Schools are facing increasing security challenges, ranging from campus violence to thefts, from vandalism to natural disasters. Abductions, Shootings, Bullying, Thefts, Vandalism, Visitor Management, Bomb threats, Fire, Earthquakes, Local Community Emergencies.
According to the respondents to the Campus Safety Magazines 2013 yearbook & survey, here are some top challenges for schools in 2013:
- 43% more than 2 in 5 campuses lack a visitor management system
- 39% have a video system not integrated with other systems
- 33% have radio systems that can’t interoperate with first responder from other jurisdictions
- 25% or 1 in 4 campuses do not feel prepared to respond to active shooter incidents
Higher Education and school districts often have sufficient network infrastructures to support everything they need in terms of unified collaborative safety and security applications on the network including video surveillance, electronic access controls and incident management.
By necessity, education institutions are in the category of excellence in deploying networked solutions since they must make very efficient use of their IT resources and leverage their existing IT and networks assets. Schools and campuses are looking for simple and effective solutions that provide greater benefits and can be operated and managed easily as a unified and centralized IT solution and operated easily, and also provides the flexibility to incorporate future technologies as they become available. Schools and campuses are often using multiple vendors or products with limited capabilities and this often creates an inconsistent set of solutions, that are much more difficult to manage, are these solutions are often not centrally managed or well integrated. These solutions often do not provide the value, benefits or end-to-end system and integration capabilities that are needed by schools and universities for collaborative safety and security solutions to be effective. On the other hand, Cisco solutions are designed to do this and deliver the capabilities of collaborative and useful safety and security solutions allow schools and higher education organizations to REuse and USE their EXISTING network and IT assets, wired, wireless, unified communications, security that they already OWN have in place. This dramatically simplifies integration and use of these systems to achieve much greater value in making connections across these systems.
For example, the ability to connect video to existing Cisco IP Phones, or use IP Phones or Access Cards together to automatically lock down schools quickly and easily with a variety of methods. Check out these very brief videos from Cisco Partner, Day Automation , featured recently on WNYT TV news highlighting the story of how Hudson Falls is making schools safer. Day Automation also produced informative videos on how IP phones can control school access, send panic messages and be used for door alarm surveillance. Here is a link to the user guide for access control and IP phone integration.