Campus Security – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Proper planning prevents poor performance when designing the scope and scheme of security countermeasures. This is the basic rule of the “5P’s”. Yet, it’s just a beginning. A guide to get moving in determined proactive directions. On a school and college campuses, this means a multi-task approach to productive community interaction. People, places and property interface in a cooperation effort of reducing opportunities for criminal activity. The synergistic actions of connectivity foster a higher probability of more effective safety and security. Yet, there is an illusion. It’s the simplistic notion that all the people in a given setting will actually work together. Or, really practice “neighborhood watch”, implement defensive tactics, and report suspicious persons. Planning involves time, talk and tactics. The tools, methodology and techniques implemented are critical to the social infrastructure of the campus environment. However, people suffer misconceptions about such issues. Resistance to restrictions is not untypical.

Motivating the members of the particular setting is a significant organizational challenge. Various cliques, factions and pecking orders pervade the common sense precautions of communal security. Many are naïve, foolish and harbor illusions about the nature of criminality. Others, like young students, are often immature and unable to recognize the early warnings of threats to personal safety. Having lived sheltered lives, they’re not prepared to deal with the real world of prowlers, perpetrators and predators. Still, some people won’t take protective measures seriously. They reside in the small world that bad things won’t happen to them. At the same time, others will ignore the safeguards in frequent defiance of the rules. Rebellious contingents oppose restrictions. Then you have those in the ranks of the “elite self-centeredness” of academia. We sometimes call them faculty. Although, they could represent other community groups. And, with them as well as others, the concept of “security” is viewed as some “working class” annoyance. So, planning campus protection is a challenging endeavor of fostering productive acquiescence. Issues of public safety and security cannot be intimidated by the prideful arrogance of privileged groups or persons. Nor can it be stifled by incompetence, misconception or ignorance.

Each campus situation is unique. But, regardless of how special the school thinks it is, administrative authority must place full faith, resources and power in its protective services. And, these members of the staff have to be competent to do the. Well-trained, effectively financed, equipped and staffed, these personnel must ensure, to the extent possible, effective crime prevention strategies. Police or security officers must know they have the support to carry out active safeguards. Defensive fortifications to “shield and secure” the environs, entail degrees of flexibility, adaptability and common sense. In addition, recognizing attendant needs requires the development of specific goals and objectives. A safety and security mission plan has to be developed. These initialize the security process in the gathering of relevant data to ensure a proper methodology. The approach, appraisal and initiation of corrective procedures identify specific courses of actions, as well as alternative options and solutions. Security planning is a comprehensive long-range process. It doesn’t occur over night and it never ends. The capacity to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the locale’s security posture invites the necessity of talented expertise.

To reduce criminal opportunities and maximize delivery of effective preventive measures, law enforcement services must be a priority. Campus police forces should have full authority to act in the best interests of protecting the school’s population, the visiting public and property assets. It cannot be micromanaged by anxious, meddling and over-bearing administrators. Full disclosure of crime statistics, adverse incidents and inappropriate behavior has to be openly available to the public. To this end, proper planning includes allowing police services to implement a full range of protective measures without bureaucratic obstructions, cover-ups or hiding embarrassing events. As such, in some instances, it may become necessary to remove the police forces from the school’s control. In other words, to ensure a higher level of accountability, reduce academic “politicizing” of policing, and increase resources, security services may need to be contracted out to state or local law enforcement agencies. This could amplify proper levels of enforcement, order maintenance necessities, as well as lawful early intervention into problem areas.

Yet, for the most part, school, college and university police services work extremely hard to safeguard the campus setting. In most states, at public institutions, campus policing operates in a manner similar to any other law enforcement agency. Like their counterparts in the local town or county, many campus law enforcement agencies strive for enhanced professional development. And, while national statistics generally show that campuses are fairly safe and secure, the range of criminal behavior is always highly probable. The potential for violence is regularly present. From substance abuse, theft and burglaries, to sexual batteries and robberies, school campuses reflect the proclivities of human nature. Campuses are a collection of many personalities that come from many different places. People, places and property come together into a “melting pot” of ideologies, inclinations and personal needs. Campus communities are composed of persons from all kinds of backgrounds. Predictability of violent behavior is a nebulous notion with no scientific support. So, planning for various contingencies becomes a necessity. Vigilance is critical. Anticipation of threats is vital.

