3 Ways That Technology Can Boost Campus Security
The need for increased security on college campuses is a growing concern for parents, family members, and loved ones. In the news and media online, you can hear or read about incidents, accidents, and even violent crimes that are taking place on US college campuses. Technology can offer increased security, regardless of the reason for the apparent increase in crime on university campuses. An increase in security on our college campuses should be one benefit of living in the age of growing technology. So, how can we use technology to keep our students safe?
- Security Alerts Delivered by Text Messages and Apps:
As a college student once, myself, I remember receiving text messages directly to my “dumb phone” through my college’s optional text message alert system. Even though I attended college without an Android or iPhone, I was able to receive immediate alerts from my university about threats on campus. Sometimes the alert was regarding an impending snow storm, and sometimes campus alerts via text message enabled me to be aware of a possible threat to campus security. Technology now has far surpassed the ability to protect its student bodies just through text message alerts. Although university’s security departments can quickly notify entire student populations through a simple text message, now as noted by Meghan Bortez many security apps and gadgets are widely available to students to increase their personal protection and security.
- Increased Lighting and Advanced Cameras:
Automatic lighting systems and sensors can be placed across entire university campuses to increase security. Some ways we can increase campus security are actually quite simple. we can protect our students by increasing the amount and quality of security lights. Students will feel more secure when walking back and forth to classes when security lights are distributed throughout the campus. No areas should be left completely in the dark. Neal Raisman author or “10 Steps to Create a More Secure Campus,” comments that increased lighting can not only offer increased protection but, may also decrease the student drop-out rate, because students may feel more secure when walking on campus at night. Also, noted by Meghan Bortez on www.edtechmagazine.com, an increase in the quality, quantity, and placement of cameras on university campuses can discourage petty theft and violent crime. When crimes do occur, campus security should be able to view camera footage to help identify the perpetrator.
- Place Emergency Blue Light Phones Across Campus:
Some campuses are now placing “emergency blue light phone systems,” across their campus. At the University of Florida, police have installed emergency blue light phones across their campus. These “phones” enable you to alert security immediately of a security breach or concern without even placing a phone call. At the press of a bottom on one of these tall blue, highly visible phone systems, students can instantly contact their campus’ security dispatch center. By pressing the button, the dispatch center will also know the student’s location immediately. The dispatch center can send security personnel to that precise location and speak to the student. These emergency blue light phones are an excellent way to increase security on campus and should be put in use on every campus across America to decrease violent crime.
What Else Can We Do?
With the technology that we have available today, there should be no excuses why the students of America are not feeling safe on their own college campuses in the afternoon or at night. University alert systems increased lighting and cameras, and emergency blue light phones or other security systems can immediately increase the security and safety of student bodies. In addition to taking advantage of today’s technology developments, students, faculty, and staff need to work together to put in place effective security systems on their own campuses. Increase communication, collaboration, and inform your student body from orientation to graduation about how to stay safe.
Neal Raisman presents additional simple suggestions that can be used by everyone. For example, universities can offer defense classes and post the university police department and emergency contact information in public spaces. There should be no reason that today’s generation of young adults should fear their safety on their own college campuses with the options that we have available today, provided through technology and university and student collaboration.