How to properly secure government buildings
Source: William Pao, a&s International
Needless to say, government buildings
are places where civil servants work and provide various services to the public. To protect staff and visitors against violent activities, government end users are securing their facilities with systems from access control to video surveillance.
Government buildings, from town halls, federal/municipal offices to even libraries, are places people visit to get government-related things done. Like all other end user entities, security is needed to protect workers and visitors alike.
In fact, security for government installations has become more critical than ever after certain incidents of recent. In 2015, two military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee were attacked by a gunman; a total of six died, including the gunman who was killed by the police. Then, three months ago, a shooter opened fire inside a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia, killing 12 people before being killed by the police.
These incidents underscore the importance of government building security, which includes several elements that are summarized as follows.
Needless to say, perimeter defense and access control are the first line of defense against hostile actors. Barriers and bollards, some of which can stop trucks going at as fast as 80 kilometers per hour, can be seen deployed in front of government facilities. Entrance doors must be properly secured, some with metal detectors. Then for critical areas inside the building, advanced access control
needs to be adopted. A recent study by Global Data shows that the global government biometrics market stood at US$4.3 billion at the end of 2017 and is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 6.37 percent to reach $7.9 billion in 2027.
Alarm systems with video surveillance
is greatly needed to see and identify who is going in and out of government buildings. In fact, a Market Research Future report, which forecasts a combined annual growth rate of 20 percent to 2020 in the global video surveillance sector, cites government as a key player and main growth driver. “There is a precipitous rise in the demand of CCTVs across the globe due to growing focus of governments towards public safety and city surveillance,” it said. “Government is the largest end user for CCTVs. The large share is attributed to wide usage of CCTVs in government offices and roads.”
Meanwhile, working with alarm systems, video can play a verification function as well.
“Police are generally hesitant to dispatch officers to conventional alarms as they know most conventional alarms that go off are usually just false alarms. That is why you need to consider updating the security system in your government facility,” said a recent blogpost
by Sonitrol. “Once an alarm is activated via audio detection or heat/motion sensors, a live stream is broadcast to the remote monitoring station where a security professional is then able to either verify that the alarm is indeed an intrusion or if it’s a false alarm. If the alarm is false, security professionals will not call the police. If it is more serious than that, the security professional will verify the intrusion and notify both the police and the manager of your government building immediately.”
Additionally, according to a blogpost
by 2MCCTV, an effective crisis communication system is also valuable for government building defense. “These systems are critical and should be installed both inside and outside of the building. They are crucial in informing people of an emergency and key personnel must have access to and know how to operate the system. These systems can be text alert systems as well as building-wide PA systems,” it said.