Leadership in the provision of police services requires adherence to proper professional practices. Instead of the pretentiousness of academic privilege, consistent devotion to competent services remains essential. To this end, we must recognize that no system of security is foolproof. Criminals can find a way to circumvent our best efforts. But, at the same time, the objective is to reduce the opportunities for criminal activity. This means increasing the risks of apprehension by “hardening the target”, whether people, places or property. You ensure ever-expanding rings of protective practices around those to be protected. And, you root out the problems as quickly as possible. Interdiction must be sure, swift and certain. Disruptive persons, hazardous situations and dangerous conditions must be handled without hesitation, pause or fear of not being “politically correct”. Early warning signs cannot be ignored. Since criminal behavior is always premeditated, signs and symptoms emerge frequently before an act occurs. These have to be anticipated, recognized and responded to as soon as possible. And, in the process, once the action plan has begun, meddling staff and faculty have to stand back and let the police and criminal justice system do what their trained for.

Leadership is crucial to effective, efficient and competent planning processes. Managers are one thing, but leaders are quite another. School administrators have to assume leadership responsibility for campus safety and security. The management and leadership are entirely different aspects of individual’s personality. This is especially true in the field of law enforcement. And, it’s imperative when it comes to issues of safety and security. Breaches in security, failures of countermeasures and lack of community support usually follow a trail to the top of the organizational hierarchy. So, in terms of preventive measures, leaders must be allowed to lead. And, in so doing, they must be provided the opportunities to be decisive, action oriented and allowed to implement a full range of safeguards.

Some people know what they’re doing and some don’t. Incompetence pervades every organization, from the classroom to the campus operations. We have to allow those with the expertise to do their jobs. And, it goes without saying, you get what you pay for. If you want professional level of services, then, you’ve got to fund it. At the same time, while equipment and materials are critical, the right personnel are crucial to any measure of success. Gadgets and gizmos can be seen an easy quick fix to any problem. But, people, places and things have to work together. And, people are the important ingredient to solving critical issues of safety and security. Preventive measures and associated security strategies involve community partnerships. Interactivity between local, state and federal agencies is necessary to the sharing of proactive planning contingencies. To this process, a security management team should focus on a continual system of threat analysis. Effective campus security relies upon a heightened sense of consciousness, on the part of campus members. The interactivity of campus membership should be alert to early warning signs of potentially threatening behaviors. This can include issues of personal safety, as well as theft of property or abuse of campus resources.

Appropriate preparation is not something that rests solely on the security services or police operations. From threat assessments to security and police training, protective services should be a school priority. Everyone has a part to play. From which, should flow the necessity of ensuring corrective actions to enhance the security profile of the campus environment. Increased patrols, informational programs, and facility infrastructure inspections, all merge into a positive process of probable risk preclusion. In the event of a crisis, management teams should know what to do. And, they should do it decisively, without hesitation or anxious inability. Early warning systems should be activated immediately. Protective forces must move into action quickly with the necessary resources at hand. All this boils down to the fact that, when it comes to campus security, proper planning prevents poor performance in an emergency.

Sources, reference data, additional resources available from author on request.

Reasons Why Some Colleges Do Not Permit College Freshman to Have Cars on Campus

Most universities do not permit students to have cars on campus until their sophomore year. The main reason for this is space. For instance, if at Penn State (population 50,000+) every student had a car on campus, there would be no room to move. There are some good reasons, other than space, as to why cars are not allowed on campus.

With underage drinking on the rise, it is scary to have anyone under the influence on the roads, especially in an overcrowded college town. College students are now in an environment where the only person that can tell them “no” is themselves. Feeling the need to fit in, “no” is never uttered out of a newbie’s mouth, and it makes it difficult in making the right decisions. The experimentation or what I like to call “learning their limits,” is a scary cause and effect.

Most students consume well over their tolerance. The only way to “sober up” is by waiting it out and dealing with the sometimes painful hangover the following day. Some aren’t so lucky. There have been numerous occurrences of alcohol poisoning, death or accidents caused by this type of binge drinking. We have all been through it before. We drink a bit too much, we get the spins, and then we fall down, rolling around in our own vomit saying that we will never drink again. However, what usually happens after we recover? We drink some more, but we learned our limit. “I will never drink that much again!”

