Page 144 - Security Today, July/August 2018
P. 144

Changing technology, an evolving security industry and increasing threats are all factors today’s educational facilities must take into account when considering security By Mary Wilbur
The sad reality of today’s campuses, whether K-12 schools or college campuses, is that they can no longer be areas anyone is welcome to enter; there must be steps taken to prevent someone who would enter the campus with intentions to harm students, teachers and staff.
For years many organizations have been reactionary, thinking some of the horrific acts of violence happen elsewhere, but could not happen here. However, recent events, especially the Parkland shooting, have caused many to realize they must be proactive.
People who studied education most likely have no formal training in the security field, yet now they are expected to make expert decisions about campus security. So how can those in this field make the best choices with regard to campus security? Here are four things to con- sider when developing campus security.
Integration has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the security industry for the past few years. People understand the need for differ- ent technologies to communicate effectively and reliably, and to pro- vide law enforcement, fire fighters and school administrators with seamless communication with security systems so they can effectively do their jobs.
“Many of the recent tragedies have caught us, from the campus secu-
rity side, off guard," Paul Fisher, Director of Key Accounts, at Salient Systems said. "Just because I have this access control system, this cam- era system, and a gunshot detection solution, security professionals still need to confirm these products are going to work seamlessly together.”
Unfortunately, Fisher says, as 9/11 taught us, seamless interoperabil- ity isn’t always the case.
“While many security consultants might say certain technologies should or must integrate, they don’t necessarily go through the process of step-by-step implementation and review,” Fisher said. “You need to ask yourself, ‘If this is happening, what should happen next?’”
The main goal of the consulting world is to fit a video system or a security system into the budget of the school district or bond, and unfor- tunately things might get left out as schools don’t always have enough money to outfit their campuses with a fully effective security solution.
Fortunately, attitudes in this area seem to be shifting as campus security professionals address real threats towards their campus and begin to be proactive about implementing a solution that truly inte- grates and interoperates with the various layers of available technology, as well as with campus readiness programs and local law enforcement.
Schools can focus on physical hardening aspects of security, such as a man trap area in a vestibule or bulletproof doors. Another technol- ogy campuses are finding useful is gunshot detection. While this tech- nology is not new, it has certainly become far more effective than it was
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