Why Your School Should Have Video Surveillance
A growing concern among educational institutions today is safety. In America, there have been 171 school shootings since 2013. Gun violence, theft and vandalism are issues that schools deal with every day. As a result, school officials have an ongoing mission to find the best solutions to keep their schools safe and secure for their students.
For protection against these threats, schools are turning to security cameras as an indispensable aid to identifying and resolving issues. Sixty percent of US residents and 52 percent of Canadians polled agreed they would feel that their children were safer with surveillance cameras in place (Ipsos Public Affairs). Implementing video surveillance at your school can help you monitor potentially large school grounds effortlessly, impact negative activity like vandalism or theft positively, and create a more secure system for school visitors.
Consider the following three reasons to use video surveillance at your school.
- Video surveillance is the best solution to secure large areas.
While an average of 23.1 students fill the typical American primary school classroom, every school is different in terms of size and shape. An educational campus may house football or baseball fields, an athletic center, a library or even own the grounds around the school. When hundreds or thousands of students have access to these areas during school hours (or pay a visit to these locations during off-hours), it can become hard to manage the traffic coming in and out of your school grounds.
Video surveillance can help school officials easily maintain these areas without having to leave their offices. Today’s video surveillance technology offers IP cameras, which can be connected wirelessly over a school’s internet network. These cameras are an upgrade from older surveillance systems like CCTV, which can’t broadcast footage over the internet. Being able to tap into your video stream at any time makes it easy for you to monitor different areas of your school hundreds of feet away in seconds.
- Video surveillance can prevent and reduce crime in your school.
Walpole High School in Walpole, Massachusetts recently upgraded their security system based on prior violent incidents at other schools like Sandy Hook in Newton, Connecticut and recent events like the Boston Marathon bombing. Walpole High’s principal, Stephen Imbusch said that in the 1,165-student high school, the existing security cameras used to monitor inside threats and student behavior have proven useful in determining what might have happened in certain disciplinary or criminal situations.
Just as these security cameras are meant to solve crimes at your school, they can also act as deterrents for crime. Conspicuously placed school surveillance cameras have been shown to reduce threats of violence and vandalism drastically. This means that, at your school, you’ll want to install some security cameras in plain sight. Knowing that your face or voice can be caught on tape is enough to deter a student who may be considering vandalism or theft.
- Video surveillance can help monitor visitor activity at your school.
In recent years, schools have implemented a plethora of safety measures not only inside the school itself, but also in the processes by which visitors are welcomed onto school grounds. These measures can span from a sign-in sheet to metal detectors and body searches. The U.S. Department of Education Indicators of School Crime and Safety reported that 98% of schools require all visitors to sign or check in upon arrival. But what happens after the check-in can be anyone’s guess, if you haven’t taken the proper security measures.
Video surveillance, along with tactics like badges, sign-in sheets and other identifiers, is a great way to protect students from unauthorized visitors. It’s not uncommon for a parent or relative to visit the school for reasons like parent-teacher conferences or to pick their sick child up from school, but confirming parental rights or even the true identity of a visitor isn’t always part of the process.
And while non-students visiting school grounds is usually a daytime activity, unwanted visitors could return at off-hours, when the school is empty and the grounds are dark. In this scenario, video cameras can monitor this activity and inform school officials about exactly where on school grounds incidents are likely to happen, and can even provide information on the person(s) involved in any suspicious activity.
While school officials looking to implement video surveillance should check the laws in their state about where video surveillance is allowed (as to not infringe on any privacy laws), video surveillance can aid schools in keeping their institution a safe and secure place for student and visitors. The ability to stream the cameras over the school’s network allows for real-time monitoring, no matter where you are. And along with reducing and possibly preventing crime, video surveillance serves to protect everyone on school grounds, both students and visitors alike. Using video cameras for security purposes allows schools to easily monitor school activity and respond fast to possible security threats.
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by Shawn Scarlata, March 24, 2016