School Security: Promoting A Safer School, Part 2
published on March 11, 2015 by Jon Ecker
As you walk through school hallways and classrooms, and you consider the safety of your students, ask yourself: Is everyone doing his or her part in promoting a secure school?
From security staff to administration to the security technology itself, all of these elements play an active role in carrying out your school’s security plan. But it’s also important to have an up-to-date plan in place and the proper support for your onsite staff. Like our last post, the tips below represent a few tweaks you should make to your current plan to abandon a reactive attitude and replace it with a proactive security approach:
Train up your security staff.In some cases, your security may not be limited by your technology, but rather by a lack of operational knowledge and an inability to leverage the functionality of current features. If you don’t have the training you need for the systems you have, you’re limiting the depth of your building’s security. Your staff needs to know the ins and outs of security procedures and use technology to tighten up these procedures.
Ditch outdated systems.How do you know when your security technology is outdated? Are you replacing locks regularly due to corrosion? Are intercoms available to enhance security team communication between floors and buildings? Are you able to admit students and visitors remotely? Are you remotely monitoring high-traffic areas? Outdated security systems are usually incomplete in design and restrictive in use, while the latest technology enhances your school security capabilities by serving multiple purposes at once.
Make seamless integration a priority.Disparate systems that don’t talk to each other create gaps in your security. When installing new technology alongside an old system, seamless integration is essential for using the new technology as intended. A seamless integration between access control and intercoms enhances communication and allows you to pre-screen visitors before providing them access from the secured vestibule and into the school. Yet the advantages don’t stop there. According to Campus Safety Magazine, "An integrated system helps keep crime rates down. The system, working in real-time, helps officers stop criminal activities when they’re in-process. A strong security environment, with video integrated with access control, with analytics making the technology even ‘smarter,’ can act as a deterrent.”
Multiply your security force with offsite support.Security guards are charged with developing and maintaining a positive relationship with students and staff. Sometimes it’s necessary to back them up during certain hours of increased activity, or limit the amount of security staff after hours. Managed services, like remote video monitoring and visitor management, have the potential to cut costs and increase security. Other benefits, detailed in a Facility Executive Magazine article, concern the "enforcement of policies and procedures of security, access and asset control as well as employee safety. They could provide a secure [school] environment, protect assets and technology of [schools], respond to onsite incidents and report unsafe or threatening security conditions."
Incorporating the tips above into your current security plan strengthens the plan and positions your school as a leader in school security. Plus, while forward-thinking security systems carry the benefit of advanced security technology for a more secure environment, they also act as a strong marketing tool in the eyes of prospective students’ parents, who, like you, value safety alongside an expansive education.