Thursday, February 19, 2015


Marianna Perry, Area Training and Development Manager for Securitas USA in Kentucky, frequently conducts security assessments for colleges and universities. She states that unless a campus has a security review conducted by a qualified professional, college administration may not have a clear understanding of its potential security risks and vulnerabilities. "This is by no means intentional with college administrators," says Perry. "Often they just don't know what they need to make their campus more secure. What works best is a total and holistic approach to campus security. You can't just assume that what's needed are good locks and good lighting on campus; you have to approach safety and security from several perspectives." An effective security program requires not only good physical security measures with the right mix of technology, but also administrative policies and training. These requirements, Perry suggests, should be coupled with management support from the top down.

When addressing the physical security of a campus, it's critical that access control, locking devices, video surveillance, lighting, and intrusion detection systems are effective. The concepts of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) are essential to a campus, along with trained, proactive law enforcement or security personnel.3 The appropriate technology must also be in place to make the system operate efficiently. "This means cost-effective as well as efficient," explains Perry.

"You have to integrate all the components of a security program to work in conjunction with each other. I often see a security policy written by middle management, but top administrators are not familiar with what the policy really entails. They need to know it, promote it, endorse it – and they have to require compliance."

Here are the 10 steps all school campuses should take to ensure everyone stay safe and sound:
  1. Have a Security Assessment conducted every two years or whenever there are significant changes to the campus, including buildings and/or grounds.
  2. Address “soft points of entry” Into the campus by utilizing appropriate physical security measures.
  3. Utilize technology along with physical security to deter crime and violence.
  4. Conduct mandatory freshman and new student orientation programs.
  5. Have an “active lock policy” especially on dorm room doors. 
  6. Campus law enforcement or security personnel must be on duty and visible 24/7, and be proactively involved in Community Policing strategies.
  7. Educate students, faculty and staff about safety and security programs, such as “walk me home” services, “blue light phones,” RAD or self-defense training, crisis hot lines, mental health/counseling services and other programs.
  8. Offer safety resources and crime prevention information to students about alcohol/drugs and sexual assault awareness/prevention/reporting.
  9. Educate and train students, faculty and staff on all campus emergency procedures and offer mass notification and security alerts through the use of social media as well as other means of communication. Involve local first responders in your training and drills.
  10. Implement an active social media program and monitor its use.
A campus safety and security program must find the right balance between creating an open environment and upholding the duty to protect students, faculty and staff. There must be a positive relationship between expenditures, personnel, technology, campus design and a crime prevention awareness/education to develop a program that is efficient and affordable. This type of program involves all members of the campus community, each doing their part to keep the campus safe.

This article is an abstract from a WhitePaper published by Securitas USA. You can view the full paper at the following link:

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