Page 29 - Campus Security & Life Safety, May/June 2020
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schools must also investigate the implementa- tion of an app that brings together alerts from environmental sensors in bathrooms and other locations where cameras are not permit- ted that detect vaping and sound anomalies that may indicate bullying or fighting.
Dissemination of Information
The value of adopting vaping and bullying detection and alert systems is greatly enhanced when partnered with consolidated emergency communications technology for schools, municipalities and law enforcement. The pairing creates a security platform that coordinates the dissemination of information to parties responding to a crisis situation or other events that require immediate attention. These systems also track training efforts and manage data, allowing for reports to be gener- ated. Reports and data can both be used to create and/or adapt policies, especially in regard to vaping and bullying prevention.
Combining these technologies allows school administrators to quickly receive, respond, manage and track these events and then act accordingly. Schools need to under- stand their data – such as how many times a sensor detects students are being bullied or are vaping. With data, analytics can be devel- oped to track incidents and identify patterns. With this information, specific trouble spots can be identified and direct action taken to reduce vaping, bullying and other undesir- able student behaviors.
School administrators must leverage tech-
nology to manage threats and address other complex and changing challenges in order to make sure schools are safe and healthy envi- ronments for learning. For administrators, this means making preparations, developing response procedures and creating manage- ment strategies to make prevention efforts more effective. Consolidating the response and management of security-related activi- ties with one app and one centralized system is more effective, more efficient and will reduce response time for all events, includ- ing emergencies, which is critical, especially during a rare active shooter situation.
Administrators must also leverage the power of data and analyze it to dictate what steps and policies need to be implemented to mitigate the chances of a repeat incident. It is imperative that they analyze the immediate aftermath of an on-campus incident to determine the true value of emergency-reaction strategies.
While few will argue with the need for emergency preparedness, coordinating the practices and drills necessary can be a daunt- ing challenge when you factor in laws and regulations as well as the myriad schedules and commitments among multiple parties who must participate. The emergency plat- form used by a school district has to make sure everybody is able to respond in a way that they are prescribed to and allow them to help practice. The district can use the tech- nology to be able to run those drills and then collect the appropriate data.
Let’s say a district has 15 schools. The abil-
ity to analyze which schools have higher numbers of bullying reports empowers offi- cials to put different processes or programs in place to reduce the number of incidents, improving the culture and climate of those schools by doing so. Collection of data and turning that into actionable items are critical components of what technology can achieve. The ability to support the drills, the simula- tions and practices that these schools and staff members need to go through are the two most important technological elements in a school safety plan.
The challenges faced by today’s school administrators who are responsible for safety dwarf those faced by their predecessors. On the positive side, technology has never been more powerful. As recently as the turn of the century, the most technology a school district administrator had at his or her disposal was a thermostat, smoke detector and fire alarm. In 2020, school district administrators and secu- rity personnel now have the means to coordi- nate multiple first responders immediately and simultaneously. After an incident is over, they can generate reports and analyze data that can be used to implement enhanced mea- sures and policies designed to reduce the pos- sibility of recurrences as well as ensure the safety and security of staffers, students, teach- ers and parents.
Christopher Buecksler is the vice president of marketing for CrisisGo. Derek Peterson is the founder and CEO of Soter Technologies.
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