Strengthening school security comes from industry-wide partnerships
- By Jumbi Edulbehram
- April 01, 2018
It is no secret that the occurrence of violence in schools is a
very real-world concern. A growing number of incidents in
K-12 schools as well as on college campuses have made going
to school more of a safety concern than a pain. Risks continue
to multiply and expand within the education environment.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 to 2 percent of all
homicides among school-age children happen on school grounds, on
the way to and from school, or during a school-sponsored event.
Approximately 17.9 percent of high school students in 2013 reported
taking a weapon to school. The same year, 19.6 percent of high school
students reported being bullied on school property.
These statistics show that campus security teams must keep pace
with changing trends. In today’s revolving risk environment, schools
can no longer afford a passive approach to security. Furthermore, the
trend toward newer facilities and larger, expanding campuses leads to
the necessity for more advanced systems, policies and programs—a
holistic approach, if you will—to ensure protection for students, faculty
and staff members.
As a result, schools have adopted policies and security measures in
an effort to proactively reduce the risk of incidents. One such solution
is the installation of video surveillance, security software and other
technologies that can be integrated to create a comprehensive safety
and security plan. From a processes standpoint, school stakeholders
strive to enhance security training, develop response plans and collaborate
with other school districts to stay ahead of the game.
TRENDS TO HELP CAMPUSES
TRANSFORM SECURITY OPERATIONS
With the risk landscape growing larger and the installed base of IP
cameras growing exponentially with each passing year, campus safety
personnel need more ways to gain true intelligence from their
Moving forward, video surveillance systems will be used increasingly
to collect, aggregate and analyze video using new Big Data tools.
Apart from physical security applications, video analytics will also be
used for operational efficiency. Schools will begin to find new use
cases for video surveillance in the very near future. Want to learn how
your school can stay ahead of the changing technology landscape?
Here are four trends to watch that will drive new levels of awareness
in campus environments.
The best way to get a clear grasp on trends, events and incidents is to
capture the whole story. Knowledge is power, and data derived from
video surveillance, business systems and video intelligence sensors can
work in conjunction to allow security and law enforcement to capture
essential information in an accurate and timely manner.
Additionally, departments within schools, like IT, security and
operations, will continue to converge to streamline operations and
develop more robust strategies that benefit the overall organization.
Having all the information is the first step, but using that information
to create actionable intelligence is key. Combining video data with analytics
capabilities allows officials to better evaluate traffic flow and people’s
behavior patterns. Data analytics, on the other hand, examine raw
data from various sources with the purpose of drawing conclusions
about that information, and can be used to measure student engagement
and offer administrators an inside look at how students perform
in the classroom, engage with lesson plans or understand the material.
Data analytics are used in a number of institutions to allow educators
to gather better intelligence and enhance the educational experience.
The combination of information gathered by using both video
and data analytics can create a complete picture for teachers and
administrators to streamline educational offerings and pinpoint
whether students are truly engaging with lesson plans.
The ability to capture, store and transform data cohesively across
platforms aids in the research and analysis phase of addressing incidents.
The faster the data can be collected to be used forensically, the
stronger chance of solving a case. Being able to look back—and forward
in some cases—helps to resolve issues as well as proactively
prepare for future threats.
Schools need to adopt programs and solutions that help capture the
intelligence needed to be more proactive in overall security efforts.
Technologies that focus on easing the path to integration enable
schools to correlate data points from multiple devices and systems
without complex integration. This approach allows stakeholders to
combine information together in one interface to create a full view of
a situation at any given time.
Combining video with other security solutions, such as fire and
intrusion alarms, access control, emergency management equipment,
IT systems and building management makes this possible.
The evolution of crime and threats has been met by the evolution of
available technology to combat them. Trends such as those mentioned
above can make a significant difference when it comes to protecting
assets and students.
As an industry, we focus on developing technologies and services that
enable higher levels of safety, increased intelligence and more proactive
processes. Video surveillance solutions have proved valuable to
schools of all types and sizes because these platforms help users identify
events and potential anomalies while allowing them to gain access
to the most relevant video and security information at any given time.
The focus is on identifying critical events and areas of interest, allowing
campus stakeholders to use truly intelligent data (rather than noncritical
video) to help ensure the protection of students, staff, data and
infrastructure. We collectively try to help schools
access the most important information to increase
informed response, increase situational awareness
and improve overall security management.
This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.