When Dr. Erroll G. Southers was called in to offer security advice to a Delaware school that was experiencing violence, one of his recommendations was for the school to free up one room for use by local police. The school complied, and local police found the room to be very useful, as it gave them a place to file paperwork without having to go back to a police station.

“They had more cops going in and out than they ever could have paid for,” Southers told approximately 100 attendees in his keynote address at the 2019 RS2 Technologies Conference in Coronado, Calif. March 5-8. In addition, he said, there are now more students who want to be police officers.

Southers’ address about security infrastructure for schools, stadiums and other venues was one of the highlights of the event, which also gave RS2 dealers the opportunity to learn more about offerings from RS2 and sponsor manufacturers, which included Allegion, ASSA ABLOY, Mercury Security, Farpointe Data, LifeSafety Power, Best, HID, Salient, Splan, Telaerus, AWID, Bruder Manufacturing, Invixium Access, Salto and SoloInsight.

In addition to consulting, Southers’ credentials include a career at the FBI, on a SWAT team and serving as chief of homeland security and intelligence for the Los Angeles world airports police department. Other highlights of his presentation include:

  • Selling security assessments to public schools can be challenging because “no one wants a document subject to subpoena if something goes wrong,” Southers said.
  • One tactic that works in selling private schools is to ask about annual tuition cost, and to point out that the cost for one student is typically as much as or more than the cost of a security assessment. 
  • Drones are the biggest threat to outdoor stadiums, but they haven’t been a problem, thanks to 61 defense contractors responsible for preventing drone flyovers

RS2 took the opportunity to provide attendees with information about the newly released version (Version 7) of the company’s Access It! Universal.NET access control software and about future plans, including those for a cloud-based offering which, according to RS2 Director of Dealer Development Dave Barnard, is expected to be available in early third quarter 2019.

Some highlights about Version 7:

  • Developers will have to use secure sockets layer (SSL) to use the application programming interface (API). As Tim Vahary, RS2 marketing and product manager, explained, this creates the opportunity for a recurring monthly revenue (RMR) model — though he added that RS2 dealers will be able to use the API for free to write their own integration or to enable customers to do so.
  • Destination Dispatch is smart technology designed to make elevators operate more efficiently. End users use their access control credentials to summon an elevator from a kiosk. Instead of pushing a button for a floor, end users are directed to go to a certain elevator. 
  • Support for up to eight operating modes, each of which can be set up in a highly detailed manner. Operating modes might include various emergency modes that give certain users access to certain buildings during an emergency and to other buildings during normal operation.

The RS2 dealer meeting was held at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort and included a golf outing, a tour of the Midway aircraft carrier and a dinner cruise.

Dealers “like to learn from each other,” said Gary Staley, RS2 founding partner. Noting that attendees will keep one another in mind when they have a project that covers areas beyond their own geographic area, he said, “the camaraderie they build here goes a long way.”