Security Technology Executive

JUL-AUG 2018

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www. SecurityInfoWatch.com • July/August 2018 • SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE 21 • July/August 2018 • SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE 21 www. SecurityInfoWatch.com CAMPUS SECURIT Y Solutions for Safer Schools With Emerging Security Technologies The pressure to just "do something" must not override security common sense By Ron Baer A number of new technology trends are taking hold in the K-12 space as administrators and facility managers across the country seek out new ways to better secure their schools and protect their students. In turn, inte- grators are being asked to present the most robust and forward-thinking technologies available to meet these demands. However, while some technologies can be shared across all schools, several solutions are specific to the type of building , location and use of a campus. To help security professionals consider cutting-edge solutions for the campuses they serve, here are a few "challenge and solution" scenarios that have become more common over the past few years in terms of K-12 security solutions. Universal Locking Solutions One challenge we have seen is that school districts can feel pressure – from students, parents, and the community – to do "something" in the aftermath of an act of violence at a school elsewhere in the country. This pressure is justified, as keeping students safe and secure is among the primary missions of a school. Adding to this challenge is that the market has become inundated with secondary-locking devices that make things much more dangerous for students and don't provide much in the way of actual security. These devices come in the form of wedges, bars, or additional latches of some type that look to jam a door in place and in doing so they also violate fire and safety codes. Fire marshals will not sign off on these types of devices. And if they won't given just a few weeks during the month of July to apply. Applicants were also required to contribute 25 percent in matching funds. Brian Moore, who is the School Climate Manager for the Delaware Depart- ment of Education expressed his concern in stating , "It's very diffi- cult for an agency to turn around something this important this quickly." Where does this leave our unsettled stakeholder groups? It is time to replace fear-based decision making with knowledge. Heated discussions can be healthy with proper education and accountabil- ity. Is there a remedy for anxious administrators, parent demands and student walk-outs? Michele Gay eloquently sums up the need for collaboration in addressing school violence. "In the years fol- lowing our tragedy, Safe and Sound Schools has looked to partner at the community level, in industry, and at the federal level to lead us in a different direction. One thing is for certain: there will be no one- size-fits-all solution for the myriad and complex safety issues facing each unique school community across our country. As this reality sets in, we see com- munities come together in perhaps the most powerful way they can, at the grassroots level. Here is where insights, resources, and best prac- tices are shared, here is where the work begins and a safer tomorrow is beginning to take shape." About the author: Paul Timm, FE A , P.C., is the president and second- generation owner of RE TA Securit y, Inc. For 30 years, RE TA (Ron E. Timm & Associates) has prov ided independent physical securit y consulting and emergency planning ser v ices. W ith the industry's only patented assessment methodology (A LPH A) and a passion to reduce risk , we assist administrators in prov iding a more secure learning env ironment. A n acclaimed keynote speaker and author, Timm makes presentations to administrators, staff, and st udents, both on-site and online (retasecurit yonline.com). It is a security professional's job to provide schools with solutions when they seek answers for their problem. Image Courtesy of BigStock.com

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