In recent years, campus security has become one of the highest priorities for schools around the nation. Whether you’re the security director for your school district, the superintendent, or the principal, your top concern is likely the same: keeping your students and staff safe.
With so many different options and opinions out there, it can be challenging to find the video surveillance system that’s right for your school campus. Here’s a few ideas and pointers to help you design your system.
Monitor who’s coming and going: Secure your entry points
Traditional security concerns in schools are theft and vandalism, but in recent years, the main concern has become knowing who is in the building. Solving this takes the power of both video cameras and access control, as an integrated solution.
It’s important to control and monitor key entry points on a daily basis. But in emergency situations, it’s even more crucial. Integrating HD CCTV cameras with access control at your doors will help prevent incidents and help you better respond if and when there is one. Additionally, remote video access to your cameras can give local law enforcement a big advantage in case of an emergency.
Access control isn’t just designed to prevent intruders. Securing doors and points of entry can also help prevent acts of theft and vandalism, and can help everyone in your building feel safer.
Make sure your video quality is actionable
At its core, video surveillance is about being able to clearly see the bad guys. Analog and older IP cameras are not able to provide the resolution needed to see the detail required to take action. You can make out the general shape of a human, but inadequate resolution, baggy clothes and hoodies prevent us from determining whether male or female and it is impossible to capture a clear face image for positive identification.
Both IP and analog cameras can give you high quality video depending on your Targeted Recording Area (TRA) and where the cameras are positioned. Optimizing camera placement, getting cameras with the right resolution, and having the right number of cameras in a hallway, room or lobby area will help you get the right video quality. Download our buyer’s guide to video surveillance for more information on how to select cameras for your school.
At the end of the day, better video quality will help you – and if ever necessary, local law enforcement – to see exactly who is in your building and monitor their activity.
The differences between an attractive solution and a practical solution
There’s often a gap between the hot new technology and the surveillance solution that’s right for your campus. Remember your needs: a clear picture of the activity in key areas and monitoring who enters and exits the building. A comprehensive, yet basic, system will often be more practical and budget-friendly than the just-released technology.
The latest and greatest technology is powerful and great to have, but might not be practical for every situation. For example, new technology can pinpoint the precise location of a gunshot within a building. That state-of-the-art feature is used for a very specific purpose, is very effective, and is very expensive. It’s great to have the new, buzzword technology, but it’s often more practical to first focus on the basics – control who enters and exits your building and monitor activity both on the inside and outside.
The best starting point is to boil it down and ask yourself: What do you already have? What do you need? Once you've nailed down the basics, you can begin designing a solution that will fill in the gaps.
The solution that fits your needs is probably more affordable than you think. With CCTV cameras in hallways and by securing entry points, you will be able to respond to and record threats such as vandalism, theft, and intruders.