Campuses continue to beef up their security measures to ensure that students are safe as they study, sleep and play on campus. With technology becoming more sophisticated and costs decreasing, security officials now have access to a growing number of options:
Digital IP surveillance camera systems, which run over the campus network, have been around for a few years but continue to improve. Today's cameras provide high-resolution, high-definition color images; can zoom in or out (and sometimes rotate) in response to motion detection; and can be viewed by security officers from smartphones and tablet devices.
Video analytics, sometimes referred to as intelligent video, can be used in tandem with surveillance cameras to give security officers an increased ability to program cameras to detect certain types of inappropriate behavior in the context of time and place (for example, loitering around an academic building after midnight), conduct post-event analysis and identify trends.
Building and door access systems require users to authenticate themselves with a card or biometric, allowing security to block access to unknown individuals and to know who's entering and exiting buildings or spaces at specific times. These systems have been used for decades at the entrances to residential halls; recently, however, security departments have begun deploying them at academic and administrative buildings, student recreational facilities and, in some cases, the entrances to individual student dormitories.
Mass notification systems work together with unified communications systems so that security staff and campus administration can push out security alerts or evacuation instructions to desk phones, cell phones, computers and other communication media.
Personal notification systems let students in distress tap an icon on their smartphones to notify campus police of their identity and location.