Keeping students and faculty safe on school campuses is a top priority for any school administrator. The increase in shootings and other violent events has emphasized the need for additional security. School districts around the country have worked to enhance building security with additional cameras, weapons detection and security personnel. Investing in security solutions can provide peace of mind and help protect the campus. Here are six tips for ensuring school security investments remain relevant in the future.
Invest in an open platform: Systems that are based on proprietary technology rather than open platforms limit users in several areas including choices of complementary software tools. By investing in an open platform, school districts can create a tailor-made solution that makes sense for their current needs while also allowing them flexibility to expand or modify their system in the future.
The right video management system (VMS) is critical for successful school security. It should have all the features necessary to give administrators and security personnel complete control over their surveillance system. This is especially important as new technologies emerge, such as facial recognition, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that require high performance computing capabilities.
Expansion & scalability potential: Any security solution installed on a school campus today will likely need to expand in the future, whether it’s a small-scale system or a large integrated network. A scalable solution allows administrators to invest in a product that will not run into limitations when their systems inevitably expand or otherwise evolve. Ensuring that the system can accommodate any changes, many of them unforeseen, will mitigate wasted investment and costly upgrades or replacements down the line.
Integrated software solutions: Integrating software solutions with existing systems can help extend the life of a system by providing more features and capabilities than were previously available. For example, integrating access control with video surveillance can provide real-time notifications when someone attempts unauthorized entry into a building or area on campus. This integration makes it easier to manage multiple technologies using one central system while also increasing overall security levels across campus.
Gather more insight with analytics: Analytics allows a video management system to send an alert when it identifies problems, whether it’s an object left behind, vaping in hallways or some kind of physical altercation. The proactive nature of analytics means that school security officers can receive an alert, either in a central command center or on their mobile devices, and can address an issue quickly.
Accessibility wherever you are: School personnel need to have uninterrupted, real-time access to their video management system. Unfortunately, as camera technology improves retrieving live video can become problematic due to bandwidth issues, therefore it’s important to invest in a VMS solution with built-in bandwidth-reducing features that mitigate the typical network issues inherent in viewing live video remotely. Additionally, being able to view live and recorded video from any device — such as smartphones and tablets — allows school personnel to maintain oversight no matter where they are located on campus.
Storage solutions tailored to your needs: When investing in storage solutions for a VMS, security leaders should choose one tailored specifically for their needs — whether that’s localized onsite storage, a centralized shared network location or cloud storage. Network strength, prior investment in centralized technology, or a vision for a future based in the cloud are all considerations that may lead to one decision or the other.