Parents of an 11-year-old New Jersey elementary school girl experienced what may have been the scare of their lives last week when, they say, a man who identified himself as the girl’s father, attempted to abduct their daughter from an elementary school.
New Jersey police reported that the man, seen driving a red car, sent a child into the school to ask for the girl that day. Luckily, alert staff members were reported to have foiled the attempted abduction when they realized the man in the car was not the girl’s father.
Unfortunately, staff and teachers are not always as alert as they were in this case and that’s when children are at the greatest risk.
Patrick Fiel, public safety advisor for ADT, said, “This child and her parents were fortunate that alert teachers spoke up when they sensed something was wrong, but students deserve more protection. Technology could have provided that much-needed layer of protection in this case.”
Video entry intercom systems are the first line of defense against unwanted visitors on campus. When all entries are locked and secure, a video entry intercom system allows staff to safely authorize access to visitors before further checking background information.
Visitor identification management systems help prevent abductions by providing a deterrent that can identify and log visitors, volunteers and employees as they enter and exit. This tool would have also allowed the school to cross-check criminal, sex offender and internal watch lists–quickly.
Fiel said that it’s also very important that any existing surveillance cameras are tested regularly and placed at the proper locations around campus.
It’s been proven many times: the combination of an alert community, dedicated teachers, security technology and help from parents is what keeps our children safest at school.
-- PSW Staff