Page 26 - College Planning & Management, November 2017
P. 26

Biometrics: Eye See
the Future of Campus Safety
Biometric authentication is the automated recognition of an individual using unique physi- ological characteristics, such as fingerprints or irises, and/or behavioral characteristics, such as keystroke pattern.
At the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, according to their website, a security upgrade in Dining Services and the Ramsey Student Center has replaced biometric hand readers with Iris Recognition Technology. The system works by taking a picture of the iris and then comparing it to biometric data kept on file with the university. The new system provides more accurate, faster and contact- less facility access.
The system provides accurate authentica-
tion from 10 to 14 inches away in fewer than two seconds. The identification works with contacts, eyeglasses and goggles.
The new technology is expected to decrease customer wait time at the turnstiles and provide a hygienic and hands-free entry method into UGA’s five dining commons and the Ramsey Center.
Georgia Southern University in Statesboro has done the same, retiring their fingerprint readers in order to upgrade to an iris-based ID authentication system to allow access either of the campus’ two dining commons. There is no need to worry about students who may have lost or forgotten their ID cards, or whose hands are full and need to spend time juggling books, a backpack, a phone or other items in order to free up a hand for scanning. They simply stop at
a turnstile, look into an iris reader and a second later they’re on their way.
The benefits of biometrics identification are not limited to knowing who has entered the dining hall in search of lunch. Broader applica- tions for safety include campus-wide access control. Knowing who is accessing research labs, daycare facilities, residence halls, medical facilities, administration areas and more can aid in promoting a secure environment.
“The goal of CPTED is the reduction of opportunities for crime to occur,” writes Robert Gardner, CCP in an article for Security Management magazine. “This reduction is achieved by employing physical design features that discourage crime, while at the same time encouraging legitimate use of the environment.
CPTED also makes possible designs that offer protection with- out resorting to the prison-camp approach to security.”
A CPTED approach is much friendlier. Made up of several factors which include better lighting, well-tended landscaping
and open design, the concept creates opportunities for informal surveillance where visual obstacles are minimized and places of concealment are eliminated. Accomplishing this can be as easy as boosting lighting levels, pruning overgrown shrubbery to choosing fencing over brick walls.
The overall effect fosters a sense of pride and ownership over public, semi-public and private spaces. “It is not enough for a person simply to be able to defend his environment, he must also want to defend it,” writes Gardner. “That ‘want’ results from territorial feel- ings of pride and ownership.”
The concept includes harder fixes as well such as formal sur- veillance, via camera or organized security patrols. “With cameras your field of vision can be multiplied 50 times,” says Alvarez.
CPTED may have come a long way but Alvarez thinks there’s still work to be done. “College risk-management groups and campus police are aware of CPTED but not knowledgeable on how it would work on their campus,” he muses. “Even the security chief often does not understand the core principals.”

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