Colleges around the country are often plagued by bomb threats and other dangerous incidents that could put students, faculty and staff members in danger. For this reason, among others, administrators need to consider implementing advanced technologies and innovative strategies that give decision-makers insight into how events tend to unfold and whether they can be prevented.
A recent report by SecurityInfoWatch highlighted the need for higher education facilities to use surveillance cameras with intense monitoring capabilities and other physical security tools. This is especially important for university management decision-makers when they are investigating an incident.
"You absolutely investigate very quickly. What was said? How did the threat come in? Go through that building or area of campus quickly and identify if anything is out of place or an object is found," said Maureen Rush, vice president for public safety at the University of Pennsylvania, according to SecurityInfoWatch.
By using either advanced surveillance cameras or physically investigating locations where an occurrence may take place, administrators can quickly evacuate the area to improve student safety.
The challenge with universities
Universities are crowded with people, as some have more than 20,000 students and that's not including visitors, teachers and other community members. For this reason, it is not necessarily practical to evacuate the entire campus, as doing so can be complicated and cause pandemonium, the news source said.
"Really what you have to concentrate on is the prevention and the investigative techniques and hopefully, you never have to get to that point," Rush said, according to SecurityInfoWatch.
A separate report by Cisco said access control systems can also be highly advantageous for schools looking to prevent bomb threats and other incidents. Since the technology eliminates an outsider's ability to enter restricted areas, the number of places where dangerous situations can take place will dramatically shrink.
After witnessing the string of bomb threats that occurred throughout several well-known universities across the United States earlier this year, administrators need to ensure they deploy innovative tactics to reduce the chances of similar incidents occurring in the future. While physical security tools like access control and surveillance can help executives investigate and potentially prevent situations from taking place, schools need to have a plan to reduce the damage any circumstance could have on the safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff.