Why campus security should be top of everyone’s agenda

International law enforcement agencies shoulder the heavy burden of responsibility for protecting a vulnerable public. This is especially so in America, where, according to GVA, there have been 35,840 gun-related incidents so far during 2019, with 263 mass shootings and 9,442 fatalities. It’s clear from these statistics that gun violence is an epidemic that today’s security systems aren’t doing enough to stop.

Venues vulnerable to mass shootings, such as schools, houses of worship and event centers don’t always have extensive security measures in place. As places where the public gathers, these locations must enhance security systems to protect patrons.

People, Policy, Platform

To best protect the public, those charged with security must begin to think holistically when it comes to integrating security personnel, processes and procedures and technology systems. This can be divided into three key areas: people, policy and platform.

People & Policy: The right training is essential for security personnel whose job it is to manage and respond to these incidents. First responders should receive guidance on how to identify behaviors that may be apparent prior to an attack and be familiar with organizational protocols. This should encompass training on how to work with early warning systems, for example, weapon detection technologies.

Platform: As security systems evolve it may be necessary for people to be retrained, as well as policies and procedures to be revised, thus allowing the effective introduction of new threat detection technologies. It should all work towards a unified goal of optimizing security systems and processes while minimizing tragedies.

Only by integrating people, policies, and platforms will we succeed in enhancing security.

What does this approach look like?

The future of public security is reliant on a cost-effective, layered multi-sensor approach. The technology exists today that allows for exactly this.

Computer vision technology has existed for over a decade. Now, with the power of AI, video management systems (VMS) can be enhanced with object recognition software. Using AI, object recognition technology can identify and flag visible threat objects, like guns and knives, in locations such as school entrances, transportation hubs, and event venues. This same AI-driven computer vision technology can also learn individuals’ normal behavior in specific settings, so when unusual behaviors occur, security can be alerted to pay extra close attention.

The AI approach to learning visible objects and human behavioral patterns can also be applied to discovering hidden objects. Using microwave radar and magnetic sensors to scan individuals and bags for threat objects and mass casualty weapons will not only protect individual identity but allow for security personnel to proactively address a potential threat before the weapon is drawn. The algorithm-based detection is non-biased of race, creed or color. If the technology detects a threat object, only then does the individual become of interest to security teams.

All these technologies can be integrated into a complete threat detection platform within a security operations center, monitored by trained professionals.

Combined, these systems provide an all-encompassing, proactive security model, deployable across a range of venues including schools, office buildings, event venues, and transport systems. The result is a comprehensive, non-obstructive approach to safeguarding the public.

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