Round table contributions
College campuses often operate like small communities – or even like large communities depending on enrolment. Although each college and university campus is unique, there are commonalities such as a young and vulnerable population of students, many living away from their parents for the first time. Campuses can be urban or rural, geographically dispersed or densely populated, with a variety of demographics and “wild card” elements such as partying, drugs and alcohol. Campus police and security officers face a variety of challenging environments. Is it wise to add firearms to the mix? Is it necessary for campus police to be armed? Specifically, we asked this week’s Expert Panel: In what situations should college or university campus police be armed?
An eruption of violence at a church in Charleston, S.C., this June has increased awareness of the potential for such incidents at our houses of worship. On June 17 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in downtown Charleston, a 21-year-old attacker wielding a Glock 41 .45-caliber handgun took the lives of nine people. But it was far from the first security breach at a house of worship. In fact, since 1999, more than 500 people have died a violent death on church or faith-based property. That number is close to, if not slightly ahead of, the number of violent deaths at our schools. Seeking answers, we asked this week’s Expert Panel: What security solutions could help them remain secure? Can houses of worship remain as open as in the past?
Violence in our schools and colleges often makes headlines, suggesting a growing and scary trend. A consequence of high-profile school shootings and other reports of violence is to increase awareness of the need to ensure safety and security of students, faculty and staff. The events have prompted more than one educational institution to take a second look at their security policies and infrastructure, with an eye toward improvement. But to what effect? Has greater awareness of violence in educational institutions actually led to more security? We asked this week’s Expert Panel: Are schools and universities safer today than ever before? How is technology contributing to keeping educational institutions safe?
You can expect to pass through tight security checks in environments, such as airports and government buildings, which are greater targets for terrorist attacks or other forms of violence. You don't expect to pass through the same level of security checks in neighbourhood shops and schools. It's a simple rule that there will be more security systems in places where there's a greater need for them. Generally speaking, there isn't such a high need for very high end security systems in schools...or so most people seem to think. However, when you consider all the recent school-related crimes around the world, you're almost forced to think: has the need for better security systems in educational institutions been underestimated? We've asked some of our panellists to comment on how technology could have made a difference in some of the recent school crimes.
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