Campus security is essential to ensure students and individuals feel safe to go about their activities without worry. For example, a campus can have a security guard patrol to work at the various departments, public spaces, gardens, lobbies, or other areas where they are allocated to oversee. Students are the primary entities on the campus, and their parents need to feel safe that their children are safe. Let’s take a look at why a campus should have security guard officers:
It keeps everyone calm
Campus security is a critical concern, as various stakeholders need to know the safety level of the premises and whether personnel and students are protected. For example, parents do not want to hand over their children to an unsafe campus. There is a wide range of security issues as various crimes can occur in the campus area, and having security guard officers instills order and confidence in the protection of an institution. It is a continuous process, and with time a campus builds up a good reputation, and it boosts the confidence of the stakeholders, such as investors and the parents. When everyone is comfortable, the campus’ activities can normally run without uncertainties regarding security.
Prevents crime and violence
Violence and crime are arguably the top elements in the security patrolling service. Security guards can identify them and respond timely, for example, if there are incidences of sexual harassment or fighting on the campus. Campus security should be proactive to deal with preventable cases instead of waiting for them to happen for guards to react. Having a clean security slate for any campus is unrealistic, as most incidents are unpredictable, and the guard will need to be there to handle the issues.
Controlling student unrest
Campuses are highly diverse, and there is always a probability of conflicts and tensions. Any scenario is not predictable on how bad it can get. It is not always about the background resulting from differences in ideologies or campus politics. Campus security should be in place to manage any situation that arises, as simple incidents can escalate and lead to detrimental effects. Security guards should be deployed around the campus, not as an intimidatory measure but as a safety precaution. Students and workers should not operate in a hostile environment, and everyone deserves peace.
It is the first line of defense
Some occurrences can be fatal yet highly unpredictable, for example, when there is a random shooter in the campus area. Students and personnel need to be protected, and law enforcement officers may not always arrive on time. Security guards can react appropriately to control such situations and stay put before the police can be ready to handle any aggravated situation. Handling scenarios like these are part of the security guards’ training and profession, and they should be able to do it diligently and timely.
Managing student life
Students are busy throughout the day, so it is no surprise that they could be up late at night, causing havoc. The evenings are prone to security problems; therefore, there should be an independent night security checklist to deal with issues that may arise around that time. Contributing factors can be drugs and alcohol because of the nightlife, which is also a considerable crime attraction. Campus security should deal with the havoc that comes with student life, protect the institution’s reputation, and instill confidence among the stakeholders.
Why invest in campus security?
Statistics from the School Crime and Safety Indicators show that out of all crimes, forcible sex offenses and burglaries in campuses make up 36% and 38%, respectively. They are serious crimes, and without good campus security, it is highly detrimental to the institution’s brand and can lead to loss of belief from the stakeholders. These figures should serve as a wake-up call and prompt the need to invest in a sound campus security system. With proper implementation, the campus can enjoy high student recruitment rates and can be a huge attraction for investors.
Security is not the ultimate solution, but procedures and policies should also govern the campus. The institution should look to gather support from the students, as they should understand how the resources work and be welcoming to any procedures and personnel deployed. A campus should implement awareness programs such as sexual assault prevention and mental health as they play a significant part in managing security. The policies can include controlling drug abuse and alcohol consumption to prevent unnecessary havoc in implementing security measures.
Where to start
The first step is to analyze the current campus security framework and develop an audit report to show the strengths, weaknesses, and potential gaps. An efficient system should show an element of collaboration and a smooth transition to solve operational security challenges. It makes it possible to see the areas to improve and change if necessary. It is like creating a business case to show the needed improvements, for example, if there are more security guards.
Aspects to consider include compliance, cost, and risk. Compliance issues in the education sector need adherence, as a deficiency can attract lawsuits. The risk represents the present inefficiencies in the system that need mitigation or recovery plan. Technologies to implement also matter, for example, surveillance cameras and sensors, should ease the work of security guards as they use them to monitor the campus activities.
Importance of training
Campus security is not all about the work of the security guards, as they need to coordinate with the students and personnel in the institution. Examples of case scenarios they should be trained on include;
- Active shooter preparedness
- Fire emergency
- Mental health
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Title IX and Clery Act awareness
- Sexual assault prevention and awareness
Campus security is a critical element of regulating peace and tranquility around the institution by ensuring minimal crime incidences. Having a perfect security system is a challenge, but it is possible to minimize the risks and create a collaborative environment where everyone understands their security roles. Security guards are trained professionals who can deal with various scenarios; hence, campus security needs them to address weaknesses in the system.