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How Security Cameras Can Help Reduce School Violence

Michael Nutter

January 29, 2020

With school violence on the rise, security cameras can help keep staff and students safe.

School violence is a pervasive threat to students, educators, and staff — and unfortunately, it seems to be on the rise. We’ve previously written about the impact of school violence in Ohio, which consistently ranks as one of the states with the highest rates of school violence in the country.

The most recent report from the Educator’s School Safety Network (ESSN), a national nonprofit that studies K-12 school violence, put Ohio at number two on its list of states of greatest concern. ESSN found that the number of violent incidents in American schools increased by an alarming 113 percent in the 2017-2018 academic year. Not only that, but 51 percent of these violent threats and incidents occurred in just 11 states (Ohio among them), despite these states’ accounting for just 28 percent of the U.S. population.

Given these recent increases in threats and violent incidents, as well as the heightened need for change in Ohio, a more concerted and strategic effort from school officials is necessary. To ensure that Ohio students and educators have access to safe learning environments, districts should consider taking additional measures to combat school violence immediately.

Bringing Security Systems into Schools

When it comes to tackling violent crimes, security systems are a good place to start. Research has found that an increased number of security cameras in several major cities led to a decrease in criminal activity. Downtown Baltimore, for instance, showed “significant declines” in total crime over a five-year period following the installation of 500 security cameras. They were also a cost-effective option for the city, with the estimated benefits of averting crime (including reduced criminal justice and victimization costs) outweighing installation and maintenance costs by roughly 50 percent.

Chicago also implemented security system initiatives in high-crime neighborhoods and achieved similar results. In Humboldt Park alone, security cameras were responsible for a 12 percent drop in the crime rate. As a bonus, the crimes prevented in the neighborhood saved the city of Chicago $4.30 for every dollar spent on the surveillance system.

In the wake of an increased number of school shootings and violent incidents, school districts are taking a page out of these cities’ books and beginning to turn to surveillance technology to keep their students safe. While the ultimate goal is to prevent school shootings and other forms of violence altogether, surveillance systems can also work to minimize harm in the event that an incident does occur. High-definition cameras can combat school violence by providing two key forms of security:

  1. Reactive: Security footage allows schools to better understand what happens during violent incidents, beginning with who the involved parties are. Video feeds also provide key information that helps districts and law enforcement officials solve cases and create appropriate plans of action in times of crisis.
  2. Proactive: When properly showcased and monitored, security technology can help deter violence over time by discouraging and preventing threats before they happen.

For schools, security cameras have the added benefit of helping monitor and deter other forms of unwanted activity, including trespassing, bullying, and vandalism. School administrators and security officials can only be in so many places at once, and security cameras provide an affordable way to ensure that schools are monitored around the clock.

Security Measures Tailored to Your District

When it comes to new technology initiatives, implementation is easier said than done. For one, initial installation costs often require districts to seek out funding, which can be a complicated process. From there, faculty often encounter a learning curve when it comes to actually understanding how to take full advantage of the new technology. Finally, the best solutions are not simple plug-and-play options — they should be customized to your district’s schools for the best results.

At Vinson, we understand the challenges that schools face when it comes to incorporating new technology, but we also understand that safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to students and educators. Vinson’s Security as a Service offering includes advanced high-definition cameras, robust technological infrastructure, and high-storage capacity video backups. Our security solutions can be scaled up or down for schools of all sizes to identify vulnerabilities, eliminate blind spots, and keep your students safe.

Contact us today to speak with one of our security experts, who will help you figure out the most effective monitoring solution to meet the specific needs of your district. We’ll do the work of auditing and procuring the right equipment to install the technology on your campus. Perhaps more importantly, we’ll train your staff on how to accurately and effectively utilize these systems to ensure maximum safety, and we’ll assist in the process of getting state and federal funding to help offset the cost of installation.

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