Upgrade For OC Security System

OCEAN CITY – The resort’s citywide security system will be getting a much-needed upgrade this summer, by way of a state-of-the-art software program paid for by a Homeland Security grant.

The City Council voted unanimously to allow City Engineer Terry McGean to hire Advantech to complete phases one and two of a process that will upgrade the city’s outdated security system, installed in 1994.

Essentially, what this system will do is enable the town to closely monitor who is going in and out of town-owned buildings, and will efficiently alert the system’s mainframe computer system of any security breaches or other related incidents.  It will also allow the city’s central computer to automatically lock or unlock any door in a town-operated building.

“We will install electronic locks at various facilities that can be operated with an employee I.D. card or at a central location,” said McGean. “It will be similar to what’s in place now at the public safety building, but way more sophisticated.”

The program will have different levels of access clearances, allowing certain employees entry to all or only a limited number of destinations in the town’s grid by usage of the town issued employee identification cards.

McGean put together a team of consultants, including Captain Kevin Kirstein of the Ocean City Police Department, to determine which of the nine bids received was the best candidate to do the job.  About $195,000 was budgeted for the project, using the grant provided from Homeland Security, but the eventual bid was awarded to Advantech for just over $133,000.

“Because there was such a wide variety of systems and installers, and because the purpose of the product by its nature is critical, the procurement of this project was determined on accommodation of system quality, system features, installer qualifications, as well as the overall price,” said McGean.

The system to be installed is called a Honeywell Access System, which has received numerous industry awards and is considered amongst the best in and around the world of municipal security, according to several industry reports.

McGean said that Advantech will have 180 days to complete the first two phases of the project.

“We are going to have them install phase one, which will be the backbone of the system and installs the gates at the public works yard, and the wastewater plant,” said McGean. “We will then monitor it for 30 days and make sure that it’s running smoothly before we move onto phase two and install all the new software and electronic locks at the airport, public safety Building and City Hall.”