4 Ways Technology Can Mitigate Campus Violence

Innovations in modern safety technologies offer campus safety leaders a critical advantage in addressing threats before they happen.

4 Ways Technology Can Mitigate Campus Violence

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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.

In recent months, college campuses across the nation have become battlegrounds, marked by a disturbing surge in gun violence and hate crimes. An incident at Michigan State University earlier this year proceeded a similar tragedy at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, which left three faculty members dead. These events contribute to the 80 school shootings in the U.S. this year alone. As of 2024, mass shootings on school campuses have left at least 37 people dead and more than 85 injured, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

In moments of crisis, such as active shooter events, campuses can rapidly descend into chaos and confusion. The sudden demands on law enforcement, coupled with the urgent need for rapid, coordinated responses, add to the intensity of an active shooter situation. Additionally, the unpredictability of a crisis event –and the impossibility of planning for every conceivable scenario –hinders their ability to fully prepare.

Upholding the safety of educators, students, and faculty requires a proactive approach. While comprehensive safety protocols must be ingrained within the core of educational institutions, innovations in state-of-the-art safety technologies offer campus safety leaders a critical advantage in addressing threats before they happen.

Mitigating Emergencies with Leading-edge Solutions

Every second counts when addressing an active shooter situation. Identifying, reporting, and responding to a situation quickly is paramount to minimizing its impact and saving lives.

Next-generation emergency monitoring and response technologies address this issue by tapping advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Recent breakthroughs in AI have made it possible to scan thousands of images per second to actively identify firearms and even detect unique energy signatures associated with weapons.

Moreover, AI technology can seamlessly integrate with enterprise surveillance systems to initiate sequenced responses, such as automatic lockdowns and immediate mobile notifications, to both law enforcement and school administrators. These innovative safety measures not only close gaps in response times but fortify the overall security posture of educational institutions.

Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Campus Safety and Security

Significant strides in threat monitoring and prevention are reshaping the landscape of campus security. As the realm of campus security undergoes transformative shifts, visionary campus safety leaders are embracing cutting-edge technologies to strengthen emergency response and threat detection:

  1. AI-Powered Threat Intelligence: The incorporation of AI technologies introduces a new era of proactive security measures. These sophisticated systems are designed to detect and prevent various potential risks, including unwanted visitors, firearms, and other potential threats. When used for identifying openly brandished firearms, AI has demonstrated remarkable accuracy in weapons detection, which can then trigger a sequence of real-time notifications. This can include notifications sent to security personnel and teachers, coupled with the provision of video footage for swift visual confirmation.
  2. Real-time Emergency Response: In the realm of campus security, there’s a growing need to foster direct communication between security leaders and local first responders. Since relying on traditional 911 calls can introduce critical delays in emergency response, innovative security leaders are engaging with first responders in their community directly. Modern technologies offer an alternative to traditional 911 protocols for reporting emergencies, allowing campuses to improve dispatch response times by seconds. This marks a notable improvement compared to the traditional 911 process, which could extend response times to over 20 minutes, particularly during active shooting incidents when emergency operators are inundated with calls. In critical situations where every second matters, these advancements are crafted to equip campuses with faster and more efficient response capabilities.
  3. Real-time Data Transfers: The ability to relay actionable data in real-time has become a cornerstone of advanced campus security. From crime centers to police vehicles, these systems provide continuous updates on emergencies. This includes floor plans, video streaming, and armament information that empowers first responders with the insights needed to make informed decisions swiftly.
  4. Bullet-Resistant Window Treatments: The traditional approach to securing entry points is transforming with bullet-resistant and shatterproof window treatments. These solutions offer various levels of protection, effectively mitigating forced entry attempts. In the unfortunate event of a security breach, these treatments buy valuable time for responders and potential victims, adding an essential layer of defense to campus security infrastructure.

By harnessing state-of-the-art technologies and taking a holistic approach to school security, leaders can do more than just foster a safer and more secure academic environment; they can establish the benchmark for campus security excellence.

As innovation continues, the seamless integration of safety intelligence technology can propel campus security leaders to the forefront of safety protocols, shaping a future that is not just secure but establishes a resilient foundation for the growth and prosperity of the entire academic community.

Lieutenant Commander Hector Delgado is a retired United States Navy SEAL and the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for SOS Technologies. With a distinguished career in military and law enforcement, his active and reserve service includes combat tours in Ramadi and Iraq, as well as SEAL Teams TWO, THREE, FOUR, EIGHTEEN, and Special Operations Command Central and South. He is also a retired Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and a recognized expert in active shooter response.

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