NOCE Anaheim Campus Among First to be Digitally Mapped for Police, Fire


May 2, 2018 4:09 AM

PHOTO CAPTION: NOCE Provost Valentina Purtell (right) stands with AUHSD Superintendent Michael Matsuda in front of the digital mapping technology unveiled at a press conference on May 1, 2018.

A digital campus-mapping system that will cut response time for law enforcement during dangerous incidents on campus was unveiled on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at Anaheim High School, making it the first school in the nation to incorporate the sophisticated technology to boost safety and potentially save lives. NOCE partnered with Anaheim High School and the Sobel Group to also digitally map the 10-story Anaheim Campus building, home to 10,000 NOCE students and the NOCCCD administrative offices. The new technology was revealed at a press conference that included Provost Valentina Purtell along with members of the Anaheim Union High School District, law enforcement, and the Sobel Group.

“This is a game changer,” said Julian Harvey, Anaheim’s interim police chief. “It reduces the danger and response time for first responders, while assisting in locating a suspect. It won’t prevent a shooting, but we know that time is of the essence when dealing with those situations.”

The digital mapping service was developed by The Sobel Group, a San Diego-based company owned by David Sobel, who retired from a career in law enforcement. For the past 18 years, Mr. Sobel—whose mother and wife were both public school teachers—has operated The Sobel Group, which performs investigations and consulting in school districts throughout the state. It was that work which led him to bring the mapping concept to market.

To map every nook and cranny of the NOCE Anaheim Campus, Sobel’s firm took more than 10,000 very high-resolution photographs that are stitched together to create a virtual tour that is linked to digital floor maps. It gives first responders real photographic images, not graphic images, of a site. Many times, law enforcement has had to make do with maps that show where the buildings are located, but not what they look like inside. Other times, they have had no floor plans, and have to request them. Now, they will have the digital system at their fingertips, in their command centers and cars.

“It takes 30 seconds to access our map, instead of maybe 30 minutes,” Mr. Sobel said. “If someone wants to know where [a particular] building is, for example, they can start with an aerial map of the location, click to where the building is, then go inside to check for ingress, egress, and other critical features such as hazardous materials or utility cut-off points--and potential hiding spots of suspects. If they are going to break down a door, this will tell them what kind of hinges and locks are on the door. It will allow law enforcement to be prepared in a much more educated manner.”

“Our main NOCE campus and District headquarters are housed in a high rise building, which presents unique issues in regards to safety,” said Dr. Cheryl Marshall, Chancellor of the North Orange County Community College District. “We are very excited to partner with AUHSD in this important project that will help first responders protect our students and employees.”

To read the full press release, click here: Digital Mapping Press Release

To read the media stories printed about this new technology, click below:


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