Parking and Security Case Study: Carleton University – Ottawa, Ontario

  • 4,500 staff
  • 29,000 students
  • 3,500 campus residences
  • 9,000+ parking permits
  • 12,000+ violations / year
  • 3,500+ incidents / year
LocationOttawa, Ontario

About Carleton University

The Department of University Safety at Carleton University consists of various teams including Patrol Services, Parking Services, Technical Services and the Carleton University Student Emergency Response Team. Together these entities work to address the universities needs for personal safety, protection of property and parking.

Patrol Services provide coverage and response to events on campus. Parking Services aims to provide an adequate level of parking and locker accommodations.

Technical Services focuses on the design and maintenance of hardware and physical security at Carleton focusing on card access, intrusion alarms and surveillance systems.

These groups work together on a joint mission of making the community’s safety a priority while still keeping an eye on the quality of service they offer.

Client Overview

Carleton University is situated on a 62-hectare property between the Rideau Canal and Rideau River in Ottawa, Ontario.  Carleton College was originally founded in 1942 and grew to meet the needs of those returning from World War II.  Carleton College became a public University in 1957.  Today Carleton University offers a secure environment to over 30,000 staff and students, of which over 3,500 students live in residence.

The Carleton University parking and security office has led the charge or been on the cutting edge of integrating technology and operations.  As one of the drivers behind many aspects of OperationsCommander, they were one of the first organizations to push to replace physical hangtag permits with virtual ones. 

Several years after that, they moved to paperless parking.  Now, with an investment in LPR technology, they are investigating ways to leverage that to help further automate operations.

Parking & Security Challenges

  • Departments working together as a single entity (KEY)
  • Keep community safe (KEY)
  • Ensure a high quality of service (KEY)
  • Meeting their mission
  • Track parking allocations
  • Issue and track violations
  • Work together with local police

Technology Solutions

One key benefit of using OPS-COM for the university is the ability to easily access all data under one software platform. As one of our earliest clients, Carleton University offers direction to help drive innovation in campus security.

OPS-COM parking and security platform

ParkAdmin for parking management

  • Allows users to self-manage parking and payments
  • Used to audit parking lot usage
  • Expose opportunities for overselling
  • Provides flexibility in permitting to maximize revenues


ViolationAdmin for parking enforcement

  • Allows users to pay and dispute violations online
  • Remote data access using Android handhelds
  • Supports virtual chalking with remote sharing to all connected violation devices
  • Easily attach multiple images to support virtual chalking and violations

IncidentAdmin for incident tracking

  • Easily identify and manage issues
  • Easily communicate issues to other staff
  • Push incidents to local police in a format they can work with
  • Track and report user access, maintain user or vehicle watch lists

PL8-RDR – license plate recognition

  • LPR monitoring of vehicles for parking validation
  • Enforcement of vehicles with automatic virtual chalking
  • Automatic tracking and reporting of vehicles of interest

3rd party integrations

  • collections; MTO and or DMV vehicle lookup
  • Banner – staff and student system of record
  • CALE – temporary parking terminals
  • CU Campus Card – payments linked to a student account
  • Paymentech – online portal payments
  • CBORD CS Gold – access control and tracking
  • HID – card access control systems
  • Panasonic – room, and area monitoring cameras
  • Tattile – license plate recognition cameras

Parking and Security Project Results

The OPS-COM parking and security platform is a perfect fit for Carleton University. The cloud-based management system makes data access available to staff members securely. Through role-based permissions, the staff has access to only the areas they need to fulfill their specific job function. The OPS-COM system interlinks data, allowing quick and efficient access to information in the field or the office. Self-managed profiles mean that customers can select and pay for parking or violations at any time of the day and from anywhere.

In addition, their use of IncidentAdmin allows them to generate reports that can be easily passed to the local police department or other third parties in a format of their choosing, ensuring a seamless hand-off when necessary of important security-related materials.

Resulting Benefits

  • Seamlessly connect different business functions through one common interface.
  • Allow staff to interact with data and communication tools as a single solution.


  • We are currently working with Carleton to transition to a full LPR environment to support paperless parking and assist with the autonomous monitoring of vehicles.  Through the use of alarms and automatic system notifications, the OPS-COM platform will offer the ability to track and notify when a vehicle or person of interest is “seen” on campus.
  • We continue to work with Carleton to help them find ways to meet their mission.