The Popular Mechanics Guide to Safer Schools

Original Article:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/security/a22613334/safer-schools-guide/

Attacks in our schools seem to be occurring with more frequency and with higher intensity. But the response among political and school-district leaders has often been confused and often been understandably inconsistent. Schools are not, in fact, more common targets for mass shootings than other public venues. But as free and open places for learning, creativity, and athletics, they are particularly vulnerable. And of course schools have a special obligation to keep the children in their care safe.

Protecting schools is a particularly terrible and vexing problem. But Popular Mechanics has always been about solving problems. This is not a story about guns or rights or control. Those debates will take a log time to play out. There will be no legislative solution tomorrow or the next day or by the end of this school year. In the meantime, we decided to apply our expertise to the physical structure of schools—how can we make these buildings a little more secure? And how can we do so without making schools feel like prisons?

We consulted with building engineers, security experts, and leaders at schools that have suffered the awful trauma of a shooting and applied hard lessons from that experience. In this guide, you’ll learn about some of the basic physical and organizational changes that any school can make in order to become safer and less fearful. It is designed so that any member of a school community wondering what measures they should consider—and also what they shouldn’t—can find something useful.

One other point: The likelihood of a person with a gun walking into any given school tomorrow or the next day is very, very low. As you’ll see, some improvements that are designed to guard against such a horror can also have benefits in helping a school mitigate other common problems—and even improve its sense of community.

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Use Common Sense When Purchasing Campus Security Technology

Originally Posted:
https://www.campussafetymagazine.com/technology/use-common-sense-campus-security-technology-purchases/

In my line of work, I see a lot of security technology and solutions that are effective. I also see some that are downright silly, impractical or even dangerous.  Unfortunately, when a highly publicized active shooter attack happens on a campus, some people let their fears outweigh their common sense. This makes them prone to making ill-advised technology and equipment purchases.

A great example of this is bullet-proof backpacks, which can cost as much as $500 each. Inevitably after something like a Parkland, Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech tragedy happens, parents rush out to buy these things in hopes they will protect their children from the next school shooting.

There are several issues I have with these backpacks:

  • Although the rate of gun violence in America is unacceptably high, the chances of someone being killed by an active shooter are really, really small. You are much more likely to be struck by lightning.
  • Even in the unlikely event that a student does get caught up in an active shooter attack, the backpack won’t protect them from the front or side. Additionally, in an effort to get away from the shooter more quickly, they might take off their backpack, rendering it useless.
  • Again, in the unlikely event that a student experiences a school shooting, there is a really good chance the student won’t be wearing their backpack if they are sitting in class, at lunch, playing on the playground or exercising in physical education class.

I also have issues with schools installing ballistic classroom doors, which can cost around $4,000 each. In all my years running Campus Safety magazine and CampusSafetyMagazine.com, I have yet to hear of a school, university or hospital shooter successfully breaching a locked interior door. Even those wimpy push-button locks haven’t been breached (yet).  That’s because active shooters almost always want high body counts. When they encounter a locked door, they simply move on to an entrance that isn’t locked or is a softer target.

Now, there might come a time when an active shooter will breach a locked interior door. However, the likelihood of that happening at your specific campus is infinitesimally small. It’s even smaller than the remote chance of an active shooter attack happening at your location in the first place.

I’m not saying that ballistic doors don’t have their place on some campuses. If you have a high-security location —such as a nuclear facility or infectious disease research lab — that type of solution might be very appropriate. But if you install those doors on your run-of-the-mill classrooms, you are probably wasting your money.

So which security technologies and equipment should your campus buy? I generally prefer solutions that have multiple applications and can prevent or mitigate multiple risks. For example, locks not only enable  teachers to lockdown their classrooms, locks also can also prevent theft and vandalism. The purchase is even better if you can use it during your day-to-day operations. For example, card access control solutions not only improve security, the cards themselves can be used by students, faculty, clinicians and staff as debit cards, cafeteria cards, library cards, laundry access cards and more.

