Fool proofing schools and colleges against lone gunmen, terrorists and kidnappers
College campuses and schools all over the world have been become recent targets of terror attacks. A month ago, 22 students and professors were shot dead in Bacha Khan University in Pakistan and earlier in 2016, 144 school students and teachers were massacred in Peshawar.
In US, College campuses and schools have been found vulnerable with numerous mass shootings and terror attacks. The number of shooting in US educational institutions is so frequent that President Obama described the recent mass shooting at Umpqua community college as almost routine. A statement of such irony reiterates the gravity of the situation and the need to secure campuses with more powerful security.
A robust visitor management system is the first line of defence for these campuses and is the need of the hour. Securing a college campus presents a huge logistical problem because most of them have sprawling grounds, numerous buildings and a higher number of visitors on any given day. To manage the visitors, these campuses need numerous digital protocols that would systematically collect information, check materials that are being taken inside the campus.
Here are a few security protocols that experts from Touchpoint have put together that can aid colleges campuses to keep the students safe within –
Vetting ID Cards
Id cards are mandatory in almost all colleges — Students, teachers, professors, admin staff and other employees who work within the campus need to carry one. Visitors who come to the college will receive an id card from the lobby after they present valid credentials. One of the most useful Visitor Management tool that aids in security and capable of capturing credential details from the visitors – driver’s licence, student id etc. In US, this information is then cross-indexed with the criminal registers, registered sex offenders and nationwide database of criminals.
Guest Protocols in Hostels
Most college campuses have resident hostels. The protocols of security here need to be different from that of the main lobby. Most hostel students at some point or the other will have guests visiting them (Parents, sisters/brothers, friends etc.) The hostel resident will need to give prior information about the guest – day and time of visit, number of days he/she would be staying and their day of departure. The guest will be provided with an id after his/her credentials are verified. At no point during their stay in the college, will they be allowed inside the hostel or any other campus building without them being accompanied by the resident student. In other words, the guest needs to be accompanied by the resident at all times. If the guest’s staying hours are nearing, the resident gets an alert SMS asking them to send their guest home.
ID cards with limited privileges
One of the main problems with Visitor Management logistics in a college campus is that each space is fragmented and once the first level of security is cleared the students have free access to all buildings. Security experts opine that best security practices can’t be imposed in a broader fashion among the campuses, as each one of them have their own indigenous set of rules for their students and wards. Therefore, highly customized solutions are the key here. If the college has day scholars and hostel residents studying in the same campus, then restrict the id that the day scholars carry. An art student need not have access to the science labs or the chemistry labs…. so on and so forth.
24-hour visitor’s desk
Visitor Management Systems depend upon manned lobby desks and many prestigious campuses have students’ working day and night. A 24-hour visitor’s desk will ensure that the proper visitor’s protocols are being followed.
Apart from these, most campuses have an in-house police station that provides security for the campus personnel. Most campuses also have mandatory self-defence classes for students and they are also taught self-defence tactics to protect against sex predators and in the event of a terror attack. Customized Visitor Management Systems like Touchpoint make great digital guards and aid in securing sprawling college campuses with many intuitive options.