Axis Communications holds inaugural school security symposium

1-day event provided a forum for local schools, law enforcement, industry consultants and technology vendors to discuss proactive school safety and emergency response plans.

Network video surveillance specialist Axis Communications (Chelmsford, MA) recently hosted its first School Security Solutions Symposium to discuss planning and technology trends in school security.

The event was held at the Axis Experience Center in Chelmsford, Massachusetts on November 8. Nearly 30 local school practitioners, law enforcement professionals, industry consultants and technology vendors participated in 10 sessions, including a focus group discussion, technology expo and two keynote presentations on implementing school safety and emergency response plans and an overview of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Nicholas Pasquarosa, Jr., a Yarmouth Police school resource officer for the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District, spoke to attendees about the importance of creating a plan and gaining support from faculty, IT, facilities and first responders. “Don’t wait until an incident to bring your team together,” Pasquarosa said. “We hope the unimaginable never happens, but if it does, you need to be prepared. Every minute you spend planning and training now could make the difference in an emergency situation.”

School safety plans are not one size fits all and must be adapted to changing threats, Pasquarosa went on to explain. “You can’t copy and paste a security plan because every school is different. Create a plan specifically for your school, your faculty and your community,” he advised. Also at the event, James Smith, a security consultant and CPTED practitioner, discussed how drug activity, community crime rate, the presence of gangs and outsiders and even traffic patterns for vehicles and pedestrians can have significant impact on the ability to establish and maintain a safe school.

“Schools can implement security procedures and equipment upgrades identified through a CPTED audit on an incremental basis to reduce costs," Smith said. "Both existing and new school facilities under development can greatly benefit from new, more efficient lighting and other security technologies."

The forum agenda emphasized how planning and technology can address key areas of school security, including awareness, proactive, action, reaction and recovery. Attendees learned about some of the latest technologies for IP video surveillance from Axis, video synopsis technology from BriefCam, smartphone alert applications from ELERTS, Genetec video management software and outdoor lighting based physical security solutions from TOTUS Solutions.

“The unfortunate reality today is that schools are facing destruction of property, theft, bullying and even violence. It’s more important than ever for schools and local law enforcement to be proactive and develop school security plans,” comments Steve Surfaro, security industry liaison, Axis Communications, Inc. “As schools continue to put measures in place, we felt it was important to provide a platform for these discussions and the opportunity to share best practices and learn from each other’s experiences.”

Axis plans to host similar educational symposiums in major U.S. cities throughout 2014. To learn more about Axis’ product offering for education facilities, visit www.axis.com/education.

See: Axis Communications introduces network door controller

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