School shootings are a high-profile reminder of the need for the highest levels of security at our schools and education facilities. Increasingly, a remedy to boost the security at schools is to use more technology. However, no technology is a panacea, and ongoing violence and other threats at our schools suggest some level of failure. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have security solutions failed our schools and what is the solution?
While access control is a fundamental element of security in higher education, many aging access control systems urgently need to be upgraded. This is according to a survey of 1,800 higher education security and IT professionals conducted by Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions and HID Global, a worldwide provider in trusted identity solutions. While organisations are ready to embrace new technology, they are looking to go “beyond the door” and integrate with other security and operations systems. Older technologies The survey shows that 33.76% of readers, 30.6% of controllers, and 24% of software are more than six years old. Older technologies such as barcode, magnetic stripe (mag stripe) and 125khz low-frequency proximity (prox) continue to dominate physical access control systems in higher education. More than half of survey respondents still use mag stripe, and almost a quarter still use 125khz prox. 64% of survey respondents said their current access control system experiences malfunctions. However, more than a third of survey respondents (35%) are ready to embrace more modern technology as a way of improving the experience for students, faculty, and administrators. Access control for multiple applications Over half of respondents (54.2%) would be interested in using their access control credentials to support multiple applications beyond physical access, and 44% stated that better integration with other security systems/components is a key driver to upgrade their access control systems. Most colleges and universities want their students to use a single card or mobile credentials for multiple types of applications from accessing dormitory rooms and checking out books from the library to locking bicycles and paying for food, parking, and more. However, 64% of survey participants said while they want to upgrade their systems, they view costs as an obstacle. This often leads institutions to ultimately migrate to systems that fulfil minimum requirements because of cost, rather than seek the features and integration capabilities they seek. Unified video and access control solution “There are new technology options that can make life easier for administrators as well as those who use the systems,” says Jason Friedberg, Commercial Head, Education at Genetec. “With ever-evolving threats, and a need for increased efficiency, accessibility and privacy, security on higher education campuses is an ever-changing environment. Institutions need to be prepared for these changes by upgrading to a unified video and access control solution that is flexible, connected, and easy to use.” “And while cost is seen as an obstacle, the true value is often not factored in. With a modern, unified system, ongoing costs often end up being lower than those of legacy systems because the additional capabilities of newer systems increase operational efficiencies across multiple departments,” concluded Friedberg.
Genetec Inc., a technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, has announced the launch of its new public safety decision support system, Genetec Citigraf™. Created for citywide law enforcement and public safety agencies, Citigraf features a powerful correlation and analytics engine that instantly detects and displays relevant information from disparate systems for inter-agency collaboration. Fast on-scene response With highly-accurate GIS location and visual information for fast ‘on-scene’ response, officers and emergency responders can make more effective decisions for situations in progress. Genetec Citigraf is expected to be available in late October 2017. Genetec will demonstrate Citigraf at the IACP Conference in Philadelphia, PA, October 21-24th, on Booth #3101. With an intuitive interface built on Genetec™ Security Center, Citigraf collects and manages information provided by integrated CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) systems, CCTV footage, ALPR data, RMS (Record Management Systems) and more, to immediately identify and display the exact location of an event using icons on a map from a built-in geographical information system (GIS). Gunshot detection alerts Thanks to a collaborative integration with gunshot detection technology, response teams can be notified with a gun icon, a map location and nearby cameras when a gunshot has been detected. With this combined information, Citigraf provides rapid and actionable alerts to help law enforcement gain control of a mission to potentially stop crimes and save lives. “Just under a year ago, the Chicago Police department turned to Genetec to help create a response and decision support system that would combine our computer assisted dispatch (CAD), 911 calls from residents, gunshot detection sensors, and other disparate systems to reduce the response time for reported shootings and crime in six police districts,” said Jonathan Lewin, Chief of Technical Services for the Chicago Police Department, City of Chicago. "Shootings are down 22%in these districts compared to 2016, and the technology and process will be expanding to more districts" “While we expected this project to take many months to develop, the engineering team at Genetec delivered a technology prototype in less than a month. Since rolling out Genetec Citigraf, response times from dispatch to ‘on-scene’ arrival time, have been reduced by 39% and 24% respectively, in our two most at-risk districts. Shootings are down 22% in these districts compared to 2016, and the technology and process will be expanding to more districts." "Citigraf is now deployed in our Strategic Decision Support Centers, located in each corresponding police district facilities, and has helped us send a strong message to the community that crime and gun violence get a swift response,” added Chief Lewin. Increasing overall public safety Citigraf also offers agencies a new way of measuring, reporting, and determining the impact of new initiatives and interventions to increase overall public safety. Analytical dashboards, heat maps, and data analysis provide valuable insights into how crime and events move and change throughout a city, over time. The collective, data-driven analytics in Citigraf give police departments indicators for potential threats within the city’s next operations cycle helping law enforcement define and modify patrol beats and staffing requirements. “Today's public safety operations often rely on a broad collection of solutions to gather data and disseminate information. When I was an acting Chief of Police, connecting information from our disparate systems to get a clearer picture of a situation was a difficult and time-consuming task which often could lead to delays in responses. A unified solution that provides a common operating picture enhances situational awareness and allows better planning, detection, response and prevention of incidents,” said Jason Friedberg, Business Development Manager, Northeast US, Genetec Inc. “Citigraf enables complete command of the response to an incident through situational intelligence and the proper dissemination of information,” added Friedberg.