An issue more prevalent and terrifying than ever, campus safety has filled the nation with questions, concerns, and an urge to improve security measures. Schools across the nation and around the globe are escalating efforts to ensure staff and community readiness to handle critical situations that put students and staff in danger. A very well-known and respected publication, Campus Safety, recently published an article on the Top Campus Security Trends to Watch in 2013. Written by its Executive Editor, Robin Hattersley Gray, the piece is timely and chock-full of knowledge and tips for an increase in campus safety in the coming year. Gray presents the need for technology that supports campus protection. “Access control, training and weapons, as well as the management of keys, guests and emergency power, are some of the top issues that should be on your radar this year,” Gray states.Gray identifies eight trends for the year; one being the need for a secure and accountable way to track campus keys. Too often, keys that access classrooms, offices and community areas have no formal tracking system and either go missing or fall into the wrong hands. Gray wisely advises readers that technology to manage key access is an excellent way for campuses to “do a better job of tracking who enters their buildings.” Moreover, many universities are implementing these same technologies to control access to and track the weapons used by their campus police departments.

LEID Products offers college and university police departments the ability to combine key and weapon access control with a self-service system – the BACS Asset Management System. Electronic gun racks, lockers and keybox are sealed; controlled electronically through the BACS ID Station Kiosk. When an officer arrives for duty, all they need to do is log into the BACS Kiosk via fingerprint verification. The kiosk prompts users to select any weapons and/or keys needed for their shift. Officers will only be granted access to equipment they have been qualified to use by the administrator. For example, if an officer is not taser certified, a taser would not appear on the access list when that officer logs in. Every piece of equipment controlled by the system contains an RFID chip, guaranteeing accurate identification.

An identical process exists for officers to return equipment after their shift. The BACS ID Station Kiosk lists all equipment checked out by each officer when they log in to the system. The officer is able to scan each asset with the kiosk RFID reader to accurately identify the item. The kiosk electronically unlocks the item’s storage compartment for easy return. Beyond proper tracking, the kiosk traces every transaction for easy viewing by department administrators in real time. The administrator can log into the system – through remote web enabled access – to see where each piece of equipment is at any given time, both from on and off campus.

This high level of accountability ensures police department weapons will not go missing or fall into the wrong hands. In the event of a campus emergency, administrators can choose to override the system, releasing all assets for immediate access. LEID’s newest offering brings readiness to an even higher level with the availability of individual multi-unit concealed weapon lockers – that can be placed strategically across the campus for police access to additional firearms in the event of an emergency.

When it comes to protecting our youth, it is comforting to know that many of our school police departments are stepping up their preparation efforts to be trained to handle any and all potential public safety undertakings. In the coming months, we will feature articles and case studies on the progressive universities who have made campus safety a high priority and have invested in LEID’s technology to improve the security and readiness of their police departments.