Q&A: How to Select the Right Lockdown Solution for Your Campus

The Security Access-Control Vulnerability Index (SAVI) is a new self-audit tool from NAPCO that will help you assess what you need without the bias of any one company, consultant or sales person.

One of the most effective security strategies a campus can have is the ability to lockdown. Putting locks on doors, when paired with appropriate shelter-in-place training, can do a great deal to protect people during active shooter incidents. Locks and access control solutions can also prevent theft and vandalism, as well as other undesirable activities.

But how can you determine what is appropriate for your particular facility while balancing your needs with any budget limitations?

In this interview with Campus Safety, Jorge Hevia, NAPCO Security Technologies‘ SVP of sales and marketing, provides some valuable tips on how your school, university or hospital can select the right lockdown solution so it will protect your people and assets for years to come.

What would you say to campus protection professionals who are just discovering your company for the first time?
NAPCO is a uniquely security-focused company offering a full range of tiered campus solutions, from economical local lock-down with a key from the inside-door, to a electronic activation with portable staff keyfobs; or, across the campus using a wireless lock network, activated from any one lock or the system server and locked-down in under 10-seconds. Campus-wide, NAPCO offers an enterprise solution, integrating video, alarms, access control, locks, IDs, threat-level- and visitor-management, well-known for lowest operating costs, scalable from a few doors to thousands spanning global sites.

What would you say to hospital, school or university protection professionals who are already familiar with your product line and/or services?

Because we’ve been securing educational and healthcare campuses for decades, many times, protection-professionals will know or even have one of NAPCO Divisions’ lines on campus, like Alarm Lock Trilogy Access Locks, or a Gemini Alarm System, etc, but few know all our divisions’ security solutions, from mechanical and electronic locks, to security systems, access control and video systems. And, more importantly, that all NAPCO’s solutions are now integrated together to create one interoperable seamless system that can make their job easier and more effective.

Tell us about one particularly interesting deployment of your product or service.
As a trusted source in education security, NAPCO’s Marks USA Division is used throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation’s second largest public district. With their strength in customizing locks for any form factor and aesthetic, Marks redesigned their Classroom Intruder Locks with a unique inside-door, double-cylinder locking mechanism and LocDown-indicator, helping to both form and meet LAUSD’s new spec, accommodating a California bill requiring stringent security lock standards on all state school district’s rooms and classrooms with an occupancy over five.

Besides the usual, what really specific thing differentiates you from your competitors?

NAPCO doesn’t just dabble in security. We don’t’ just have a security division or two, nor did we just jump into this market because of today’s turbulent times. Since our founding in 1969, this has been the life’s work of the whole company, its management and all its divisions. Security is all we do. We do it well and for the long run. Our reputation both proves it and depends on it every day.

What’s the best application tip/tactic involving your solutions you’ve come across?
The ingenuity of security professionals and the uniqueness of their applications make it impossible to choose any one tip/tactic. One thing I can say is that no matter what your campus needs are, our solutions are extremely flexible. This enables us to make sure we can meet any requirement you can come up with. We won’t ever just force fit your needs into whatever technologies we happen to have.

What one technical tip can you offer campuses about the deployments of your solutions?
Start with an objective assessment of current security levels, and then quantify the best choices and next-steps you can implement and/or afford based on your vulnerabilities. NAPCO created the Security Access-Control Vulnerability Index (SAVI), a self-audit tool, to help you do just that, objectively and without the bias of any one company, consultant or sales person.

Where do healthcare or educational institutions typically get tripped up on applications?
Do your homework. Make sure whatever solutions you choose will grow with you for the long term. Look for something that is scalable and field upgradable. You don’t want a security solution that you’ll quickly outgrow, or one from a company with a track-record of discontinuing systems and lines every few years due to corporate mergers and acquisitions or profit motives.

Do you have any other advice to hospitals, schools or universities? 
Budgetary pressures often play a key role in ultimately making a choice in security solutions. Make sure when you evaluate yours, you’re capturing all the costs of that solution, factoring in the more obvious larger numbers, like software license agreements and upgrades costs, but also the smaller hidden ones, like individual routine maintenance costs that can really add up. Take for example, those products with a short battery-life or life cycle, requiring a substantial allocation for manpower and upkeep and/or cause unnecessary downtime, resulting in temporary “holes” in your security.

What is your favorite thing about working with hospital, school and university clients?
We find campus security professionals are as passionate about their work and security, as we are, and especially eager to learn about new evolving, converging technologies. We take security and safety seriously, and even personally. My own wife and daughter each teach in a school campus, our CFO’s wife does likewise. If ever there were a time to work together to make all in the campus space safer, now is it!

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About the Author

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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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