School Systems Security in the 21st Century
In recent years, we’ve seen all too many tragedies unfold in our public school systems and universities. Even more incidents end quietly that could have been much worse. Last year, a school custodian in South Hampton, New Hampshire, discovered an intruder armed with a shotgun and carrying prescription medication. Fortunately, the man fled and was later apprehended, local news reported. This just underscores the reality of the risks.
Strong security systems can protect our children and have recently proven effective in Everett, Massachusetts and Warwick, Rhode Island.
Recognizing the issue, education officials across the country have been investing heavily in security equipment and services. The total market value for the education sector of security gear and services hit $2.7 billion last year, according to industry research.
Market Reflects Desire for Security
The National Center for Education Statistics also notes:
- The proportion of schools deploying video surveillance systems hit 70 percent in 2013
- That’s up from only 20 percent in 1999
- The number of schools actively managing building entrances rose from 75 percent to 90 percent-plus.
There is even an advocacy group for funding and implementing national school system protection, called the Security Industry Association. Some schools are implementing cutting-edge security, including facial recognition, “logical and physical security, identity management integration and high-security classroom doors.”
The administration of St. Louis, Missouri,-based St. Mary Magdalen school has installed just such a sophisticated high tech system, according to a local press article. Their “Seald System” allows building doors to be rapidly secured or opened via remote mouse-click — simultaneously notifying law enforcement. As the system vendor notes: “Time equals lives.”
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