Changing Adapting and Being Flexible
- By Sydny Shepard
- April 01, 2019
Life is unexpected and even the most perfectly laid plans and
strategies go awry no matter how hard you try to plan for all
scenarios. Changing policies, adapting security solutions and
being flexible are the best ways campus security professionals
can continue to adhere to best practices and ensure the safety
of those on their campuses.
In this month’s cover story, Scott Coleman, the Vice President and
Co-Founder of Safe Kids, Inc., explains how campus security should
be looked at in a holistic manner, but should also be flexible and
open to adapting to meet emerging threats. As Coleman says, “Now
more than ever, it’s vital to adhere to the best practices in our industry,
but it’s just as important to adopt new methods that incorporate
environmental and social-emotional considerations.”
Coleman’s example of adapting to emerging threats is a simple one
that has recently become a problem since the Parkland, Fla. shooting
last year. In the incident, the fire alarms were set off, sending students
into the main hallways and also into the line of danger. Coleman suggests
schools should be open to evolving their standard operating procedures
when it comes to drills and also train their students to be more
vigilant and aware of their surroundings and to not “blindly evacuate.”
April Musser, the Southeast Regional Practice Leader of fire protection
engineering for Telgian Engineering and Consulting (TEC),
focuses her article, “The Constantly Changing Landscape of Risk in
Campus Environments” on how change is ever-present on a university
or college campus. Quite literally, campuses are changing every
day. Whether that is the people that are coming or going, the events
hosted on campus or actual buildings undergoing construction to
have new purposes, Musser points out that these ever-evolving campuses
pose security risks.
Musser explains that change is, unfortunately, inevitable, but it is
easier to handle if you are ready for it and understand how to assess
the risks. In her article, she brings you four different examples of
change that are common to higher education campuses and discusses
the best course of action when it comes to keeping security tight.
Musser asks the reader to consistently conduct risk assessments and
adhere best practices to the evolution of the campus.
Our last article that focuses on flexibility comes from David Dunlap,
the Co-Founder of StoneLock. Dunlap calls out the security of
healthcare facilities and how they must adapt to the evolving risks
presented day-to-day. Dunlap does a great job of identifying just how
many different identities a hospital or medical facility holds, such as
waiting rooms, surgery wings, medical research laboratories, cafeterias
and gift shops all under one roof and each requiring a unique
The security team on campus must be flexible and respond with
accuracy to an incident anywhere in the facility. This can be facilitated
through unique access control systems (as Dunlap explains in
his article), unique security policies and robust security staffing that
is equipped for a variation of incidents.
As you can see, there are many articles in this issue that deal with
change, adaption and flexibility on K-12, Higher Ed and healthcare
campuses. If there is anything a campus security professional is wonderful
at, it’s evolving to a changing landscape.
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.