How a California Amusement Park Keeps Its Guests Safe With Genetec Security Center

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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Touted as the “Coney Island of the West,”  the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is iconic amusement park featuring 40 rides, 30 restaurants, 15 retail shops, arcades, miniature golf, bowling, and conference and banquet facilities.

As an admission-free park, guests can enter through multiple entrances to buy food, purchase ride tickets, or simply walk around and enjoy the surroundings. Unlike gated parks which typically have a main security checkpoint, the park’s security team must be hyper-vigilant to spot potential security threats before they can develop. Security operators constantly monitor video cameras and work directly with field officers to handle issues.

While video surveillance technology helped security teams watch over the large park, aging equipment began compromising their efficiency. As the search for a new video management system began, the team prioritized openness, reliability, and a vendor’s reputation in the market. Moreover, their aging access control system would soon need replacing too.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk team chose the Genetec Security Center platform to upgrade its security system because of its unique ability to unify video surveillance, access control, and other systems and sensors. The flexibility of the platform was a key selling point and enabled them to choose their preferred cameras and door hardware, according to the company.

Today, the team at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk uses Genetec‘s Security Center platform to manage over 400 cameras and 220 doors across the entire amusement park. From one single interface, operators actively monitor cameras and doors, respond to alarms, handle investigations, and export and share video evidence. This ensures that every security incident is effectively resolved without having to switch applications.

“Like any busy amusement park, our guests sometimes become separated from their groups. When this happens, we are now able to use the Security Center Omnicast video surveillance system, along with assistance from our field officers, to quickly reunite guests with their parties,” says Will Graham, security technology administrator at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

If motion is detected near a perimeter after opening hours, the platform will trigger an alarm and display live video and a 10-second replay of the event on a dispatcher’s monitor, allowing them to quickly identify if it’s an actual threat. The team has also expedited investigations by sharing system access with other departments. This includes food service, loss prevention and ticket sales who can handle their own preliminary investigations, if needed.

“Using the Security Center platform, all door events are linked to video which means our team can quickly gather the information needed and solve cases faster,” adds Graham.

With Security Center, operators get an instant view of an event as it’s unfolding. So before sending an officer to check on the area, they can quickly identify if it’s a threat or a false alarm. Using the Synergis system, the team has set up different door schedules and rules and created over 200 cardholder groups with unique access privileges for various roles and responsibilities.

For added peace-of-mind, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk team receives fully managed software maintenance and monitoring via the Genetec Advantage maintenance package to help ensure their systems always available and up to date.

“Using Security Center has definitely heightened our response efficiency at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Everything from video surveillance and access control to alarm management has been consolidated into one solution — it’s just a better, more effective way to work. And we’re confident that with this unified platform, we’ll be keeping our guests happy and safe well into the future,” says Graham.

To view a full case study of the project, click here.

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