Not Only Students Are Smart: Remote Campus Lockdown

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The shooting in Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. at the beginning of October ended with nine dead. Two more shootings about a week later in Arizona and Texas got local campus leaders worried for their students and staff’s safety.

US Universities have various methods of securing their campus. WU-Stout, for example, has an emergency alert system that sends text messages, e-mails or voice messages to alert users of threats on campus and advises them on the best way of defending themselves. Students and staff make sure to update their contact details so alerts can reach the whole community in case of an emergency.

Universities also have police departments on site that can quickly respond to dispatched 911 calls. UW-Stout employs six full-time officers, and three to four part-timers. “Before the Columbine, Colo., shootings in 1999, law enforcement protocol was to wait for SWAT backup at first report of shots fired. Now the training indicates that if an officer hears shooting inside a building, they go in,” said a member of security at UW-Stout.

Chippewa Valley Technical College, on the other hand, which does no’t have its own police department, has decided to try a different solution. “We’ve spent a lot of money on improving the security and video surveillance,” said CVTC President Bruce Barker, noting that video cameras can capture confrontations or threatening incidents. CVTC’s solution includes a mechanism that allows to remotely lockdown all five entrance to the College campuses.

Smart doors are based on digital locks. The possibility of a lock with no key may seem imaginary to some, if only because we’re all so used to the traditional use of keys, but recently doors opened via code have become increasingly common, or attaching a tiny electromagnetic antenna or even via smartphones, which offers remote control it if needed. Having the opportunity to keep campus entrances under watch, locking them in case of an emergency might prove useful In Israel, now that the new school year has opened in Universities around the country. While students have received security instructions before the school year, perhaps further precautions are in order.

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