Creating safer, smarter schools with connected security innovations

by Gerald Becker – Physical Security Solutions & Strategic Alliances, N3N

In just the first half of 2018, schools across the US have already come across over twenty instances of active gun violence. In light of these recent horrific events, it’s crucial that school administrators and law enforcement agencies look towards more effective ways of mitigating the risks and improving response time when active shooter incidents do occur, in addition to other preventative security measures.

Real-time alerts from sensors and other connected devices, although deployed in some cases, are insufficient to provide the level of situational awareness needed to make fast decisions. Surveillance video feeds of campus facilities are often delayed, and law enforcement agencies are unable to locate the exact position of the shooter(s) on the campus. However, recent technology innovations can help address these deficiencies by enabling streamlined connectivity and integration of multiple systems and data sources in a single view. The IoT (Internet of Things), along with next-generation operations visualization capabilities, makes it possible for schools and campuses to get real-time insights and greater visibility across different areas of their facilities.

Leveraging digital and IoT innovation to create safer schools

Digital transformation and IoT solutions could hold the key to helping schools and campuses better predict and prevent future cases of gun violence. Having a “command center” in place that seamlessly integrates sensor, video surveillance, floorplans and other relevant connected device and application data (regardless of source, vendor, etc.) in one single view to provide real-time active shooter alerts can help schools detect and stop unauthorized individuals from entering campus. Data sources can include relevant social media posts, live video feeds, data from sensors that monitor people density and most importantly, detection of gunshot noise, aggression and more. These insights enable instant alerts and faster responses from rescue teams and law enforcement and are critical to helping first responders arrive with the proper location and better situational awareness on what is occurring, so they can minimize harm and save lives.

Aside from leveraging the existing infrastructure of a connected school and having response teams on standby, greater security measures need to be employed to such institutions. Schools can utilize what security resources they already have and form better strategies and plans by incorporating the use of new technology. The new strategy can involve the introduction of supplementary policies and well-planned security protocols.

Implementing the right solution

Despite the benefits, bringing all of the different physical security systems, applications and copious amount of data that are needed to provide heightened visibility and insights across a school or campus can be incredibly challenging. Closed or proprietary systems can create integration issues. Data insights might not provide the right context for a specific user. Further, data might not be delivered at such a speed that it caters to urgent decision-making, such as in the case of school shootings.

What’s needed is a truly open architecture platform that is able to integrate and consolidate any systems, connected devices and applications into a unified, contextual view which is easier to analyze by the user, and won’t confuse or intimidate them.

N3N for Physical Security

N3N for Physical Security unites and intelligently layers sensor, social media and other relevant school/campus data with live video feeds all in a single view with alerts and actionable insights to help detect, prevent or stop an active shooter.

The real-time video feeds and information as to the location of a shooter are crucial for quick response times but it is only when various types of data are amalgamated that law enforcement officials will be better able to detect, prevent and/or respond to an active shooter incident. N3N can do this because it is unaffected by the variety and variations of data forms.

Overall, it can be concluded that educational institutions and law enforcement have to bridge a huge response-time and human error gap which is impossible if they try to take on alone. The effective way to reduce the incidents of gun violence at such institutions is to combine a variety of connected devices, sensors, physical security systems, video and other applications to get a more complete picture of school safety with the help of N3N’s visualization platform.

Learn more about N3N for Physical Security