In Case You Missed It: The Top Campus Security & Life Safety Stories from 2018

In Case You Missed It: The Top Campus Security & Life Safety Stories from 2018

We've collected the top Campus Security & Life Safety stories published in our print issues this year.

The focus of the 2018 news cycle was dominated by several issues, but the one that kept reappearing at the forefront was campus security. Between the major school shootings throughout the year to the increase in funding and upgrades in technology, campus security has been a consistent headline in national and local news.

Campus Security & Life Safety has always and will continue to highlight the best practices, strategies and solutions for securing K-12 schools, college and university campuses as well as corporate and hospital campuses. This year, we published several articles that include vital information on topics like access control, video surveillance, lockdown procedures and more.

In case you might have missed one of those articles, we’ve collected the top Campus Security & Life Safety stories published in our print issues this year.

Finding A Balance

Following the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, we reported on the increased discussion of security at houses of worship in our January issue. Churches were working to strike a balance between welcoming in worshippers and protecting themselves against potential violence.

It is apparent that attacks on relatively unprotected sites, or soft targets, like places of worship are increasing. Many church campuses across the country are beginning to question the security measures they implement on their own campuses.

Vehicle Alert

Greg Hamm of Delta Scientific wrote about the increasing threat of vehicular terrorist attacks for our April issue. Hamm highlighted the ways campuses in the U.S. are responding to the threat, such as temporary barriers and fixed and movable bollards to prevent vehicles from driving through pedestrian walkways and other vulnerable areas.

By their very nature, terrorist attacks are unpredictable and predicated on surprise. Staying one step ahead by identifying vulnerable areas, and securing them, is critical to staving off vehicular attacks. That means being able to deploy security equipment in tough conditions, at a moment’s notice. Such equipment has existed for several years in the forms of portable temporary barriers.

Securing Change

Campus Security & Life Safety Executive Editor Sydny Shepard sat down with 16-year-old Parkland school shooting survivor Jake Glacer at ISC West this year for a conversation in our June issue. Glacer, was attending the show with his father—who works in the security industry—to learn about campus security solutions in an effort to decrease the risk of active assailants on K-12 campuses following the most traumatic moment of his life.

                Glacer came to ISC West with a very specific goal in mind.

“My goal is to collect everything that I can from [ISC West], all the products, all the solutions and services, everything that everybody has, and take it back to school with me.” Glacer said. “There are a few different people that my dad and I would like to talk to first, but really I just want change at this point.”

Developing Effective Lockdown Procedures

In our August issue, Michael Niola of Vantage Technology Consulting wrote about the complexity of designing an appropriate and effective lockdown procedure for campuses. Niola outlined the basic steps and guidelines for designing a lockdown procedure, from assessing the layout of the campus to identifying threats and target hardening.

Though these types of events are still rare statistically speaking, we should be prepared to provide added safety and security to individuals on the campus should such an event happen to occur. Having read through countless safeguarding policies for schools, campuses, and districts, a striking observation is that most of the lockdown procedures are alarmingly similar and vague. […] These procedures sound adequate in theory but lack detail, consideration for the different operations that take place on a campus, and are too passive as a reaction to a critical event.

Invisible Protection

3M’s Jake Oberle wrote about the implementation of window films in Jewish schools in Cincinnati. Windows are one of the weakest points on buildings, and window films help strengthen what is often a vulnerable entry point for intruders, keeping students and faculty safe.

In addition to providing the highest level of protection, the window film and attachment system offers a cost-effective solution for organizations that are working with a limited budget. Instead of purchasing brand new windows for the entire building, the level of security is increased simply by applying the film.

Finding the Cure for Security

For our November/December issue, Ellie Randall of Open Options wrote about the implementation of cutting-edge security technology at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. In order to secure the people, processes and resources at Texas Biomed, they needed to update their outdated security platform to a newer access control system.

Because Texas Biomed houses laboratories full of expensive equipment and controlled substances and has numerous sensitive support areas such as HVAC and boiler rooms and server farms, it is extremely important that access be closely monitored and managed. As part of Texas Biomed’s security procedures, they implement dual authentication and anti-passback at some of their more sensitive locations. The anti-passback feature requires that for every use of a card at the “in” reader, there be a corresponding use at the “out” reader before the card can be used at the “in” reader again.

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