King County of Washington

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King County is the most populous county in the state of Washington, and the 13th most populous county in the United States. Its territory encompasses the county seat of Seattle and more than 2,500 square miles in total. Nearly 30 percent of the state’s population resides in the county, which is also home to Sea-Tac International Airport, seaport facilities around Elliott Bay, the Fishermen’s Terminal, three public marinas, and 22 public parks.

The King County Executive leads the county’s executive branch, which also includes the county’s prosecuting attorney, elections director, sheriff, and assessor. In addition to securing more than 35 county-owned facilities, ensuring the security and safety of the King County Superior Court, King County District Court, and King County Courthouse also fall under the jurisdiction of King County’s Facilities Management Security division.


To provide support for its more than two million residents and geographically large size of more than 2,100 square miles—about the size of Delaware—the county employs more than 20,000, including a security staff of 55 and a 24/7 emergency dispatch center. County buildings range from small sites to large high-rises in downtown Seattle, including public health sites, regional and central courthouses, county administrative buildings, and support facilities for transportation fleets and maintenance.

With the help of its systems integrator, Johnson Controls, King County sought to migrate to an access control and security management system that could integrate together the county’s existing equipment and provide a more comprehensive view of all of the county’s buildings and services. This included more than 25,000 access cards, 35 facilities, 600 cameras, an emergency notification system, and an incident command center. Top on the list of requirements for King County’s new solution was a system that offered a single user interface for multiple functions, automated and quick alarm responses, custom view and reporting capabilities, and also cost savings over its existing systems.


As a long-time customer of Software House, King County wanted to upgrade its existing access control platform to be able to integrate additional subsystems, such as emergency notification and central station functions. The ability to synthesize data from these systems and provide real-time sophisticated notifications was considered crucial to the success of the project. A unified, singular user interface and access to the system via desktop computer, web browser, and mobile device were also considered must-have features.

Features critical to King County’s new solution also included the system’s ability to be queried for a variety of tasks, such as key assignments, and to provide dynamic views of doors, readers, and controllers. It was important, too, that the county’s new Lynx Network Duress and Emergency Notification System be integrated with the new solution.

With an integration between the new system and Lynx, King County was looking to be able to route events through the system and instantly be able to communicate those events via Lynx directly to police/public safety radios, IP phone systems, direct to desktop computers, via public announcement systems, mobile phone calls or texts, pagers and other means. Such a powerful integration would be required to meet the demands of its many buildings, various facilities and numerous personnel.

The migration to a new access control platform also needed to accommodate King County’s transition of its more than 2,000 hardwired duress alarms to a direct-to-radio broadcast approach using Lynx. This would enable direct alarm dispatching to facility security and county sheriffs who serve as court protection staff. For new construction or large renovation projects, this would significantly reduce the cost of providing duress alarms to individual desktops.

“The integration of the two systems together creates a very powerful automated radio dispatch system, which was at the top of our list of requirements,” said Daniel Kenoyer, Systems Management and Analysis Supervisor, Information Technology, for King County.

Due to the scope of its security operations and inability to have any downtime, Johnson Controls, Kenoyer, and his team chose to keep the existing access control system running in parallel with the new management system during the two-year migration period. With this incremental migration, the county planned to systematically replace individual access control panels and door controllers, building by building.

The Solution

King County selected Tyco’s C•CURE 9000 Security and Event Management system to integrate its many devices and physical security systems together. The flexibility of C•CURE 9000 enables King County to view real-time events, manage cardholder access, create reports, and to access the system from anywhere in the world using a desktop or mobile device.

“King County requires a tightly integrated yet flexible approach to its security, one that unites new and legacy systems and devices, sometimes from several different manufacturers,” said Kirk Tashjian, Integrated Systems Sales Representative for Johnson Controls.

“C•CURE 9000 does this seamlessly, giving King County comprehensive visibility and control over its facilities from one central location and from remote locations as well.”

With C•CURE 9000’s unified approach, King County can perform direct alarm dispatching, manage key control for all of its card holders, provide live views and data to operators, send alarm information to specific users via email, and provide real time, in-progress event updates to a wide range of employees and security staff members.

C•CURE 9000 meets King County’s need for a singular user interface and advanced reporting features, which can be drawn from many different systems and devices to form a comprehensive picture of events.

The migration to the new access control platform also enables direct integration of the county’s two Sur-Gard SG-System 5 central station receivers into C•CURE 9000. The result, said Kenoyer, is a “much cleaner” alarm handling experience for control room operators in the county’s incident response center.

King County will rely on C•CURE 9000 to monitor and then broadcast real-time events using Lynx. This includes notifying subscribers in the area of an alarm and then advising them to evacuate the building or other appropriate actions. For duress events, Lynx can also be covertly activated with keys on a computer keyboard, a push button switch, and even a desktop icon so the reporting person has an instant and accurate means to summon assistance.

With C•CURE 9000, King County is able to use its existing systems to their maximum potential, synthesizing data from many different points and giving operators a micro or macro view. C•CURE 9000 meets the needs of many kinds of users, providing the micro view and alarm received by an operator when a door is propped, to the macro view needed by the sheriff who uses C•CURE 9000 data analysis to decide which buildings need added security, based on previous events.

The Future

With C•CURE 9000 as its backbone, King County also has the added flexibility for future projects, such as the provisioning for wireless locks for some of the county’s smaller locations. To complete the migration to the new C•CURE system, King County plans to continue updating different parts of its security system incrementally, and continues to replace its more than 100 legacy access panels with iSTAR door controllers one panel at a time. With the help of Johnson Controls, King County also plans to deploy biometrics and integrated credentialing to offer a single credential for employees and other cardholders for both building access and countywide transit on the county operated transit system.

“The power of the platform and feature sets that C•CURE 9000 offers make it an ideal solution for an operation as large as ours,” Kenoyer said. King County is proud of the project, he said, and considers it a successful collaboration between King County security Johnson Controls, and local law enforcement, with future collaborations anticipated.

About King County

King County ( is the most populous county in the state of Washington, and the 13th most populous county in the United States. Its territory encompasses the county seat of Seattle and more than 2,500 square miles in total. Nearly 30 percent of the state’s population resides in the county, which is also home to Sea-Tac International Airport, seaport facilities around Elliott Bay, the Fishermen’s Terminal, three public marinas, and 22 public parks.

About Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls ( is a unified group of the most comprehensive world-leading premium access control, video, location-based tracking, and intrusion solutions in the security industry. Johnson Controls conducts business in more than 177 countries around the world, in multiple languages, and employs more than 2,800 employees globally, including research and development, marketing, manufacturing, sales, service, and logistics teams in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. Our products, built by developers from all product disciplines, consistently allow customers to see more, do more, and save more across multiple industries and segments including healthcare, government, transportation, finance, retail, commercial, and residential. Worldwide, Johnson Controls helps protect 42 percent of Fortune 500 companies, transportation systems on five continents, 37 percent of the world’s top 100 retailers, more than two million commercial enterprises, thousands of students in more than 900 educational facilities, and more than five million private residences.

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