Challenges: Key Control and Accountability
Bernards Township, a small community in central New Jersey, faced some difficulties when it came to managing access to a variety of buildings. Bernards’ Parks department rents out various indoor buildings for events. Unfortunately, with a mechanical lock and key system in place, the Parks Department found that people misused and exploited the keys used to enter the building. Keys would be rented out for specified periods of time, however occasionally key rental times overlapped. People would set up for their events the day before, which conflicted with events happening in between. This was cause for frustration among renters and Parks personnel. Another challenge the Parks department faced was the fact that there were duplicate keys for several buildings and there was no way of knowing who entered a room, or what time they left and locked up. Managing dozens of keys for dozens of facility locks also required employees to carry sizable key rings.
When the Parks department encountered CyberLock at a tradeshow they decided to give it a try. CyberLock allowed the Parks department to retrofit their existing doors with CyberLock cylinders. CyberLock cylinders are high security electronic locks designed to track and control access throughout facilities. Cylinders are designed to the exact dimensions of the mechanical lock cylinders they replace. The Parks department then issues CyberKey smart keys to users. Each key can be programmed to access specific locks for a specific amount of time. Outside of the assigned schedule, the keyholder will be denied access. Additionally, both CyberLock cylinders and CyberKey smart keys can hold a record of every access attempt, allowing the Parks department to view an audit trail showing who entered the building and when. Because CyberKey smart keys can be programmed to allow access to multiple locks the Parks department was also able to eliminate heavy, cumbersome key rings. Jennifer Gander, the Director of Parks and Recreation, is pleased with the versatility of the CyberLock system. She states “Renters now know their key will expire,” driving them to rent only the specific times they expect to be there. Additionally, “Groups that have weekly access can be given a key set to only work on set days and times.”
When Bernards’ Department of Public Works (DPW) saw how the CyberLock system was working for the Parks department, they decided to implement it in their department as well. The DPW needed building access control that was able to open and lock various perimeter doors as well as limit access to interior doors. They needed a system that accommodated the various access schedules required by people in the department. Additionally, it was important that janitorial staff had access cards. Bernards’ DPW implemented the CyberLock Flex system, incorporating both RFID card readers as well as CyberLock cylinders and CyberKey smart keys. This allows them to distribute CyberKey smart keys to some employees and distribute RFID identification cards to other employees. Both Parks and Recreation and DPW are able to manage their CyberLock systems under one software platform.
Both departments have been “impressed with the ability to provide one system that [takes] care of Parks and Recreation and [DPW] building access concerns.”