OpEd pans mass notification

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04/16/2008
Today, on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at Virginia Tech University, the New York Times ran an OpEd that expresses reasonable concern about safety on college campuses, but manages to get it all wrong, in my opinion, on what colleges should do about security measures. James Alan Fox , a professor at Northeastern University, clearly doesn't understand mass notification systems. I could excuse him not understanding the technology, but to imply—as he seems to do— that mass notification systems could actually make campuses more dangerous is ridiculous, and irresponsible. Fox is right about one thing—he believes that universities need a well-trained security staff and staff in general. What he doesn't seem to get, is that security technologies—like mass notification and access control systems—can help a well-trained staff do its job. Have you read this piece? Rest assured that lots of university types are reading it. Are you penning a letter to the editor or calling the editor to see if you can write an OpEd in response right now? The Times owes equal editorial space to an OpEd piece that dispels the myths Fox is creating.

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