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An ESS Surveillance Access Unit is the key to better information and greater certainty in a hostage crisis.

The SAU is a high-tech system that provides police with a “wireless window” into the building. This revolutionary ESS technology:

  • lets first responders "see inside" a hostage setting,

  • heightens response efforts,

  • results in more effective rescue plans, and

  • enhances the safety of rescuers and hostages.

A view from inside a school building, displayed on the computer screen of a nearby police vehicle.

How ESS technology works.



ESS Surveillance Access Unit (SAU)

While this powerful tool was developed with schools in mind – to support campus security by streamlining and informing emergency response – it is applicable to virtually any closed-in, high-exposure public facility.

“Schools can be violent places. I think this helps the school feel another sense of safety. It's a good thing.”

High school student, on the installation of a Surveillance Access Unit on his campus


ESS technology provides custom-designed solutions that let police officers tap directly into the security cameras of a school or other public building, directly from their cruisers. They enjoy quick set-up for unlimited situational use, including hostage situations and surveillance of domestic violence, narcotics trafficking, property crimes, etc.

With eyes and ears on site in real time, first responders have the information they need to make informed decisions quickly. They can approach a facility during an emergency equipped with on-screen blueprints, floor plans, live audio and video, and time-critical data – on location, from the safety of their vehicles. Critical information is displayed from standard web browsers, minimizing the need for special training or technology add-ons.

All decision-makers can have simultaneous access, with multiple feeds to the command post, tactical team leader, operations commander, safety officer and other key persons.

A Head Start on Effective Response

A few strokes on a police officer’s laptop, and they are remotely hooked into the facility’s security system – equipped with a head-start in diffusing a potentially fatal situation.

Through our "wireless window," first responders can access the facility's evacuation plans that are stored in their security system, including pre-planned routes, emergency exits, gathering points, and first aid stations.

Step-by-Step Toward a Successful Outcome


The Surveillance Access Unit (SAU) is configured for a specific location. This involves gathering blueprints, floor plans, pictures, crisis management documentation and emergency contact information, and converting that material into easily retrievable web content.


The SAU is installed at the school or other facility, connected to the facility's digital video recorder (DVR) and tested to ensure proper interaction with cameras and other security devices.


Police cruisers are configured with the SAU's SSID (the name of the wireless local area network) and encryption key.


Inside the facility, the properly installed SAU is constantly awake and aware, waiting for a connection.


When 911 is notified of an incident inside the building, first responders are dispatched to the scene.


When first responders are within range (about 100-150 meters), the configured laptop in their vehicle automatically connects to the SAU.


When first responders open their laptop’s web browser – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc. – they are automatically redirected to the SAU’s home page.


Clicking on a hyperlink launches camera security system. Depending on DVR software and camera capability, police can pan/tilt/zoom and listen to audio.


First responders can see the building’s blueprints, floor plans, emergency contact information and other web content mentioned (see Step 1).


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