St. Mary’s H.S. – Institution
St. Mary’s is a Catholic High School
Founded in 1931, St. Mary’s is a Catholic High School located in St. Louis Missouri. The all boys school sits on a 27 acre lot and has had more than 12,000 graduates. Their mission is to provide a safe and secure campus for their students to learn and grow both academically and spiritually. A mission of St. Mary’s is to provide a comprehensive program of learning which challenges and motivates each student to reach his fullest potential. The school is dedicated to maintaining a community where everyone involved in the students’ formation collaborates to create a climate of cooperation, respect, openness and trust.
Part of this mission is to make sure that the students
of St. Mary’s along with the faculty and staff have a safe environment to work toward their goals. As St. Mary’s sits in a high-crime neighborhood and with school violence always a top-of-mind for school administrators, they wanted to make sure that they were doing everything they possibly could to make sure that they were providing the students with an environment where they could be assured that unwanted intruders wouldn’t be able to make it into the building.
President Mike England attended a safety seminar where an expert speaker acknowledged that schools do far more to prepare for fire than violence, even though violence is much more likely.
Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, Blue Line Technology was launched by retired law enforcement officers to be an industry leader in both threat detection and access control. With trained, certified experts in school and workplace violence, Blue Line Technology was the perfect fit for St. Mary’s to maintain the safest possible campus. Blue Line Technology’s Senior Partner, former St. Louis Police Major Joseph Spiess, is also the principal owner of JLS Consulting, which features training on workplace violence and school violence prevention strategies. Included in the training are site assessments of the school to included safe rooms and victim options in a violent event. Major Spiess is certified in workplace and School Violence Prevention and Active Shooter Response.Blue Line Technology’s signature security software system, First Line Facial Recognition, uses state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to monitor, detect and alert school administrators when a threat or unknown subject’s face is captured by the system. The system clearly identifies visitors with lie feed and videotaped documentation. If the system does not “know” your face, you do not get in. All of the students, faculty and staff have pictures entered into the system, and all they must do is look at the camera as they approach an entrance. The lightning-fast facial recognition technology does a quick scan of their face and depending on whether or not the system recognized the face, entry is allowed… or not.“It provides an extra layer of security, and that can’t be a bad thing,” said Mike England. “I want to tell our families we are doing the very best we can to keep everyone safe.”
With more than 1,400 facial readings conducted per day, the system is working exactly as the school administrators had hoped. The system is mounted between the double doors at the school’s two entrances. Students have said that although they never felt particularly unsafe at the school, the cameras offer them the feeling of extra security. The product reads faces entering the building in real time with no need for the subject to pause. This makes for a very non-invasive solution. Unlike similar solutions that require an access card or a key fob, with First Line Facial Recognition, there is no need to worry about losing a card or a fob being stolen. Blue Line’s system is the fastest, most accurate access control system available. The school has never had a serious security problem, but now with the First Line Facial Recognition system installed, it gives school administrators peace of mind that an event is now even more unlikely. In addition to the all of the people who regularly visit the school being placed into the system (mail carriers, delivery personnel, contractors, etc.), local law enforcement officers who regularly patrol the area hve their faces documented, giving them immediate access in the event of an emergency. The system can now manage any problem parents, especially if there are any restraining orders that are known. First Line Facial Recognition works to document any students that leave school early and can message parents. Additionally, First Line Facial Recognition offers parents of the students a comfort to know that the school they send their children to cannot be entered by just anybody. “We’re proud to be the first school in the nation to install facial recognition technology and we hope that more schools follow suit,” continued England.