Top Campus Security Trends to Watch in 2013

Access control, training and weapons, as well as the management of keys, guests and emergency power, are some of the top issues that should be on your radar this year.

Security systems integration: Universities, schools and hospitals continue to install new video surveillance, access control, intrusion and fire systems every year, yet a significant percentage of campuses are struggling to integrate them all. Nearly two in five (39%) of our survey respondents say security camera integration with their other systems is one of their top five video surveillance system challenges. Additionally, 30% say integration of access control with their other systems is a top five access control challenge. The good news is software products, consultants and systems integrators are ready and able to address many of these difficulties, as well as the key management, backup power and visitor management problems I’ve just described.

Stalking policies: Although 73% of respondents to Campus Safety’s recent opinion poll strongly agree or agree somewhat with the statement “Stalking is addressed appropriately by your campus public safety department and the institution overall,” only 40% of respondents say their campus has a specific policy on stalking. Forty-s
ix percent say their campus doesn’t have a specific stalking policy, and 14% don’t know. Experts say that to effectively address stalking, campuses should adopt a policy specific to the issue. To obtain a copy of a model campus stalking policy, visit the National Center for Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center at www.ncvc.org/src.

Weapons: More than two in five (42%) survey respondents say their public safety departments don’t have enough and the right type of lethal and less lethal weapons to appropriately respond to an incident. More than a third say their campus police and/or security officers don’t receive enough training on the use of these weapons. Considering what happened in Newtown, Conn., in December, I’ll bet many of the respondents who indicated they were appropriately armed and trained back in October aren’t so sure anymore. Additionally, I wouldn’t be suprised if respondents’ answers regarding their technology readiness (two-way radios, security cameras, etc.)would also be negatively affected if they were polled now.

Bring these survey results to your local government officials and campus security stakeholders to raise awareness about these problems so more resources can be allocated to your department.

As we start 2013, I encourage all of you to review how your departments and institutions can address these challenges to make our nation’s schools, universities and hospitals even safer.

Download a PDF of the 2013 Campus Safety Yearbook

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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