The tragic shooting spree at Umpqua Community College in Oregon has left the nation in a state of shock about the frequency of these events, underscoring the need to improve school security.
As of October 1, 2015, the date on which nine people were gunned down at that community college in Roseburg, Oregon, there have been 45 school shootings in the United States. Additionally, there have been an appalling 142 school shooting incidents since 20 students and six educators died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. in December 2012.
The need to improve school security is a reality that lives outside the polarizing topic of gun control and has itself become a front-burner issue for many districts around the country. While it may seem a daunting task for schools to upgrade or implement security measures, the first step is assessing what measures are already in place.
Capture Technologies has tremendous experience helping districts improve school security and can provide a checklist for schools to see which areas they have covered and where they are most vulnerable. The guidelines, set forth by the California Source for School Crisis Management, determine whether or not a school’s camera surveillance set-up is adequate and how tight their access control is.
Capture provides access control and visitor management systems as part of their solution to improve school security. These systems grant or deny access to students, faculty, and staff to such areas as classrooms, libraries, dormitories, cafeterias and student stores.
Access control and real-time communication is especially important in the time of a major crisis, such as what we’ve seen with the ever-frequent school shootings across the United States. Sielox CLASS (Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System) provides real-time classroom status updates and notifications to administrators and emergency personnel during a time of crisis, assisting in making split-second decisions.
In an extreme emergency, time is of the essence and seconds can save lives. The CLASS solution allows individuals to send color-coded alerts to first responders who can view dynamic floor plans in real-time and receive updated information on their smart phones or patrol car laptops.
First responders no longer walk into dangerous situations blindly. CLASS expands communication and awareness during critical situations, allowing emergency personnel to engage with a more-complete picture of what is going on, long before entering the facility.
While we mourn the tragic loss of life at Umpqua and all the others, the glaring need for improved school security goes largely unreported. As districts cope and hope they’re not the next school to be stricken by the horrible scourge of gun violence, many are turning to access control and video surveillance as they seek to improve school security.