So, here is a list of just some the security equipment and technologies I believe are wise investments:

  • Classroom door locks: These should comply with all fire and ADA codes, and should be lockable from the inside of the room so a teacher, administrator or other staff member can quickly lockdown and shelter in place.
  • Access control: Card access systems can enable a campus to lockdown quickly. They also allow administrators to deactivate a card when a person stops attending the school or an employee is terminated. Additionally, data from these systems can help law enforcement investigate campus crime.
  • Two-way radios and other forms of emergency communication: These should be used not only during security and safety incidents, but also for regular campus operations. If possible, radios should be able to communicate with local first responders during an emergency.
  • Emergency notification: Multiple layers of these mass communication devices should be deployed, such as public address systems, text alerts, voice evac systems, strobes, digital signage, etc.
  • Security cameras: Video surveillance can help security personnel verify alarms. Additionally, cameras can help with investigations, as well as monitor other issues, such as damage from flooding and crowds at concerts and athletic events.
  • Fire alarms: These sound when there is a fire and can be leveraged for mass notification.
  • Intrusion alarms: These can monitor campuses during off-hours, as well as areas prone to tampering or other issues (such as flooding).
  • Window security film: This solution not only slows down a would-be attacker from entering through a window, it also prevents glass from breaking during severe weather emergencies and protects building occupants from flying debris. Additionally, it can help conserve energy.
  • Secure vestibules: This approach funnels all visitors through one entrance so their identity can be verified.
  • Anonymous tip lines: These should not only accept information via phone, but also text and online. They can identify potential active shooters as well as individuals who might be suicidal or experiencing some other crisis.

There are many more excellent solutions on the market that I haven’t mentioned here, but this is a good start. In addition to these, be sure you incorporate Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) concepts. Also, don’t forget about other non-technical solutions, such as threat assessment and management; training of officers, other staff, students and clinicians; mental health services; social services and more.

There are a lot of great campus security solutions on the market right now, but campuses must do their research and use some common sense so they invest wisely.

 

School Resource Officers Advance Safety through Relationship-Based Policing

SROs and relationship-based policing

The Virginia House of Delegates has agreed to a set of school safety recommendations produced by a special committee appointed after the mass violence at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018.

Among the recommendations is increased funding for school resource officers (SROs). Secure Schools Alliance Executive Director Robert Boyd spoke with the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Justin Mattingly about the recommendations and the important role SROs play in advancing school safety. Boyd noted that SROs should be trained and invested in the schools they protect.

The article also reads in part:

“It’s a calling, just like teaching,” Boyd said. “Police officers that want to be in schools need to be involved in what we’re now calling relationship-based policing.

“They ought to be involved in the everyday life of a school. They’re not just there to enforce the law – they’re really there to have this relationship-based policing with our youngest citizens.”

Read the full article.

Build US Schools

Public school facilities are inequitably funded. Public school districts rely heavily on local taxes to fund their buildings. On average, states fund only 18% of the cost of school construction and modernization. 12 states pay nothing. Worse, the federal government pays for less than 1%, all through FEMA. All that translates into an annual gap of $38 billion between what communities should be spending to modernize their schools — and what they can afford.

https://www.buildusschools.org/

Safe and Sound Schools

Article Originally On: https://www.safeandsoundschools.org/

Our mission is to support school crisis prevention, response, and recovery, and to protect every school and every student, every day.We have always — and only — focused on school safety. We are firm in our mission and firm in our resolve, and we will continue to provide research-based education, tools, and resources to ensure the safest possible learning environment for the youth of our nation.

The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools

ORIGINALLY FOUND AT: https://passk12.org/

The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) has a singular focus: To provide school administrators, school boards and public safety and security professionals with guidelines for implementing a layered and tiered approach to securing and enhancing the safety of their school environments.

Today’s school safety and security challenges are multifaceted and complex.  There is no single action that that will, by itself, make our schools safe, and for that reason it is essential to pursue solutions across the emergency management spectrum of prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery.

However, it is clear that modern, effective security infrastructure should be an essential component of any comprehensive school safety strategy.  When other prevention efforts fail, facility security measures are critical to protection, mitigation and response to school violence.

The PASS guidelines are focused on best practices for securing school facilities.  They were developed to help address several needs identified by the education community:

  • Identification of specific actions that can be taken to raise the baseline of security
  • Information on vetted security practices specific to K-12 environments
  • A means to measure current facility security with best practices despite the general lack of standards and legislative or regulatory requirements
  • Identification of multiple options for addressing security needs, based on available resources

This session will be a high level review of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), the challenges schools face in securing their environments and the PASS roadmap of “Best Practices” and tools to help school districts through the process.

