It may seem that no organization or event can be staffed with too many security personnel. Threat frequency is increasing and the threats themselves are becoming more significant and widespread at schools, concerts, and other “soft target” facilities and events. Fortunately, electronic security measures can assist with gaps in security.
Access control initially dealt with credential cards and personal identification numbers. Now, access control involves not only doors but also overall ingress to a building or event space. Control needs to be maintained at the outermost perimeter, working inward toward the most sensitive areas of concern.
It’s taxing for security staff to monitor the entire perimeter of a building or outdoor space. Video surveillance, equipped with video analytics, can handle most of this responsibility. Smart video surveillance cameras, strategically placed around a perimeter line or outside of a building, can alert security personnel when specific “virtual” lines are crossed. The alert can be received at a security command desk where cameras are viewed, or even on a mobile device carried by administrators or security officers. The sooner alerts are received, the faster a response can be organized to investigate the potential threat.
Exterior spaces are vulnerable for their ease of access. These spaces are often vast, such as campus walkways or athletic venues, and require video surveillance. Fixed cameras can be deployed with wide-angle lenses, providing a general overview of the entire space. Cameras that can move and zoom, referred to as pan-tilt-zoom cameras, can be focused manually on specific areas of interest with greater detail and resolution. They’re a great supplement to fixed cameras and allow security to investigate in much more detail.
Security teams can’t watch every camera, so video analytics can advise security teams to view specific cameras when a set of criteria are met. Perhaps a person is in an area that shouldn’t have visitors. Or perhaps, someone is loitering in an area for too long, and the system provides the monitoring staff with an alert to investigate the situation.
Ideally, the threat is mitigated before a building is accessed. Door locking hardware is a must and works in conjunction with an access control system to allow credentialed individuals while preventing access by unauthorized visitors or threats. If a door is breached, an automated alert initiates a series of reactions from audible alerts to notification of in-site and responding authorities. Surveillance cameras at each door are used for visual inspections of the area at the time of the alarm and provide critical information for the security response team.
A vulnerability assessment and site survey may uncover potential threats at schools and campuses of all sizes. The goal of the resulting security plan would be to prescribe a unified security and emergency notification solution. These solutions can include a variety of technologies that work in unison to provide panic devices for occupants, video surveillance for live monitoring and recording, access control for doors and occupant access, and voice annunciation to provide clear and calm instructions in case of an emergency.