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INSIGHTS

How these technologies can help improve campus safety and security

How these technologies can help improve campus safety and security
Campus safety and security are important to higher education institutions. In this regard, security solutions such as video surveillance and access control can play a vital role. This article takes a closer look.
Campus safety and security are important to higher education institutions. In this regard, security solutions such as video surveillance and access control can play a vital role. This article takes a closer look at how campus safety and security can be enhanced with security systems.
 
Campus safety and security are important because they allow students to focus on their academic work without having to fear or worry about danger. To ensure campuses stay safe and secure, security systems are needed to prevent and respond to threats.
 
“There are a number of threats that educational institutions face on a daily basis, including unauthorized visitors, theft, sexual assault, and active assailants,” said Bruce Canal, Executive Lead for Education at Genetec. “Educational institutions require a physical security solution that keeps students, staff, and faculty focused on greater academic achievement.”
 
That said, below we look at how campus safety and security can be achieved through security systems.
 

Campus video surveillance

 
Video surveillance systems, which entail the use of IP cameras and smart analytics, are indispensable to campus safety and security. Camera-wise, various camera types can be used to cover difference scenes.
 
“For outdoor HD cameras, multi-imagers are designed to provide high definition multi-directional views from a single camera, while PTZs provide wide area coverage. With IR and WDR capability, these cameras are better able to zoom in, allowing more certain detection of suspicious activity and potential threats,” said Jamie Barnfield, Senior Sales Director of IDIS Europe.
 
“For internal areas, UHD fisheye cameras are increasingly popular. Designed for more efficient wide area coverage, they can do the same job as three or more conventional fixed lens cameras; and with smooth image de-warping right to the periphery of the scene they allow easy real time viewing and retrospective review, without blind spots or gaps in coverage,” Barnfield added.
 
Video analytics also play a key role. “Video surveillance and analytics systems provide real-time monitoring and detection of suspicious activities, helping to prevent crimes and enhance situational awareness,” said John Centofanti, VP of Sales for U.S. at Axxonsoft. “Advanced analytics algorithms can now identify specific objects or behaviors, such as weapons or fights, triggering immediate alerts for security personnel. Cloud-based storage solutions and mobile access to surveillance feeds offer flexibility and scalability, allowing for efficient management of campus security resources.”
 

Campus access control

 
Campus access control systems are also vital for safety and security. This is especially true amid violent crimes and active shooter incidents (more in the U.S.) that mar campus safety and security from time to time.
 
“A critical piece to any security plan is having as many doors secured/locked as feasibly possible and the ability to lock doors in times of crisis. These systems can provide data for on-going activity day-to-day throughout a campus and provide info about times when doors are challenged by unauthorized individuals and the ability to couple video for better situational awareness,” Canal said.
 
“Access control and lockdown systems regulate entry to campus buildings and facilities, preventing unauthorized access and enhancing overall campus security. Biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, offer more reliable identification, while integration with mobile apps enables contactless access control,” Centofanti said.
 

Gunshot detection

 
Speaking of active shooters, it’s important for campus to have gunshot detection systems, which are audio analytics that can recognize gunshot sounds and inform authorities immediately.
 
“Gunshot detection systems have become increasingly important in mitigating the risk of active shooter incidents on college campuses. Integration with campus emergency management platforms facilitates automated lockdown procedures and immediate alerts to the campus community, enhancing overall emergency response capabilities. Some systems also utilize AI algorithms to differentiate between gunshots and other loud noises, reducing false alarms and ensuring more accurate threat detection,” Centofanti said.
 

Intercoms/panic buttons

 
Intercoms and panic buttons can also be helpful in ensuring campus safety and security. “Often overlooked, intercoms are a critical piece to creating a solid perimeter and building a fortress (not a prison) of any educational institution. This tool allows staff to vet visitors to determine their need to enter a building before gaining entrance. It has never made sense to allow a person into a secure area only to learn they are not authorized and have to escort them out. And panic alarms have proven to be a tool that can provide an early alert when criminal activity occurs. Keeping in mind that time is the enemy, any panic system can get vital information to first responders faster than a phone call,” Canal said.
 

Security management platform

 
Finally, it would be ideal that all these systems be integrated on a unified platform to view and control everything from one dashboard. “These unified platforms provide a single pane of glass for managing all safety/security systems, including smart sensors and video, facilitating efficient communication and coordination during incidents,” said Brad Cary, Business Development Manager for Education at Milestone Systems.
 
“It is imperative that all safety and security measures should be joined and worked on a unified platform; most emergency events occur in tandem and interlace with one another. As an example, a person who may have committed a crime in a public place and is trying to make an escape could be observed by video surveillance or force a door open that is locked, thus providing first responders critical intelligence about the suspect’s location and direction of travel,” Canal said.


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