This is what happens to plenty of freshmen. There are no responsibilities other than school, maybe a part time job and practice if you are a student athlete. This is one of the underlining factors on why freshmen cannot bring cars onto campus. Could you imagine if one of them got behind a wheel? It’s a thousand times safer to have them use their own feet to get around rather than a 3,000 pound hunk of steel. Universities realize this and make it a strict policy.

After scaring the wits out of parents, let me bring it down a notch. Not all freshmen go crazy and binge drink, but the influence is there and most students are smart enough to call it quits and only a small few will overstep their boundaries. Universities also believe that if the freshman have no cars, then they can’t leave, forcing them to interact with other students and to walk around campus and get a feel for the college setting, where buildings are, etc. Most universities are surrounded by stores in walking distance that meet every students needs, from food to entertainment. It’s common for universities to provide a bus or shuttle service for free or low cost all over the college town.

The only reason freshman students may need a car on campus is for special needs purposes. If you fall within this category, then go to your campus police/parking office and let them know your situation. Some will oblige without you having to do anything, but most will make you provide proof and a payment, which is an added stress a freshman student could do without.

Campus Safety Tips For Incoming Freshman

The school year is fast approaching and with the start of school brings a large number of incoming freshmen to the countries Colleges and Universities. To most families this is a joyous occasion, but can also be an intimidating endeavor to some. Each year and at every facility of higher learning campus crimes such as rape, robbery, and assault are in the news. Not only does a student have the responsibility of taking their education to a higher level, it is also their responsibility to prepare for their safety while away at school.

With this in mind here are some tips and ideas that should help everyone to feel safe and secure.

o Incoming freshmen should “decline” any invitations to have photographs or personal information published for distribution to the campus community. Fraternities and upperclassmen have abused this type of publication and like to “target” naive freshmen. Female students need to be extra cautious of any requests for pictures and personal information.

o Do some recon of your neighborhood and the campus in regards to your routes from to and from each of your classes. Find out where the emergency phones and campus police stations are.

o Make sure that you let your parents and some friends know your class and activities schedule, give emergency contact information to your institution. Give all of your contact information such as cell number, home number, roommate’s cell number, and address to your parents, guardians, and close friends.

o Always travel with a group, if possible create a “buddy system” that can be used for travel to and from classes. Use a shuttle service after dark. Never walk alone at night. Avoid “shortcuts” as a few extra minutes travel time is well worth your personal safety.

o Study the campus, academic buildings, residence halls, and other facilities while regular classes are being held, and after dark to see what buildings, walkways, quad areas, and parking lots are adequately secure, have appropriate lighting and are patrolled. Are emergency phones readily available, campus escort services supplied, and are the shuttle services secure and timely?

o To get an idea of the social climate of the university, drive down fraternity row on a weekend night or take a walk through the student hangouts. Do you see people behaving in a responsible manner, or does the mood seem reckless and dangerous? Are the people drinking and using drugs, is there a law enforcement presence? Remember that alcohol and/or drug abuse is involved in up to 90 percent of campus crime. Take time to carefully evaluate off-campus student housing, apartment complexes, and fraternity houses if you plan to live off campus.

Additional Campus Safety Tips:

o Don’t carry a purse or back pack on each shoulder.

o Don’t carry large amounts of cash.

o Don’t flaunt expensive jewelry.

o Lock valuables in the trunk. Don’t leave CD’s, tapes, textbooks, backpacks visible on car seats.

o Never leave your book bag, purse, or cell phone unattended in the library, classrooms or on the rest room floor. Keep these items with you – it only takes a second for someone to take one of these items when unattended.

o While driving, if you notice that you are being followed, do not go home. Drive to the nearest police station, open store, or service station for help. If you are fearful of exiting your vehicle, blow your horn to draw attention to yourself. If at anytime you feel like you are in danger, notify authorities immediately.

Fight Back – Don’t Be A Victim!

The Importance of Campus Life For College Students

College is a time for leaving the comfort and security of home and embarking on the journey to adulthood. Many universities and colleges require a student to live on campus at least during their freshman year. This is very beneficial to students as they will learn about campus life and the many benefits that come with living on campus.

