School Security Assessments: 6 Steps to Get the Most Out of Your Project

These simple steps can help you dramatically reduce the cost of school security assessments while improving quality and preventing trouble with poor quality vendors.

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School security experts are conducting more school security assessments than any time in the past decade. As school officials try to move rapidly to evaluate their approaches to school security, they can easily move too quickly, compromising quality and wasting large amounts of precious budget resources.  If they rush too much, they can also create increased exposure to civil liability.

Here are some tips that can help school officials cut the cost of school security assessments by as much as 70% while reducing exposure to civil liability:

 

  1. Seek competitive bids from numerous vendors. A widely circulated bid combined with contacting 15 to 20 vendors via a thorough internet search should yield a number of competitive bids.
  2. Allow vendors at least four weeks to respond to your bid solicitation.  Any qualified vendor in the country should be working on at least a dozen school security assessment projects and even the largest firms can prepare a better bid if you afford them ample time.
  3. Weight cost for at least 25% of your scoring criteria but not more than 50%.  25 to 30% weighting should create tough competition without the increased exposure to civil liability that too much emphasis on cost can create should you experience a safety incident after your assessment.
  4. Require six to twelve references for school security assessment projects and attempt to check all references before signing a contract.  There are many vendors who can provide a dozen or more references without difficulty.
  5. Require bidders to disclose any open records requests, lawsuits by or against clients and termination of projects by clients.  This step can be extremely revealing.
  6. Clearly state what you would like vendors to assess and provide vendors an opportunity to ask questions for clarification.

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Michael Dorn
Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a global non profit campus safety center. During his 30 year campus safety career, Michael has served as a university police officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. He served as a school system police chief for ten years before being appointed the lead expert for the nation's largest state government K-20 school safety center. The author of 25 books on school safety, his work has taken him to Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. Michael welcomes comments, questions or requests for clarification at mike@weakfish.org. Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.
Contact Michael Dorn: mike@weakfish.org
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Features, K-12 Access Control, RFPs, Risk Assessment

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