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Get serious about campus security this summer




Summer is traditionally a little slow on most college and university campuses. Having fewer students, staff and faculty around makes this an excellent time to catch up on needed security upgrades.

If it’s been a couple of years since the last campus risk assessment, now is a good time to call your integrator for a review of campus security. It’s important to know cameras and recorders, access control readers and intrusion sensors are all working as intended. If there’s been any new construction, rerouted traffic patterns or significantly more students and staff, make sure the security is ready to accommodate the changes.

Spend extra time on dormitories while most students are away. This is where many campus sexual assaults, robberies and thefts happen. Make sure locks to each room door are working well. Ensure that all potential entries into the buildings are protected. If you haven’t already added emergency stations, consider installing them around dorm perimeters. Video intercoms mounted at the entry can help identify visitors before they enter a dorm.

Many security updates aren’t expensive. Check the lighting around buildings, along pedestrian pathways and throughout parking lots and garages. Criminals like the dark. Also, trim trees, bushes and other landscaping that could block views of doors and windows by patrolling campus police officers.

Spend time with campus police to identify trouble spots on campus. Ask them what they would like to see changed. Your local police department can likely provide solid input.

Many criminals now choose a vehicle as their weapon of choice. Bollards, either solid concrete or metal barriers often designed as benches or trashcans, can prevent a driver from crashing into a building or crowded pedestrian mall. Specialized fencing can be made of the same cable used to stop fighter jets on an aircraft carrier. This cable is given a K-rating, a measure of the kinetic energy – speed plus weight – it can resist.  These specialized fences can easily stop a 15,000-pound truck traveling at a speed of 50 miles per hour. Use fencing to keep vehicles on roadways.

Very soon, you’ll have a new group of freshmen arriving. Their parents will look to administrators, police and security professionals to keep their children safe.

This is also a good time to review plans for handling emergencies such as a fire, severe weather or an active shooter.There’s no one-size-fits-all security plan for a college or university. Use this summer to tailor the right plan for your campus.