The reality is that most institutions of higher learning have decided to open their campuses this fall regardless of the political rancor, adding the specter of a deadly pandemic to an already challenging campus security environment where campus shootings, physical violence to women and theft usually occupy the top threat metrics for college security administrators. Because college and university campuses have thousands of students and faculty traversing a wide swath of buildings all day, every day, having an access control solution that not only addresses the security aspect of this population, but now one that must also handle myriad safety and health concerns due to COVID-19 to lessen the likelihood of the virus spreading, is a top priority.
Now more than ever, K-12 leaders are faced with the need to implement security solutions and strategies that adequately protect students, staff and visitors from potential threats. Growing incidents, such as school shootings, unauthorized visitors and disease transmission, can put occupants in harm’s way, making security a persistent need. Schools now have the opportunity to use and expand on existing building technologies to address evolving needs while providing greater protection and peace of mind.
As the pandemic continues to unfold, many schools have chosen to conduct classes virtually rather than in-person and school buildings have been left empty for durations longer than ever before. With less staff consistently working on school grounds, it can be easy to miss a potentially costly and time consuming emergency. Situations like a leaking pipe or a malfunctioning freezer can quickly go from a minor issue to a major problem if not dealt with as soon as possible. Without physical eyes on these situations, schools need to consider leaning more heavily on technology that can be their eyes and ears, such as environmental monitoring technologies that can allow administrators to monitor their school at all times, even when they’re not on-site.
Sgt. Lauren L. Misale, a 12-year veteran of the Clark University Police Department (CUPD) and Clark alumnus, has been appointed the University’s chief of police, effective November 2. President David Fithian said Misale was selected for her stellar record, strong relationships on campus and in the community, and deep commitment to students. She replaces Chief of Police Stephen Goulet who announced his retirement earlier this year.
The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) has released the fifth edition of its Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools, which offers the most comprehensive information available on nationwide best practices specifically for securing school facilities, from subject matter experts across the education, public safety and industry sectors.
State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman announced at River Springs Elementary School that the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) will purchase and distribute over $33 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to all eighty one public school districts to support efforts to maintain and return to face to face instruction.
The Department of Justice announced it has awarded more than $87 million to bolster school security, support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident, and conduct research on school safety.
The Indiana Secured School Board has approved more than $19 million in matching state grant funds. The $19.4 million in awards allows the Board to fully fund all eligible, top-priority projects identified by 418 schools in their applications to the Secured School Safety Grant program (SSSG). In addition, the Board fully funded all school threat assessment projects, as well as eligible projects geared toward implementing health and wellness support services for parents and students.
During an emergency special meeting, members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) voted to authorize a potential safety strike aimed at pressing the Detroit, Mich. Public Schools Community District to implement basic science-based safety protocols before schools reopen during the continuing coronavirus pandemic.