It is unfortunate that our schools are on such high alert that they have to monitor and enhance their security to keep students, teachers, and administrators safe.
School security has become a top concern for all given the prevalence of violence and threats of violence in schools of all grades.
As more tragedies occur, the demand for the most comprehensive and robust school security technology is rising.
Thankfully, technology provides the best solution to manage this challenge effectively through a visitor management system for schools.
Why Technology is the Best Visitor Management System
Though hiring the right, permanent staff is key, visitor management systems also empower accuracy by ensuring the timeliest responsiveness possible and seamless integration with law enforcement.
It is critical to understand the evaluation criteria for school visitor management systems and identify the best ones that fit within your school and district’s culture, as well as within your state’s laws.
A solid school visitor management system ensures thorough and timely assessment of incoming visitors, guests, volunteers, vendors, and temporary employees.
Visitor Management Systems Should Start at the Front Door
The school visitor management system may begin at the front door but permeates the entire building, providing a seamless dashboard that creates full and restricted access levels only to certain areas, while also alerting security and even law enforcement, of who may not be a welcome visitor on the premises.
In order to evaluate the best visitor management system possible, it is paramount that basic components exist including a
video surveillance system,
the ability to produce temporary ID badges, and
perhaps even metal detectors.
A more sophisticated school visitor management system starts at the sign-in process, where registrations should be integrated with national criminal databases and with a background screening system that is preferably a police level background check.
Visitor identity checks should not only include government issued identifications that are scanned, but also
biometric technology for additional authentication that includes fingerprinting,
recognition of palms and faces,
scanners for concealed and exposed weapons, and
Visitor Management Systems Should Always Evolve
The most innovative school visitor management technology is always evolving.
Additional elements that include real-time arrest alerts, geofencing, and the ability to alert internal security and law enforcement within seconds, are also key factors to determine how advanced the visitor management system is.
Training staff is also a priority.
The best visitor management systems for schools are not only software based, but also leverage proprietary hardware that has been created by only a few of the best in the industry.
Finally, working with the right visitor management technology system run by the best, most seasoned and experienced professionals with direct experience in law enforcement, government, security, and the military is also a pivotal differentiator.
Safe Hiring Solutions is founded by a former violent crime detective.
Challenges with Visitor Management Systems
Despite advances in technology, there remain challenges that include:
A lack of awareness that these systems even exist for schools
Varying state laws
Differing challenges and priorities among stakeholders
School, district & government agency bureaucracy
A lack of infrastructure to support new technology, e.g. legacy systems, processes and procedures that need to be streamlined and even replaced by technology
Visitor Management Systems for Schools
Parents and communities are demanding that school administrators do everything they can to prevent future shootings like the ones in Parkland, Florida, Santa Fe, Texas, and Newtown, CT.
School districts and government agencies often have severe budget constraints prohibiting them from using the most state-of-the-art technology.
In the end, it’s ultimately up to the schools themselves to weigh the pros and cons and intricacy of a visitor management system implementation that will screen visitors and keep people safe.
While visitor management technology is still evolving and is not 100% preventative, it is the best preventative measure available today to keep our schools safe
If there is anything we have learned from these terrible tragedies, it’s that every second counts and visitor management systems are the one solution we have at our fingertips to ensure school safety.
For more on how you can implement visitor management systems for schools, click here.