To protect our kids and make schools safer, let’s turn to the states for help

After a tragic shooting in a south Florida school earlier this year, 17 parents no longer wait for the sound of the school bus coming home in the afternoon. Among families across the states, awareness is at a fever pitch, and calls for action are plentiful. But, action does not necessarily mean solutions.

Budget appropriations do not necessarily mean safety. With more than 150 school safety related bills considered by state legislatures this year, the American people and the legislators they have elected have a unique opportunity to create real solutions for school safety. Today’s epidemic of school violence calls for a full review and in-depth study of school security practices and what proposals have been proven to work.

Will change come from perimeter security or door wedges? These are real questions. The answer to each is yes, no and maybe. While swift action — in the form of appropriation — shows legislators are committed to ensuring school safety, there are myriad solutions that deserve attention and analysis.

Nationally, there are about 100,000 K-12 public schools, serving nearly 50 million students with six million teachers and staff, for about 180 days of every year. With thousands of school systems implementing a variety of approaches to school safety, there is no shortage of effort, but legislators need to identify and help implement solutions that work.

And, all options should be on the table. However, the real question is not who can act the fastest, but what actions can be taken that give kids and schools the safe learning environment they deserve. There are no binary solutions to tackle these issues, but an uncompromising commitment to school safety must be the focus of all decision makers at every level of government.

Many programs, solutions and resources are already in place in states around the nation. School security and safety reforms in states like Connecticut, Indiana, and others should serve as successful blueprints for other states.

The implementation of reforms must be done quickly and efficiently, but with the needed time for empirical analysis of program results. Some school safety measures can be costly, though others may be simple and cost effective. Utah’s SafeUT Line a 24/7 anonymous tip line available to students to report bullying or threats empowers students with a “see something, say something” mentality.

Some states already offer promising practices that are being implemented to great effect. Lawmakers in Connecticut have passed laws requiring electronic surveillance at access points to campuses, as well as tamper proof locks.

In Texas, the Texas School Safety Center was created in 2001 to serve as a central location for school safety information and school security state wide. As part of its role, it implements active shooter trainings, security risk assessments, and secures additional funding for ensuring schools are secure against threats.

Mitigating threats alone will not make our schools safer for students and teachers. All too often we read that warning signs of troubled children were evident well before a tragedy occurs. Providing additional mental health resources for schools to intercede with students who may struggle with issues can help ensure they receive the care and support they need before they resort to violence. Providing these types of holistic approaches can stop the problem at its root.

Some states also have complex legal codes and structures in place that govern different aspects of schools in different manners. Creating a plan of action and working quickly to untangle bureaucratic logjams is key to helping effectively create legislation that will create safer campuses and give lawmakers the understanding they need to create standards in areas they may never have imagined.

As the largest voluntary membership association of American state legislators, the American Legislative Exchange Council is uniquely positioned to convene such a discussion. This week, more than one thousand state legislators from across the 50 states will join together in New Orleans for an in-depth discussion about what’s working.

They will identify principles for school security. These are not prescriptions, rather they will be a broad framework for guidance, assessment and implementation that take all factors and stakeholders into account.

It’s time for states around nation to come together and share the tools needed to ensure kids are safe and focused on learning. Now is not the time for partisanship or personal attacks. It is not the time for motive questioning or marginalizing possible solutions. Our kids are too important. They are the most important. Everyone agrees on that point, so let’s start there.

Robert Boyd is the executive director of Secure Schools Alliance, a national leadership organization focused on improving the security infrastructure, security technology and life safety systems of America’s K-12 public schools. Lisa B. Nelson is chief executive officer of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the nation’s largest voluntary membership association of state legislators.

Special Edition: School Security

Dear Readers,

In 2017, the Secure Schools Alliance (the Alliance) began a unique relationship with the DomPrep Journal. The goal was to raise awareness of the need to improve K-12 school security within the emergency preparedness community.

Recognizing that school shootings are low-probability/high-consequence events, The Alliance has provided digital content to the journal over the past year. This content began with the macro argument of why school security needs to be improved and concluded with a call to recognize that schools are a critical part of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, which has been ignored for way too long.

These articles showed that one does not need to sustain a physical injury to be a victim of a mass event at a school. They expressed the need to educate students on what “see something say something” means and the critical role of the public safety community in the education of youths. They shared how one community has been impacted by multiple mass incidents and how they responded and recovered.

