Another horrific active shooter event, this time on a community college campus in rural Oregon, once again places the spotlight on school security. It reminds us that we live in a different societal environment than 30 years ago and steps must be taken to continue to adapt our schools to a new reality. We live in the most open society on earth. The liberty we value and will not relinquish, sometimes puts us at risk. That risk continues to evolve and emotions run high when we debate the appropriate response. What we do know is that School Architecture and School Technology along with proper funding must play a large role to answer the call for action.
The security and school technology industry has made great progress on standards over the last couple of years. Working together, the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) and the Security Industry Association (SIA) participated in a joint effort to develop meaningful standards for school safety and security. The result was PASS, the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools. www.passk12.org This resource combines the extensive background and experience of hundreds of security professionals representing security product manufacturers, consultants, designers and application integrators to publish standard that can be adopted by any school system across the country.
“The PASS story is one born out of concern and commitment for school safety. When a school system makes an investment in security, we want to help them make sure their money is spent on the right solutions.” The partnership developed tool kits that can be downloaded without charge by school officials and anyone wanting to contribute to student safety. This volunteer effort continues to gain traction as it takes the guess work out of developing district wide safety and crisis management plans.
A new technology solutions for crisis management has recently come from, of all places, the traditional school intercom manufactures. Rauland Borg Corporation of Illinois has combined over 50 years of school communication experience to develop new IT based products and tools that automate crisis management. http://www.rauland.com/School_Safety.cfm It integrates with other security solutions and even existing school communication systems to sequence actions, messages and even provide real time reporting of the success and responses during a lock down. Automation of the lockdown process eliminates the opportunity for human error under stress and provides valuable information that first responders can immediately use to focus attention where it is needed most.
Technology isn’t the only piece, but it represents a meaningful and significant part of the answer. Companies like ECD Systems will continue to share the message and apply our experience and solutions. The rest will continue to be debated by the pundits and politicians.
For more information contact:
ECD Systems (A PASS Sponsor)