Leadership magazine March/April 2017 V46 No. 4 - Page 12

IT campus safety management 101

Campus safety is mission-critical for K-20 organizations . In the process of working with countless districts , we ’ ve discovered there are a few key considerations that need to be addressed before you can effectively manage campus safety . Here ’ s what you need to think about .
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Safety is much more than one or two disparate systems . It must include a perfect blend of technology systems , operational processes , awareness , sustainability , and integration . Most districts focus on the things that campus safety is not , instead of taking the time to understand what campus safety actually is . Here are three things that campus safety is not and what you should focus on instead .
Campus safety is not a list of stuff
Campus safety is not a pile of distinct technologies ( what you ’ ll often get with an RFP ). Surveillance , access control , lighting , motion sensors , paging systems , or any of the other individual technologies associated with campus safety cannot provide a secure campus environment on their own . Simply procuring these technologies doesn ’ t mean your campus is safe .
Campus safety is a philosophy
According to Jason Eatmon , Vice President of Development Group , Inc . ( DGI ), “ Campus safety is a philosophy , not a list of disparate systems . It is the amalgamation of all of those systems glued together by a vision , and policies derived from a culture of awareness .” It ’ s the idea that you are creating a campus safety ecosystem , with each individual technology feeding and being fed by the other technologies . These technologies are linked together by the campus safety strategy .
Campus safety is not a sales vendor assessment
One of the biggest mistakes we see is schools allowing vendors who sell one or two distinct security technologies to conduct on site “ assessments ” where they recommend the purchase of a healthy amount of their product or products . The issue here is that those vendors are never able to conduct a complete assessment because they don ’ t specialize in all areas of campus safety .
Campus safety involves a complete , impartial assessment
One early step toward a truly safe campus environment is to hire an independent third party to conduct a thorough assessment of all security vulnerabilities . It ’ s nearly impossible to find a vendor that is familiar enough with every facet of safety to hit every area . Third parties will as-
By Development Group , Inc .