Apr 12 2024

4 Things to Consider Before a Higher Ed Physical Security Assessment

It pays to consider the details when deciding how and where to place cameras for maximum coverage.

Anyone versed in the use of security cameras is familiar with the DORI standard: When surveying a site, the decision about where to position a device will affect the camera’s detection, observation, recognition and identification capabilities.

While universities in the market for a physical security upgrade don’t need to understand everything about DORI, they should be prepared to help their vendors position cameras for maximum coverage. Here are a few considerations when you’re ready to begin your site assessment.

CASE STUDY: Learn more about how Bowie State developed a cohesive physical security strategy.


1. Take Inventory of the Current Technology Infrastructure

Look at your existing hardware and wiring to determine what can stay and what needs to go. The more of your current infrastructure you can use, the more you can either save on costs or invest in additional technologies. Make sure everything is in good working order and is compatible with any new equipment.

2. Assess the Campus Landscape

Evaluate physical variables that might influence where you can place cameras. It may seem ideal to mount a camera on the corner of a building, until you notice that there’s a tree blocking the view. Also, if the site isn’t wired, consider the work required for technicians to pull a cable. It might make better sense to pick a new position if it will shorten the cable run or avoid having to dig up the street.

RELATED: What is a STOP grant, and how does it apply to higher education?

3. Consider Current Pain Points and Identify Ways to Fix Them

Catalog the reasons you’re pursuing an upgrade. Maybe some of your cameras are mounted too high or lack modern features such as license plate readers or analytics. Perhaps your campus has grown, and you need more cameras to cover new facilities. Once you’ve acknowledged the shortcomings of the current system, you’ll be better equipped to implement what you need.

4. Involve All Stakeholders in the Process

Ensure that everyone with an interest in the project all have an opportunity to provide input. This could include campus security, facilities management, technicians, IT leaders and even faculty, staff and students. A diverse range of perspectives could identify issues not previously considered as part of the project and help better inform the site assessment process.

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