As the Alliance and its partners make the rounds with legislators and policy makers, the question is frequently asked, “How much will school security improvements cost?” One article showed how much the favored approach, The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) guidelines, cost one school district and what that approach would cost on a state-by- state basis.

A huge concern in the frenzy after recent school shootings is the need to balance security and safety concerns. That issue was addressed with a case study of one state, Indiana, which has been proactive in its approach to school safety and appropriately serves as a model for other states.

Many states are passing legislation and forming commissions and task forces to address the needs of their states and communities. Unfortunately, many states are merely throwing money at what they perceive to be the problems, sometimes without careful thought or research into the solutions they prescribe. Policy makers are urged to consult with those organizations representing educators, parents, public safety, law enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, industry, and nonprofits that remain at the forefront of protecting safe and secure schools.

This journey began a year ago, in 2017. So far in 2018, the United States has had more of its citizens die in school shootings than in its entire military. The time for action is now.

Sincerely,
Robert Boyd, Executive Director, Secure Schools Alliance

Littleton Public Schools Evolve Security Roadmap with Collaborative Team

In late 2012, Guy Grace, LPS Director of Security and Emergency Planning, Littleton Public Schools, came to an important conclusion, “I was so frustrated with our DVRs that we’d been installing since the last bond issue approval. At first, they were meeting our needs, they could handle the PTZ cameras and motion detection, but over time the supplier started eliminating basic functions we needed. It was making our jobs harder than they needed to be.”

Littleton Public Schools (LPS), in Colorado, continue to roll out new cameras, hybrid NVRs, access control, intrusion, and a host of other systems, as they move toward their ambitious goal of creating a district-wide, comprehensive Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) system.

Upon completion, the new PSIM system will oversee and coordinate security for approximately 15,000 students and staff at LPS’ 27 school and administrative buildings, spread out over 29 miles. “A full-fledged PSIM system is our end goal. We can bring a variety of systems that are non-proprietary—access control, VMS, fire detection, perimeter, mass notification, barrier protection/detection, and diagnostic systems—all together into one unified system. Technology has my back,” said Grace.

In December 2013, LPS suffered a fatal shooting at their Arapahoe High School. “The shooting caused us to expedite everything, and our technology and integrator partners (Beacon Communications and Team Linx) responded well to our sped-up timeline.”

Grace added, “A PSIM allows us the flexibility to grow and expand, if needed we can have four operators at any one time in our control room. We have the flexibility to bring in people to deal with what is happening, what is needed. My staff needs to liaise with 145 users across our entire district. We have to manage this system as efficiently as possible, so we train our people to wear multiple hats. It seems to be working; we have not had any staff turnover since 2010.”

A total of 145 people have access to the video footage and eventually all data coming from the PSIM. At present, LPS is issuing various users with 145 tablets with Android software to enable mobility and faster, more accurate responses. LPS is providing designated security and police vehicles with video feeds as well.

“One of the greatest challenges related to K-12 security technology deployments is to have the ability to evolve with constantly changing demands on school safety. School Security must enhance the ability of the students to learn and for teachers to teach. In 2004, we put in a fantastic analog, black box cabling system. It was great then, but 10 years later, it’s completely obsolete because it so severely limits our options and ability to respond to a changing landscape,” recalled Grace.

Other major vendor partners in the LPS project included Open Options, Aiphone, and Altronix for access control, while Bosch, Inovonics, and Optex handled intrusion detection.

Staying Well Ahead of Obsolescence

In the past, there were significant challenges that arose when school districts deployed security technology. Often the older technology did not evolve with new threats and as a result became obsolete. A school district can overcome obsolescence by utilizing a PoE infrastructure for its security technology deployments. PoE allows a school district to adopt non-proprietary technologies for access control, IP cameras, Intercoms, duress, asset protection, mass notification, to name a few.  As a result, the school district is able to immediately adapt and mitigate new vulnerabilities.

“As we looked out over the technology supplier landscape, we were looking for companies that were consistently evolving their technologies. In doing so, we could evolve alongside our chosen technology providers. Now, we can implement in different schools and move equipment around. Without PoE, we simply could not evolve. We’re not stuck like 10 years ago, as long as the makers continue to innovate. We’re avoiding being stagnant, and using our capital reserve money to invest for the future. We can now afford to do things we could never do before,” said Grace.  “Our overall security goal is pretty simple:  we must have quality technology delivering quality results because we cannot have a successful educational experience without safety and security well taken care of.”

