With a large number of students and faculty stepping foot onto college campuses every year, security is a huge priority. While all schools have security measures in place, some prefer to implement up-to-date technology. Basic types of campus security include campus police and video surveillance, while newer types seek to grab attention where students are usually looking — at the Internet. Schools are always looking for ways to better inform students and faculty about important information, from crime incidents to severe weather conditions.
Video cameras are one form of campus security that allows for viewing several areas of the campus at one time from a secure, remote location. Campus security monitors the footage and looks for any suspicious persons or activity in addition to any crimes in progress. This allows for someone to have eyes and ears on almost all areas of the campus at all times, whether it's on foot patrol or watching from behind a security camera.
A security system that has been used on college campuses for quite some time allows door access to secure areas only by swiping a photo ID card, which is issued by the school. The system is used in many areas, including dorms and certain buildings after hours. In some cases, students may only be able to enter school grounds after swiping or showing the ID card.
Campus police have proven to be an essential form of campus security. While some schools hire only non-certified security personnel, others hire certified police officers as well. They patrol on and around the campus grounds and also monitor video surveillance footage
Schools realized that in order to improve campus security, they would have to move along with technology. As the number of students with personal cell phones increased, followed by an increase in text messaging, schools upgraded to a text message emergency notification system. Emergency notices get sent to every student who registers for the service. Although it works, some schools encountered flaws with the system — one problem being that not every student registers for the notifications and the other problem that some schools experienced a lag between the time the texts are sent and received. Some students may not receive them for a few minutes or more while others won't receive anything for an hour or more.
Some schools have also started using computer notifications to improve campus security. They keep students up to date via social networking sites, email, the school's website and even desktop alerts. Those participating in desktop alerts receive emergency information even if they're off-campus, as long as they are hooked up to the Internet and have the proper programs installed on their computer.
Campus security is a vital part of keeping students and faculty safe. The various components work together to stop crime, prevent it from happening and notify students before a situation could escalate. Although they may often go unnoticed, they are around almost every area of the campus and watching behind the scenes.