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school security

REMO slams the door on intruders, fire and more

The importance of application in choosing a door for security
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10/09/2019

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J.—With such advanced security technologies and products available on the market, it’s easy to dismiss the basics. Take the humble door, for example.

From the mouth of a director of safety and security at a U.S. school district

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

I just completed an article about perimeter school security, “The undogging debacle: perimeter security in a school environment,” in which I had the opportunity to speak with a director of safety and security for a school district, who also has a 14-year background at the local police department, most recently of which was supervisor for the School Resource Officer Unit. He told me something that really opened my eyes and I think that all security professionals involved in the school security niche need to hear. 

Here’s the question I asked: “If you could pick only one security measure that all school environments must have, what would that be and why?” 

The response: “If you limit me to just one security measure, I would have to say it would be hiring the right people, and training them properly in school safety and security,” Mike Johnson, director of safety and security at Rock Hill Schools, said.  

Read that again … limited to ONE security measure, he relies on people, but not just any people, though, trained people, not equipment or services. 

“The people we have in critical places, from administrators and teachers to support staff, are the biggest asset and the strongest point of any safety and security program,” Johnson continued. “Without quality people who are versed in safety and security, we would have nothing.”

Of course, without equipment or services, school security would be impossible in our modern day of school shootings, cyber-attacks, physical breaches, etc.; however, the key to it all is training. Equipment and service users, the people, must be properly trained to use the equipment and services to effectively and efficiently achieve their security goals. Any school could have the latest and greatest security equipment and services deployed, but if it’s not being used properly or even at all, then, really, what’s the point? 

“All the best products in the world are worthless if you don’t have the right people, who are properly trained, using them,” Johnson said. 

So, security professionals, I ask you, “Who is responsible for this training?” I would hope that every security professional, whether an integrator, consultant, sales person, manufacturer, etc., answered with, “I am responsible.” 

I would love to hear your feedback! Please comment here, over on Twitter @SSN_Ginger or email me directly

 

The undogging debacle: perimeter security in a school environment

 - 
09/11/2019

YARMOUTH, Maine—Across the nation, teachers and staff at K-12 schools recently welcomed new and vetted students and their parents to campus to begin the 2019-2020 school year full of quality education with challenging, relevant and meaningful curriculums in a safe, nurturing environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.

S.A.F.E. donates emergency alert platform to U.S. schools, colleges and universities

Free enhanced protection in the event of a life-threatening emergency via hyperlocal mobile alerts
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04/24/2019

NASHUA, N.H.—A non-glamorous side of being in the security industry is hearing about, witnessing the aftermath and reporting on school shootings. Since the Parkland, Fla.

Another step toward safer schools

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Creating safer schools is a major dilemma facing our nation today, but thankfully it is one that some of the best minds are coming together to solve. The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) has taken a major step by creating safety and security guidelines and standards of practice that all schools can turn to and follow, guidelines and standards that come from lessons learned from past tragedies and ones that were averted, and from experiences and expertise from leaders in security and education, and from parents and students.

The fourth edition of its Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools provides school administrators, school boards and public safety and security professionals with guidelines for implementing a layered and tiered approach to securing and enhancing the safety of school environments.

Guy Grace Jr., PASS chairman and director of security and emergency planning for Littleton Public Schools, is leading this effort. The Security Industry Association (SIA) named Grace as the 2018 recipient of the SIA Insightful Practitioner Award, an honor recognizing excellence in promoting the implementation of innovative security solutions.

Grace began providing district services to LPS in 1990 and was soon promoted to patrolman, then lead officer and security facilitator before assuming his current role. He has created and assisted with developing many security-related projects, protocols and practices used today in school safety for both LPS and other school districts.

“The safety and security challenges schools face today are more multifaceted and complex than ever before, and protecting students and staff requires a comprehensive approach to these challenges,” Grace said in the announcement of the new PASS standards. “We are proud to build on the PASS guidelines, which present the most comprehensive information available on best practices for securing school facilities, an essential component supporting all-hazards approaches to school safety.”

The fourth edition of the guidelines is completely revised under a simplified structure and greatly expanded to now cover best practices on a district-wide level that relate to safety and security and additional areas such as school transportation, cybersecurity and network infrastructure, architectural features and emergency communications.

The PASS Guidelines identify and classify best practices for securing K-12 facilities in response to urgent needs for information identified by the education community. The guidelines aim to answer two key questions – “What should we do?” and “How do we prioritize?” – and include:

•    Specific actions that can effectively raise the baseline of security;
•    Vetted security practices specific to K-12 environments;
•    Objective, reliable information on available safety and security technology;
•    Assessment of current security measures against nationwide best practices;
•    Multiple options for addressing security needs identified; and
•    How to distinguish needed and effective solutions from sales pitches on unnecessary products.

The guidelines describe approaches within five physical layers for school facilities: district-wide, the property perimeter, the parking lot perimeter, the building perimeter and the classroom/interior perimeter. Within each layer, the resource outlines key safety and security components, such as policies and procedures, people (roles and training), architectural components, communication, access control, video surveillance and detection and alarms.

“We believe this approach provides a simplified way for administrators to effectively evaluate their security infrastructure, prioritize investment and maximize security in ways that are consistent with longstanding security practices and ensure a baseline of facility security measures appropriate for school facilities,” Mark Williams, PASS vice chairman, said in the press release.

Established in 2014, PASS brings together expertise from the education community, law enforcement and the security industry to develop and support a coordinated approach that can assist school administrators in making effective use of proven security practices specific to K-12 environments, including elementary, middle and high schools.

The latest guidelines are available at no cost on the PASS website, and PASS encourages education professionals, public safety personnel and security solutions providers to take advantage of these free resources.
 

SIA questions GSA pricing policy

Anecdotal evidence shows companies are being unfairly rejected
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10/08/2014

WASHINGTON—Uncertainties surrounding the General Service Administration’s new schedule pricing policies for products and services need to be further examined, according to Jake Parker, government relations director at the Security Industry Association.

N.C. school district moves from people to tech for access control

42 schools to receive Aiphone system
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09/11/2014

WILMINGTON, N.C.—Visitors to most schools in the New Hanover County district at the start of the new school year will be viewed on video before being allowed in. For the 42-school district, which previously “relied on people” for access control, that’s a big security move, its safety director said.

Police chief gives Panic Button 'rave' review

Milford, Mass., schools deploy software security system
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08/22/2014

MILFORD, Mass.—Milford Police Chief Tom O’Loughlin looked at a number of systems to give him and his force better, faster emergency contact with local schools.

College goes with mobile security for graduation

CCNY uses IPVideo mobile command to secure 7,000 in open-air event
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08/06/2014

NEW YORK—City College of New York expected 7,000-plus people to attend its outdoor graduation ceremonies held in a parking lot this past May. Security across the campus, which spans several blocks, was in place but not for a crowd of that size in one spot.

ESA says school security spending needs to be about equipment

ESA government relations director: ‘Not one dime’ spent on equipment
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07/16/2014

WASHINGTON—The U.S. government has devoted more than $300 million over the past two years to enhancing school security. While that money has gone toward the production of reports, research, assessments and position papers, among other things, it has not gone toward the actual installation of electronic security systems, John Chwat, director of government relations at the Electronic Security Association, told Security Systems News.

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