Policies, Staffing and Lack of Buy-in Pose Biggest Problems in Campus Access Security

Study also finds that since Sandy Hook, a significant number of schools, universities and hospitals have purchased or are considering the purchase of new technologies to manage access to their facilities.

Educational and healthcare institutions continue to acquire all types of new and upgraded access control technologies, be they card and/or biometrics access management systems, locks, door hardware, visitor management, windows safety and security solutions, metal detection or fences. Despite the investments, lack of effective policies, staffing and campus community support of access control continue to pose significant challenges.

Those are just two of the key findings from Campus Safety’s 2014 Access Control Study conducted in September. More than 450 representatives from institutions of higher education, K-12 school districts and hospitals provided valuable input on the technology they have or are considering purchasing; the challenges they have been experiencing with managing ingress; as well as the policies and procedures supporting lockdowns and access control since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.

Some of the other highlights of the study include:

  • More than three in four K-12 respondents indicate their institutions have purchased in the past two years or are considering the purchase of visitor management systems. That same percentage of school respondents say they have installed or are considering the installation of secure front entrance vestibules.
  • Healthcare respondents have also been investing in visitor management and secure front entrances, with 71% having purchased in the past two years or are considering the purchase of systems designed to better manage their campus guests. More than half have bought or might buy vestibules.
  • Card and/or biometrics access control solutions are of particular interest to universities and hospitals, with 57% of higher ed and 62% of healthcare survey participants saying they have bought new or upgraded systems in the past two years. Nearly half of K-12 respondents say they bought card and/or biometric access control solutions in the past two years.
  • Nearly three out of four survey participants overall (79% of K-12 schools, 65% of institutions of higher education and 71% of hospitals) have adopted new or upgraded policies and procedures relating to lockdowns.
  • Many of the challenges associated with access management and locks have more to do with the policies and the staff managing the equipment rather than the technology. Policies (65%) and staffing (61%) pose the greatest challenges to universities. Colleges also have significant problems with community non-compliance with access control policies (64%). Additionally, 48% of hospitals and 40% of K-12 institutions say they are having issues with student and staff non-compliance as well.

Download the complete study.

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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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