Increasing Campus Security with Handhelds
“I used to have to spend hours answering questions as to where the guards were at, and why something wasn’t done on time,” says Montz. “We were never sure the job was getting done right.”
According to Montz, the security coordinator spent many restless nights, worrying whether or not critical areas were being checked. Their handwritten log sheets didn’t provide the hard proof they were looking for and the security coordinator had no way of knowing whether or not security officers were participating in various campus distractions. Another issue came with complaints from campus staff.
“Some employees in critical areas such as the business office, human resources and computer services said their locations weren’t being inspected and secured as often as they should be,” says Montz. He had no way of really improving who checked these key areas, and how often.
In addition to security, the campus also had a problem with flooding. Heating and cooling coils would break, and the water would do a lot of damage to the college. “I could never be sure that these areas were being checked on a timely basis, or at all for that matter,” says Montz. “The water could run for hours before it was found.”
Computerized Guard ToursThe automated PROTRAC Security system from TISCOR, San Diego, was installed to computerize all guard tour activities at Western Wyoming Community College. Officers use a mobile, handheld computer to tap touchtags placed at different key checkpoints. Each time a touchtag is tapped, the time, date and location of the checkpoint are automatically recorded into the device.
Within seconds of completing their rounds, officers download the devices to a PC. The computer database is updated immediately afterward, and allows users to print out accurate, tamper-proof reports, outlining daily security operations. The system can direct officers to checkpoints in a set order, ensuring no area is missed. It also allows users to complete inspections in any order they wish, in the “roam” mode. Officers can also document incidents in the field, such as vandalism, a broken lock, or a light that’s out. They simply tap touchtags placed on a small card they carry with them on their rounds, denoting the incident for further documentation.
Getting Sound Results“With PROTRAC Security, I know that all of the critical areas are being checked as often as needed,” says Montz.
Montz is now able to provide college employees reports proving that officers were checking critical areas when they’re supposed to. Security activities are no longer questioned, because reports provide undeniable proof of who checked the area, and when.
“This has probably saved me $2,500 a year in time that I had to spend answering questions as to why something wasn’t done on time, or trying to figure out where the guards were at,” says Montz.
Montz also estimates that the system saves him $6,000 a year in damages and downtime due to flooding. Officers now routinely and efficiently inspect the heating and cooling coils for damage, so they can stop problems before they start.
The clear, concise reports help Western Wyoming Community College analyze trends, track problems and monitor productivity. PROTRAC also creates a permanent,
historic data file that is accessible
Since PROTRAC Security ensures that every area is checked, productivity has drastically increased. The system eliminates paperwork and hand-written log sheets keeping security officers on the move and ensuring student safety.
PROTRAC Security also increases accuracy. It virtually eliminates the element of human error since there is no manual data entry or messy handwritten log sheets to decipher. All information is stored electronically from the point of collection, ensuring data integrity. “This system has helped campus security become more respected, and viewed as an integral part of the college system,” says Montz.