Living on campus allows one to meet and interact with a wide variety of people. People from all over the world will attend a quality college and university so you will be exposed to new cultures and learn so much from them. As well, you will make long lasting friends and have support during times when you may feel home sick. Living on campus helps ease any anxieties associated with the transition from home to college. Not only does living on campus give you easy and quick access to classes, but you will also be able to interact with people living in your dorm and take part in the social gatherings and parties.

Living on campus will give you the ability to take part in many clubs and organizations. This can include organizations that focus on education, cultural diversity, gender issues, recreational activities, spiritual activities, political clubs, sports activities, and much more. Colleges and Universities also have various extra curricular activities such as working at the college newspaper, radio station, and more. The convenience of living on campus makes it more likely that you will participate in clubs and other organizations. As well, the convenience allows you to attend other facilities such as night time labs, night time classes, the library, and the fitness centre. The fitness centre is a great way to exercise, participate in recreational sports activities, and even take a swim. Most colleges also have various college sports team that one can try out for. It is also helpful to be near the college health centre, dining halls, and student information resources.

If you are attending college on a tight budget, you will most likely want a part time job to ease your daily living expenses. Living on campus makes access to an on campus job much easier as you will be only minutes away from your job. You do not have to worry about driving to a job and days when there is bad weather. You will make that extra bit of cash while meeting and interacting new people.

Recent studies have shown that students living on campus are more likely to complete their education program. The reason for this is that students living on campus feel more connected to the college and the people. They tend to invest more time in their classroom studies as well as campus life. There may seem to be a lot of benefits to living off campus when attending college, however, if you live on campus you will be exposed to new experiences and people which will make college life more fun and rewarding. Campus life is a unique experience that one should take full advantage of before they actually get out in the work world where they will have their whole lives to be fully independent.

College Campus Pavement Maintenance Tips

Colleges and Universities all across the country experience massive increases in enrollment with every passing semester. This exponential growth, although incredible, has also led such campuses to struggle with routine structural upkeep. One of the most unintentionally neglected areas are paved surfaces. This includes parking lots, sidewalks, curbs, ADA ramps, stairs, basketball courts, tennis courts, plazas, courts, and more.

College campus pavement maintenance is important in order to keep the campus looking attractive and worth its tuition. However, the most important part of pavement maintenance for colleges is safety. Crumbling or uneven pavement can cause slip, trip, and fall accidents, while faded paint lines and symbols can cause car collisions, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian injuries. Continue reading to learn the most effective and recommended ways to maintain your student campus, responsibly and within budget.

Pedestrian Comfort and Safety

Unkempt pavement will eventually begin to show signs of deterioration and lack of performance. Crumbling stairs, uneven surfaces, and degraded curbs are all danger zones for anyone not paying close attention to where they are stepping. This can lead to dangerous walking grounds for pedestrians. Since walking is a mainstream method of transportation for students on campus, it is important to keep it pedestrian friendly. Student injuries are a liability and can cost your college a lot of money, but they can be better avoided with proper pavement maintenance.

Enhance Bike Paths

Road striping is important to college campuses since many students also like to ride their bikes, scooters, hover boards, and skateboards to class. Bike paths should be specifically designated, especially for campuses that allow cars. Furthermore, bike paths should be brightly painted and clearly marked for all to see. Not only can they reduce traffic congestion, they protect bikers and pedestrians alike.

Implement Work on School Breaks

The best time to implement routine pavement maintenance for any school is when students are out on break. This makes it logistically easier for all parties, including the paving company, the school staff, and the student population. It gives the paving company room to work, while also preventing any student interruption or accidents from taking place. As you know, some college kids get a kick out of imprinting on wet pavement. To avoid this type of campus vandalism, have all work complete when classes are not in session.

Attract New Students for Enrollment

An aesthetically pleasing parking lot gives a customer a great first impression. It says something about pride, quality, and professionalism. The same feeling applies for new students visiting the campus to tour the school. If you are touring a college, and the first thing you see is a derelict parking lot or sidewalks in a dangerous state of depletion, would you still want to apply? If your college wants to attract new students to enroll, pavement maintenance is a great service.