Technology Partners’ Contributions

Physical Security Information Management System

Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) is a category of software that provides a platform and applications created by middleware developers, designed to integrate multiple unconnected security applications and devices and control them through one comprehensive user interface. It collects and correlates events from existing disparate security devices and information systems (video, access control, sensors, analytics, networks, building systems, etc.) to empower personnel to identify and proactively resolve situations. PSIM integration enables numerous organizational benefits, including increased control, improved situation awareness and management reporting.

LPS is considered a pioneer in PSIM and an industry influencer for other school districts to adopt similar processes with life safety systems.  The LPS PSIM officially came online mid-summer 2016. The system being deployed is a first of its kind in K-12 due to its interactivity design for the operator. The system is customized for various users from the District Security office to the users at the school level. LPS looked at several vendors and Open Options was able to prove that they could meet our specifications and high-level needs.

PoE Cabling for the Future

Power over Ethernet allows a single cable to provide both data connection and electrical power to devices such as intercoms, door controllers, and security cameras. PoE-based devices are the new standard in security equipment such as surveillance and access control. The whole LPS Physical Security System is based on a POE data and power system.  The district used the 2012 bond issue to install PoE infrastructure to meet LPS security needs for many years to come. This infrastructure allows LPS to add and/or move needed security devices such as cameras, card readers, and other devices without tremendous upfront expenses. With the old way of adding security components to an access control system, the costliest component was often the installation of the device, not the device itself. The PoE infrastructure also improves response times in the upkeep of the systems. Each school has dedicated environmentally controlled Main Distribution Facility rooms dedicated to housing, organizing, and protecting the cabling and main hardware components. PoE cabling needs for the school district came through integrators Beacon Communications and Team Linx.

Updated Video Surveillance Systems

In the summer of 2015, LPS began migrating existing analog surveillance systems to 3xLOGIC NDVRs. The first schools went online in August 2015.  The LPS Security Department also improved the base systems at each school by adding additional HD cameras. It was determined that the new 3xLOGIC security cameras were more cost effective, of higher quality, easier to install, and had a longer lifespan than the older technology—this was unexpected, welcome news and a clear indication of LPS growing with evolving, improving technology.

As a result of lessons learned, the bond issues for 2016 and 2017 determined that it was more cost efficient for the long term for all existing analog cameras to be replaced with new IP cameras.  Now, the new video surveillance system fully integrates with the PISM system. Over time, LPS Security will also utilize many of the new features the updated Video Surveillance system offers such as analytics, tracking, motion sensors, and mobile applications.

“I really liked that the hybrid NVR allowed me to incorporate existing analog cameras and add new IP cameras whenever I wanted. This was a lifesaver because I can eliminate older tech and migrate to IP at my pace and budget. This also allows us to have compatibility across all our schools, and that’s crucial,” said Grace.

Once the project is completed, LPS will have a total 1400 cameras, of which about 800 cameras are installed as of August 2016. Grace expects full migration to HD IP cameras by 2017.

Access Control System

The most visible security equipment at the schools is the proximity card readers at designated entrances, followed by two-way video intercom stations and the security cameras on the exterior of the building.

To address the “all hazards” emergencies the school district may face, the security system must be integrated with technologies that meet district needs. School security in a basic sense starts with access control. As for the LPS, the district sought an access control partner able to provide a user-friendly monitoring interface while also providing the ability to interface with other technology providers now and in the future. The system had to be open source to suit the district’s needs for many years. After significant research and multiple demonstrations, Open Options was chosen. In 2012, before selecting Open Options, LPS had already selected 3xLogic for the VMS. Open Options and 3xLOGIC immediately worked together in 2013 to create the drivers and processes that would allow the two to build the backbone of the access control system.

Updated Loss Prevention Devices

In the 2012 bond issue, LPS chose to update existing loss prevention devices. Loss prevention devices are motion detectors, door contacts, and beam detectors that are deployed inside and outside LPS Schools. LPS had a strong partnership with Inovonics wireless since 2002 and chose them again to be the provider. Inovonics products allowed the district to avoid hard wiring the devices to a panel, which saves the district substantial money in avoiding installation costs for wiring and conduit.

