Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games.