Preventing crimes and making sure students feel safe on campus are two of the most important objectives of any campus security organization. We at Guardly have composed a list of the top 25 measures that college security staff can employ to maintain in school safety.
1. If you do not already have a mass notification system then ensure you install one as soon as possible.
Mass notification systems are highly prevalent among colleges and universities across North America. For example, a study conducted by Siemens of 77 high-learning institutions found that every single one had some type of mass notification system. MNS systems help prevent crime and we at Guardly recommend that security professionals investigate how they benefit campus safety.
2. When the school year starts send a mass notification to every student with the contact information for campus security services.
3. Make sure health facilities are up to date and that there is a campus physician on-staff at all times.
The incidence of contagious diseases being spread on health facilities is startling. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control there are 7 million infections and 99,000 deaths annually in the United States during hospital visits. Therefore, having extremely clean and modern campus health facilities with a campus doctor available 24/7 will improve the health of your whole college.
4. Make note of the places on campus where the most crimes occur and increase your security presence in those targeted areas.
This increase may include extra security patrols and/or the installation of cctv cameras and emergency phones. Many universities realize the importance of increasing their security presence on university campuses. For example, a report by Purdue university recommends doubling the amount of security cameras on-campus.
5. In order to increase in school safety, ensure that the school administrators and professors are kept fully up-to-date on all criminal activity on campus.
The staff and professors of your universities are in many cases on campus more than your school’s students and as a matter of personal-safety, they have a right to know if there is a crime committed on campus. Additionally, they are instrumental in managing your school and communicating with the student population. Therefore, keeping them up-to-date on all criminal activity on campus will help them craft school policy, administer budgets and communicate with students, in such as way as to always keep in mind concerns about criminal acts on campus.
6. Make sure to employ the latest technology to protect your campus.
Mobile safety apps can help your students feel safe at school and immediately notify campus police, with their location, should they experience an emergency. Our company provides a very cost-effective method of turning your student’s smartphone into a virtual blue light emergency phone which will drastically improve college safety.
7. Organize self-defense classes on campus.
For example, the University of Ottawa has an on-campus self-defense program called Rape Aggression Defense. This program, which costing $20, is affordable for all students, specializes in teaching women self-defense in case of an attack on campus. The program is well integrated with school counselling services and the program instructors are well versed in the sensitivities towards students who may have been survivors of sexual violence.
8. Promote a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment, drugs, and other common on campus crimes.
9. Encourage female students to always keep pepper spray in case of an attack.
10. Ensure there is proper lighting on paths and secluded sections on campus.
Having well lit paths is very important to maintaining and improving college campus safety. For example, A University of Minnesota study of its Duluth campus suggested that improving the lighting systems around certain targeted areas around campus could help reduce crime.
11. Check to make sure your campus’ wifi is always working so students can use personal safety applications, such as Guardly, in case of an emergency.
The internet and mobile technologies have provided people with better ways to keep safe on campus. Location-based personal safety applications such as Guardly are committed to take advantage of these technological breakthroughs.
12. Frequently inspect your cctv cameras and emergency phones, ensuring your security equipment is working properly.
13. Provide top-notch training for new hires and continuing education for your more experienced security staff, in order to have well trained security personnel who can effectively combat crime on-campus.
14. In compliance with the Clearly Act make sure all crimes are reported to the proper authorities and that the campus community is made aware of all crimes committed.
Jeanne Clearly was a 19 year old freshman who was raped and murdered on campus in 1986. In response the this heinous crime the federal government introduced a bill that demands universities gather and report all crimes committed on, or near the school’s campus.
15. Encourage respect for cultural diversity on campus. Develop cross-cultural learning opportunities for students and implement a zero-tolerance policy for hate crimes.
16. Maintain a security escort or a walk-safe program for students walking alone at night in order to improve in school safety.
York university has a program called goSAFE which is staffed completely by university students. This program allows anyone on campus between the hours of 6:00pm to 2:00am to be safely escorted by a student to their class, residence, vehicle or any other place on campus. Using Guardly’s personal-safety application can help improve your walk-safe program. This is because a student who feels the need to be escorted on-campus, can instantly contact your walk-safe program and you will immediately know the student’s location, increasing the efficiency and speed at which the student can be reached by one of your staff members.
17. Provide a special ombudsman who can address issues such as sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
18. Ensure your campus complies with your school’s or your local government’s accessibility standards, including the American Disability Act, by making sure your campus is accessible for people with disabilities. To meet these requirements, ensure that you have installed necessary equipment including ramps, elevators, emergency phones or virtual emergency phones like Guardly.
The American Disability Act states that “ no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability” and this type of accommodation is applicable to post-secondary institutions. Guardly helps you keep in compliance with the ADA because it provides your students with a powerful way to instantly communicate with you should a disabled student experience an emergency on campus related to their disability.
19. Create and instill a harmonious relationship with local businesses and residential neighbourhoods close to campus. This could include informing the local community should on campus crimes occur and fostering dialogue with representatives of local businesses and neighbourhoods.
For example, Boston University has a top notch community outreach program. Its mission statement exemplifies the program’s goal to improve their community. Specifically it states that “The Community Service Center aims to provide the Boston University community with opportunities to address and improve the critical concerns of Greater Boston” This initiative has strengthened the ties between Boston University and the local community and is clearly beneficial to campus safety.
20. Increase your college campus security presence during events where crimes are more likely to occur, such as heated political demonstrations or your school’s pub night.
21. Maintain close ties with your school’s student council ensuring that you keep them up to date on all campus security matters. Maintaining a good working relationship between the student council and security staff can greatly help improve campus safety.
22. Conduct yearly audits and always look for ways to improve in school safety.
The Clearly Act mandates that campus security professionals compile annual statistics on crimes committed on campus. Consequently, personal safety applications such as Guardly can help you compile the data needed for your reports. Specifically, when a student sets off a Guardly alert you will immediately receive their exact location, medical profile and be able to maintain constant communication throughout the emergency. Therefore, using Guardly increases your ability to monitor and respond to crimes committed on campus, dramatically improving your data collection and reporting schemes.
23. Have a zero-tolerance policy for racial profiling amongst your college security staff.
24. Install large emergency signs and maps around campus for students and staff, in order to help them feel safe on campus and provide instructions to students in case of an emergency.
25. Make sure all fire alarms and smoke detectors are working and up to date. Conduct yearly fire drills in order to ensure that your campus community is well prepared for any type of emergency.
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Guardly provides mobile safety solutions for reporting and managing enterprise and public safety emergencies.Our safety apps act as personal emergency phones that transmit real-time indoor/GPS location, and provides two-way communication with private security, 911 authorities and safety groups using our real-time platform for emergency incident monitoring, management, communication and response.
- Read our customer campus safety study showing how Guardly helped improve emergency response times by 44% at a school.
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