The control room operator monitors all the live camera screens
And finally, his department is responsible for the control room, were specially trained security officers take turns as control operators. The control room operator watches four large monitors with live camera feeds and also deals with incoming reports of incidents on the campus. The screen display a selection of images from the hundreds of cameras that are installed over the campus.
A new control desk
The control room was recently renovated. This was only logical, according to Star. ‘Now we simply have a good chair, modern monitors and a well laid out control desk, with one keyboard and one mouse with which the various visual accessory systems can be operated. So we no longer have a separate keyboard and mouse for each system.’
Building a department of campus safety
This renovation is one of the results accomplished since the appointment of Sebastiaan Star in November 2018. Before that, Star worked at the ICT department of TU Delft, during his last year there as manager. At the time, a Department of Campus Safety did not yet exist, but of course there were various safety topics involving the campus that TU Delft discussed with the emergency services and the municipality. It was therefore logical to establish a department that would specifically focus on matters of campus safety. The emergency services and the Municipality of Delft made it clear that they wished to have a permanent point of contact.
If you make a good plan, then you become part of it
As ICT manager, Star drafted a plan on how he would tackle establishing such a safety department. Star already had 20 years of experience as a volunteer for the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Safety Region, so he had an affinity for and knew something about safety. And, as is often the case, if you make a good plan and know enough about the subject, you ‘become part of it’. That also happened to Sebastiaan Star, he says with a laugh.
Digitising the control room
After replacing the hardware, it’s now time to do something about the software. Sebastiaan Star explains why this is necessary by describing what now happens when a report or alarm comes in. ‘The control room operator receives a telephone call via the emergency number 015-2788888. But the operator can also receive a fire alarm. Then, depending on the type of report or alarm, the operator runs through a protocol. At present, the operator has to manually transfer the report or alarm to the relevant emergency services, and that is fairly complicated. It can all be done more efficiently and digitally.
Better quality and faster service
‘What we aim to achieve is the digitisation of our protocols’, explains the Campus Safety Manager. ‘When an operator fills out the fields in his digital system, the emergency services are immediately alerted’. That has two major benefits. In the first place, it improves the quality of the assistance. As all calls are handled more uniformly and consistently, the same quality of service is provided to everyone regardless of the specific request. Second, the assistance is called in more quickly. ‘Once the operator enters an address into the system, the emergency services are automatically alerted and can get moving. Previously, the telephone call first had to be completely dealt with and taken care of.’
Sebastiaan Star makes use of his knowledge of and experience with ICT for this digitisation project. ‘Such a control room uses a great deal of ICT. So it helps if you understand what is actually going on in a digital system. And I also know the people working at the ICT department quite well, which also helps quite a bit.’