Enhancing Campus Security and Safety
Issues surrounding schools have ignited people to think about and discuss campus security. School officials are moving towards implementing different security methods than the ones already in place. Whether it’s monitoring who enters the school or installing security cameras and metal detectors, campus security is doing what they can to increase campus safety. Recent events have shown that the importance of visitor management, a shorter police response time and faster incident reporting has never been more significant.
Improved Visitor Management
Traditionally, visitors are required to sign-in using a physical guestbook and are then provided with a sticker or badge indicating their visitor status. This primarily paper-based method does not seem to be sufficient in an emergency situation as security guards don’t have access to visitor information when they need it. Schools need to adopt a more efficient method for managing visitors, especially in case of a fire or an unwanted intruder entering the premises. School officials must be able to capture visitor information efficiently. All visitor information should be readily accessible to them in an emergency situation or campus evacuation.
Schools have to look for an improvement that eliminates the use of disorganized paper visitor logs and allows school officials to capture and store visitor information in one central system. A system where school officials and campus security guards can access visitor lists in real time to quickly identify and manage all school visitors to ensure that they are accounted for and safe in case of an emergency.
Faster Officer Dispatch
The problem with only having a few security guards on campus is that they are always working alone. Campus security guards require an extra level of protection. Schools should look for an enhancement that comes with an easily accessible ‘panic button’ to help campus security guards in a situation where they might be injured or need additional reinforcement. A panic button is a beneficial feature and should be available for every guard at all times to send alerts to the operations manager for immediate response.
In a case where a campus security guard is injured, it can take a substantial amount of time to get help. It is necessary for campus security guards to be equipped with a solution that can quickly send alerts to the operations manager. The operations manager should be able to have guard insight and know precisely where the guard is located using GPS technology. If a guard sends an alert, either triggered by a fall or other reasons, the operations manager can identify the guard’s exact location and quickly send the help the guard needs.
Better Incident Reporting
The Clery Act of 1990 completely changed the way campus crime is reported. Campus security departments are required to report all misconduct in a public log. The public log needs to indicate the date, time, location and a description of the incident. Campus security guards need a better method to report incidents. They should be able to report incidents in real time and eliminate the use of paper reports. Campus incidents can occur at any time or place, and security guards need to be prepared to report an incident in real time with the option to add pictures or video to any report.
The Clery Act was applied to provide transparency dealing with campus crime. To comply with the Clery Act, schools are required to keep a record of all campus crime. All campus crime and statistics must be distributed in a public annual security report. The public annual security report provided by each school should offer efforts to improve campus safety. A useful solution would be to implement a software that streamlines the process of incident reporting as well as proves that schools are compliant. Although the Clery Act is a step in the right direction in enhancing campus safety; it only applies to colleges and universities.
Schools are one of many institutions that are often targeted for crime. Recent events have sparked a conversation that has left many concerned students, parents, and faculty demanding different measures to improve campus safety. Schools are exploring various options dedicated to the security of those who attend, visit, and work at schools to establish peace of mind.