Duress Systems

With regard to duress systems, by utilizing the Inovonics loss prevention system the district can add duress devices to infrastructure. The first deployment of the duress system is to utilize the devices as one way to quickly lock down the school and call for help. In the future, by adding more devices this establishes a safer environment by providing an easy method for teachers to signal for help with panic buttons. Inovonics mobile duress panic buttons are easily integrated into the existing security system panels to provide an effective increase in safety. By deploying this solution, the district is able to provide a cost efficient, easily maintained a system that can expand and evolve to meet changing needs.

Inovonics integrated into Bosch panels, which in turn are integrated into the VALCOM system for mass notification. If a wireless lockdown button is pushed the card readers are disabled and the door strikes lock and mass notification messages are broadcasted. This acts as an immediate barrier to an active shooter while enhancing the response of staff and students inside affected schools.

Updated Video Intercom Capabilities

LPS is installing two-way intercoms at all the schools. The chosen technology is the Aiphone IX Series Intercoms, featuring video entry security, internal communication, emergency stations, and paging. All system units and apps can unlock doors remotely, assist onsite visitors from an offsite location, broadcast emergency announcements, and communicate over the PoE network.

Among the standout features from the technology is the intercom’s ability to record audio and video of visitors on the network digital video recorders. Now, LPS has an extra camera, the ability to record all the transactions at the door in voice and video, the ability to talk to the door from the school and from the security office miles away. Also, these intercoms can now be used as call-for-help stations 24/7.

Integration of Mass Notification Systems

Through the VALCOM system and integration with the PSIM system, the district implemented safety alert protocols for the start of the 2016 school year. Currently, LPS has mass notification announcements including fire, lockdown, secured perimeter, directed response, lightning alert, tornado watch, and a tornado warning. Speakers are placed strategically inside and outside the schools for mass notification. They also work in conjunction with fire strobes. The district security office and each individual school can implement any of these alerts at any time.

PC, Android, and Mobile Applications

The new PSIM system is fully deployable for mobile applications, LPS is issuing 145 tablets with Android software to users for mobile responses. Security Officers and School Resource Officers can utilize video surveillance system data while on patrol from designated mobile devices. Intercoms and visitor management can also be done on District-provided android devices. Each school is also being provided a custom PSIM interface to be utilized by staff for security needs. Designated, authorized persons have access to cameras, building schedules, and the ability to know when a door is open. The district is providing designated security and police vehicles with video and data feeds as well.

Motivated Integrators

Grace is in near-daily contact with his integrators, Beacon Communications, and Team Linx. Both integrators installed the security infrastructure at the schools. Linx also won the contract to complete the LPS head end command center.

“Non-proprietary technologies allow the district to stay on the curve with addressing all hazards emergencies. This strategy also helps us bring the best technology into the district and it attracts the best integrators to help us with selecting products and developing processes and solutions.”  The integrators were early advocates of open systems, “Through our integrators, we also made sure that all of our stakeholders were reached in the design and build of the system.”

The System in Action

Grace described how the system works for him, “I have already taken out some installed 3xlogic cameras and put in newer cameras that have evolved with better features. I have moved the older cameras to a place those cameras work great and used the new tech to address higher-level needs. I suffer no loss of money, and the ease of installation allows us to do the work. So, let’s say we want to try intercoms down the road; we can do that by using the same cabling already installed in the schools.

Another emphasis is LPS’s ability to empower each of the 26 schools in their own security.  Grace pointed out that all the systems will be on 145-plus employees’ desktops so that these employees can facilitate access control and site security as well.

“Over the last number of years, more money has been provided to the Security Department because our work has a tremendous benefit to the school district in that it enhances the learning environment and makes us more attractive to parents who are shopping for the best school. The LPS Board has been very impressed, they see money well spent and that’s huge. We’re not a cost center; we’re an innovative department adding tangible value,” added Grace who also said the new system has reduced vandalism 75 percent.

“The ease of system use and the compliments we get have seen a big improvement. That’s huge. You want it to be a positive experience so that our people will use it. If we’re using the integrated PSIM system, then we’re successfully improving security on our campuses,” Grace concluded.

Submitted by:  Guy Grace, LPS and Bruce Doneff, 3xLOGIC