Page 65 - Security Today, October 2020
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possible. Timely warnings of significant specific crimes that threaten a campus are mandated through the Clery Act. These warnings need to include credible information that can be used to prompt immedi- ate student and employee action in response to the event.
Promulgating these warnings and informative directions to large populations on a campus remains a challenge and requires many dif- ferent simultaneous methods including sirens, loudspeakers, email, text messaging, social networking tools and word of mouth.
These multi-modal communication tools aid in minimizing tragedies and were used at the account manager’s school where students and staff were ordered to stay in classes and offices during a two-hour campus lockdown. Emergency notification systems are also proving to be life savers in the case of significant natural and man- made disasters.
Tap into Trusted Networks One of the leading voices for the campus public safety community is IACLEA, International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. IACLEA provides a clearinghouse for information and issues shared by campus public safety directors across the country. Membership in IACLEA is open to colleges, universities and secondary schools throughout the United States, Canada and other countries, as well as individual campus law enforcement directors and staff, criminal justice faculty members, municipal chiefs of police, companies offering campus law enforcement products and services, and individuals who support professionalism in campus law enforcement administration. The organization’s collaborations with the Departments of Justice, Education and Homeland Security as well as with peer stakeholder organizations within Higher Education, have led to much targeted guidance on dealing with all hazards on a college or university campus.
Campus Safety and Shrinking Budgets
When choosing the mix of security elements needed to protect a campus and to minimize the after effects of campus calamities, the inevitable ultimately rears its ugly head: the budget. Universities need to find a cost-effective total solution for security that ensures that staff, faculty and students are as safe as feasibly possible.
Building a comprehensive crisis plan will identify the requisite resources and effort to successfully reduce risk. When a crisis strikes, there is no greater priority than to mitigate the threat. The cost will vary by the degree of the crisis, and hopefully, many of the costs are ameliorated through prior planning. However, when a major tragedy impacts a campus, the most immediate need is for a visible response that can provide reassurance that things will soon return to normal.
In the aftermath of incidents, many universities have called upon security and facility services forces as the most effective way to bol- ster the community’s confidence by creating a visible deterrent. We are often used by colleges and universities to add to their internal force and we frequently increase foot coverage and use bikes and motorized vehicles of many kinds to target critical areas of concern.
Regardless of the time of day, security personnel can create another barrier to entry and personally check credentials prior to entrance to the outer perimeter of the campus or residence halls, libraries, academic buildings and research facilities. Security professionals can also staff gate- houses and perform patrols using (and respond to other incidents discov- ered through) video surveillance. Security services are also often called in to escort students, faculty, staff and visitors around and off campus.
Stephen R. Aborn is director of higher education of Allied Universal. Joshua Skule is senior vice president of Allied Universal’s Risk Advisory and Consulting Services division.
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