School security in focus

Dealers and integrators share their thoughts, discuss getting back to basics

“One of the problems I see is that architects and engineers who design buildings often have no experience with how security may play into their designs. You have buildings with lots of glass and all windows, or the older buildings with single levels that run thousands of feet,” he said. New buildings, he added, need to get the systems integrators involved in the beginning of the planning stages so these security concerns can be met upfront.

Marinace said the company’s current school customers have been contacting their company about wireless portable panic buttons for all the teachers, as well as access control and additional cameras. He also said school districts have been calling about their lockdown procedures—in some instances extending those lockdowns throughout the day. “Also, instead of four entry points to the school, for example, they are using only one set of doors for entrance and egress. They also want to make it easier for responsible parties to go into a lockdown scenario through one pushbutton or control, rather than having to communicate it system-wide over the intercom or to a central point where the lock down is then initiated,” he said.

“All glass and windows are not a good thing,” he added. “Of course I advocate electronic security, but we have to get back to basics to make our schools more secure.”

Joe Liguori, president, Access Control Technologies Inc., Clifton, N.J. and president of Security-Net:

“I am hopeful that this event will motivate our existing customers to examine the breadth of security coverage that they presently have in an effort to identify potential areas requiring enhanced improvement,” Liguori said. “I further suspect that public entities such as schools will formulate committees to examine areas of vulnerability and look to identify measures that would forestall the potential reoccurrence such as the one that just occurred.” 

“While our company has had some experience in the secondary school market we have experienced much greater penetration in the university and college markets. Because of the dynamics of universities which comprise greater real estate and higher concentrations of students and faculty, the security requirements are arguably more defined and the budgetary consideration are more extensive. That being said it is always a challenge to incorporate adequate security consideration while still accommodating the free flow of students, faculty and outside participants such as visitors, contractors and such.”

“Perimeter security is also a consideration, however you have to evaluate the viability of each level of potential protection as it pertains to the specific aspects of the individual building and how they operate. Access control is an excellent measure and the advent of more sophisticated wireless locking mechanisms makes this application more affordable allowing for more extensive penetration.”

“Our company always professes to our clients that the efficiency of any system is proportional to the involvement and general understanding of its users. That is why a collaborate exchange of discussion illustrating needs and requirements coupled with at site survey of the premises both during peak hours and in non peak hours develops a better understanding of what is required and what is acceptable to the facility. Training to ensure proper installation of the technology is also essential to insuring that you get the most from any system ham may be installed. There is no substitute or training to ensure proper utilization.”

Dan Moceri, chairman and chief executive officer, Convergint Technologies LLC, Schaumburg, Ill.

“First off, our hearts and prayers go out to the young victims as well as their teachers, administrators and all the families impacted by this horrible tragedy.  As for our business, the last thing we want to do is benefit by something this terrible.  Being in the security industry and doing a fair amount of work in the education market, we certainly want to contribute to potential solutions to stop senseless violence like this.” 

Moceri said the industry definitely learns from tragedies such as these and moves to improve security measures.  “We have seen request to evaluate security particularly as it relates to managing access to a building.  One request actually came from a concerned parent.”