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7 Ways Universities Can Manage Crime

Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois

Universities and college campuses, big and small, have many moving pieces within property boundaries. Buildings, property grounds, and plenty of people moving around can create several potential security gaps and vulnerabilities. Between high-value assets in buildings and personal property in residence halls plus sprawling campuses, these characteristics can also make universities and college campuses potential targets for crime. Here are a few ways universities can manage crime:

1. Identify Current Risks and Vulnerabilities

When it comes to addressing security gaps and vulnerabilities to manage crime on college and university campuses, it’s imperative to know what those risks and threats are and where your current security is lacking. A building vulnerability assessment checklist can be a good place to start. Having a security systems integrator do a site assessment can help you cover everything else.

There are many campus security solutions for colleges & universities available. Once you know current risks and where your security needs to be improved, then you can implement the right security solutions, along with any customizations you need, to help get comprehensive security and manage crime on campus.

2. Implement Intelligent and Integrated Video Surveillance

Video surveillance technology and security camera capabilities have come a long way. With the right types of cameras and technology in place, you can seriously upgrade and enhance monitoring capabilities and response times.

You can even implement geo-enabled analytics to improve perimeter protection around the entire campus in addition to other defined areas. With customized rules, your cameras can monitor and detect triggers that indicate potential threats and send alerts to appropriate authorities for efficient response and risk management.

This is one useful application of video surveillance solutions that can be used campus-wide. Something as simple as detecting movement outside open hours in a mail room or storage room can help reduce and prevent theft.

Integrating with other systems, like access control, visitor management solutions, and more, can help you comprehensively monitor areas across campus and respond efficiently to any incidents that may occur. These types of integrations along with real-time monitoring are some of the benefits of a comprehensive video surveillance system.

3. Use Access Control Systems to Secure Private Buildings

Access control systems can help universities and colleges manage who has access to specific areas. You can implement visitor management policies for public areas and buildings. For private buildings or areas that should have limited access, you can install an access control system to prevent unauthorized entry.

There are many different types of access control readers and configurations for access control that you can use for different types of buildings and access. Keycard readers are popular options for residence halls. Codes, biometric readers, or combination readers, work well for high-value, highly limited areas like advanced labs or high-value inventory storage areas.

There are many factors to consider in an access control system. A good system is flexible, scalable, and customizable to your specific needs. You should be able to implement the options that work best for you on a small scale on individual buildings and on a large scale across the whole campus or multiple campuses.

4. Illuminate Common Areas With Good Lighting

Good lighting across campus provides several benefits. In addition to making your students feel safer on campus, proper lighting can act as a deterrent to crime. Better lighting and illumination mean there aren’t as many places to hide. When paired with other security measures, like security cameras, perimeter protection, and more, it can help prevent and reduce crime at night.

5. Hire Enough Security Personnel

Security technology has come a long way and can do a lot in protecting your university campus, but it doesn’t completely replace the need for security personnel. In addition to the right security solutions in place, you need enough properly trained security personnel to manage and monitor it while also maintaining a presence on campus.

6. Manage Event Security Effectively

Day-to-day security is essential. It’s also important to take event security into consideration. Although some of the systems you have in place for standard campus security can help with events, there will be security gaps and vulnerabilities if you do not address the risks associated specifically with events. This can apply to adjustments and additions in video surveillance on campus and other security systems.

Having an emergency operations plan in place, good access control, perimeter security, scaled security if you need it, and more are all best practices for college event security. Implementing these in advance to prepare for events is one of the ways universities can manage crime.

7. Regularly Update Risk Assessments and Review Security

Managing and maintaining security systems is important. At the same time, it’s also important to regularly review and update risk assessments to ensure you have a handle on potential risks and current incident rates for your campus.

Using incident management software to manage and monitor incidents allows you to keep track of what is happening around campus and also evaluate how well your security is keeping up. Analyzing the number, frequency, and types of incidents that have happened on campus over time can help you identify potential weak points and necessary improvements your security solutions need.

By regularly updating risk assessments and reviewing security, you can stay on top of addressing emerging risks as well as ensuring any evolving or existing security gaps are covered.

Get Comprehensive Security For Your College Campus With NEPPS

There are several common campus security concerns for colleges & universities and these are just a few ways universities can manage crime. Each campus will have its own unique set of needs and considerations when it comes to truly effective and comprehensive security.

Working with an experienced security systems integrator can ensure you get the right mix of security products, solutions, and integrations your university needs. If you need to implement or upgrade security on your university or college campus, contact NEPPS at 1-800-736-1456.