Findings published in June 2022 have shown that there are around 19 crimes reported per 10,000 full-time students on college campuses. The most prevalent illicit acts reported by students are sex offenses, burglaries, and motor vehicle thefts. While each student should adopt behaviors aimed at protecting themselves and their sensitive information, campus managers must also take proactive steps to ensure that their campuses remain safe places for learning and growth.
As technology advances, so does the need for colleges to stay up-to-date on the latest security measures and protocols. This involves implementing comprehensive security plans that include access control systems, security cameras, emergency response teams, and other measures designed to keep students safe. Furthermore, many colleges are now offering safety apps that provide students with access to health and safety resources as well as emergency plans in case of need.
Let’s explore how college campus security is evolving in greater detail.
Access Control Measures
Access control systems such as swipe and proximity cards can ensure that only authorized individuals have access to the campus or specific parts of it. Such measures can help prevent unwanted visitors or intruders from entering the campus and potentially causing harm.
A recent trend is the use of mobile phones as access control devices. This reduces the need for physical cards, thus decreasing the risk somebody may gain access to the campuses when these cards are lost by students (or worse, stolen).
More advanced access control solutions for campuses include biometrics such as fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, and iris scans. Such solutions may be implemented to restrict access to particularly sensitive campus areas, such as laboratories, research facilities, or rooms containing private administrative documents.
Enhanced Video Security
With the potential threat of violence on campuses looming, video security measures have become a crucial component of college security.
By investing in effective video security measures, colleges can protect their students and faculty from harm while also deterring criminal activity. Security cameras can monitor activity on campus in real-time, thus giving administrators the possibility of alerting authorities in case of an emergency. Furthermore, video security can be used to review incidents after the fact, aiding in investigations and disciplinary actions.
For optimal coverage, security cameras should be placed at strategic points on campus, such as entrances, exits, parking lots, and hallways. Using PTZ ip cameras provide greater coverage and flexibility, while night vision cameras provide better visibility in low-light areas.
The use of modern technologies should be complemented by security measures that involve human personnel. One such measure is the use of mobile patrols, which are typically conducted by unarmed security guards who patrol the campus in vehicles or on foot. This activity allows for a more visible presence on campus and can help deter crime and other potential threats. Recent developments include guards using handheld devices to report on their activity as they patrol.
By combining technology with traditional security measures, colleges can effectively protect their campuses and ensure that students, faculty, and staff feel safe. This is essential for creating an environment conducive to learning and development. With the increasing use of technology in this area, mobile patrols will likely continue to play an essential role in keeping college campuses safe in the years ahead.
Student Escort Services
These services provide students with a safe and secure way to travel around campus, day or night. Student escort services typically involve uniformed student escorts who are trained by the university’s police department. The escorts should be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays and breaks.
The primary goal of student escort services is to deter undesirable events such as sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and assault. These services also enable students to travel from one location to another with a sense of security and peace of mind. Many universities have implemented these services in response to the increase in reports of sexual misconduct on college campuses.
In addition to providing safety for students, many universities also offer additional benefits, such as free rides for those in need (e.g., students with disabilities).
Event Security Considerations
As universities and colleges invite the public onto their campuses for large-scale events, campus security professionals must be prepared to handle the challenge of keeping everyone safe in these situations.
Event security considerations include the implementation of emergency plans for staff and students and the use of tailored police and security services on campus. Among other measures, we also find conducting background checks on vendors or contractors involved in the event, providing metal detectors and other security screening measures, and establishing clear policies for the event.
Event security personnel must coordinate and communicate with staff, vendors, and other stakeholders before, during, and after the event to ensure safety. Campus security professionals should also be aware of any local laws or regulations that may affect event security. Such laws may include restrictions on the sale of alcohol, rules regarding the storage and use of firearms, or other regulatory requirements.