The Right Mix
Advanced technology ensures safety and security at Texas community college
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- December 01, 2021
Established in 1926, Texas Southmost College (TSC) was selected as a Bright Spot by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The college offers more than 50 programs of study leading to an associate degree or certificate.
Located in Brownsville, TX, the campus is across the street from the U.S./Mexico Gateway International Bridge, a high-traffic port of entry, which poses some unique security challenges for the college. This urban environment increases traffic and vagrancy. Texas Southmost College President Jesus Roberto Rodriguez and The Board of Trustees have supported and empowered the Safety and Security Executive Director Jaime Salazar to pursue the best solution available.
The urban conditions faced by TSC provided the college with the opportunity to collaborate with their local, state, federal partners and contract a security company to ensure a safe and secure environment for its campus community.
“When our security contract expired, we publicly solicited proposals through a competitive bidding process,” said Jaime Salazar, executive director of Environmental Health, Security & Risk Management at Texas Southmost College. “After a comprehensive review, we determined that Allied Universal, with their mix of the latest technology and integration capabilities, training and management expertise, was the best qualified to serve the security needs of our college.
“TSC and Allied Universal worked together to identify staffing levels and patrol schedules to maximize security in an efficient manner,” Salazar said. “Allied Universal assisted the college with establishing an evolving patrol plan to ensure maximum coverage for its campus. Allied Universal’s communication, coordination and command and control services are proactive and collaborative, which promotes a very productive partnership.”
“Our direct engagement and on-site assessment, we were able to develop a deployment and engagement strategy for TSC, which included comprehensive surveillance, professional security services, LiveSafe®--a leading employee-sourced risk intelligence platform which offers early warning insights that can help prevent serious safety and security incidents on campuses, said Mahsa Karimi, manager of education, at Allied Universal. “The HELIAUS® reporting system works in concert with artificial intelligence-fueled analytics to assess patrol schedules and high-activity areas.”
“Allied Universal’s HELIAUS®’s reporting system and robust analytics have helped us to inform our deployment strategy and assist in maximizing our resources using a risk-based approach. Analytics help us determine cost-effective deployment and risk mitigation strategies.
“By integrating TSC’s security strategy with Allied Universal’s business strategy and staff recommendations, we have increased our security presence which serves as a deterrent. Our vision is to continue to provide a safe and secure environment for our entire TSC community. The partnership with Allied Universal has provided us with sophisticated analytics and professional reporting, through which we have gained high visibility and a persistent security presence on campus,” Salazar said.
This article originally appeared in the November / December 2021 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.