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Physical education for campus security.

THE FIRST GOAL OF A PHYSICAL SEcurity program at an educational institution is to assess the physical and geographical characteristics of the campus. For example, an institution located in a rural environment does not need the same loss prevention measures as one located in an urban environment.

However, a number of basic principles should always be implemented because a criminal act can be perpetrated in any environment at any time. Many universities once located in remote areas have, because of urban growth, found themselves in highly populated areas. Mass transit systems and freeways have also exposed campuses to outside influences, bringing crime to many once crime-free campuses.

A record-keeping system that tracks all criminal and violent acts on campus must be established. Federal legislation mandates that these statistics be maintained and be made available to students, parents, faculty, and staff. These statistics can be advantageous in developing a loss prevention program.

The concept of keeping track of crime by marking a geographic area on a map with brightly colored pins is still effective. Using one pin per crime and a different color for each type of crime, the map is a graphic display of areas of vulnerability. This visual profile of crime is more effective to the officer on patrol than a stack of computer-generated printouts.

However, computers that analyze data and generate information into usable formats are invaluable to campus security administration. The campus's crime statistics and the statistics for the surrounding area help determine the direction of a physical security program. The combination of on-campus and off-campus statistics can provide information about the needs of the campus and the predictable possibility of crime.

A communication link with the law enforcement agencies in surrounding municipalities allows for planning as well as timely response to activities that will or could effect the campus.

The physical environment of the campus must also be surveyed. A campus is viewed as a free and open environment where students, guests, and employees can roam freely without fear and danger or restriction. Libraries and computer centers often remain open late, sometimes 24 hours a day.

An unrealistic view of the possibility of danger permeates the thinking on most campuses. Traditionally, buildings are not designed to prevent loss. Most buildings have numerous ground-level windows, making vulnerability to break-ins a high risk. Also, doors are usually hinged on the outside, making their removal easy.

A beginning step for any security program is to establish a program to routinely check doors and windows to ensure they are secure after normal working hours. Training personnel to use available physical security measures is important.

An effective campus security program also takes into account several components.

Key control. After ensuring that routine physical security measures are in place, establish an effective key control program that ensures that all campus keys are logged in, checked out, and tracked.

The first step to controlling access to campus facilities is to establish a data base to track all doors, keys, and keyholders. A computer is recommended for quick and effective record keeping, although it is not necessary. Important factors that must be determined are (1) who has access to the rooms, (2) who has the authorization to grant people access to a particular area, and (3) who is responsible for issuing keys.

The most effective way to gain control of a campus key program is to change to a new key system. This action should be preceded by establishing a written access control policy that is authorized by campus administration.

When selecting a key system, one of the most important aspects to consider is the possibility of keys being duplicated. The most common problem on campuses is not break-ins or lock picking but the unauthorized duplication of keys.

Several lock companies make key systems that can ensure that the key blank is restricted and cannot be readily duplicated by an unauthorized source. However, many keys from major lock manufacturers can be easily duplicated by local locksmiths or even convenience stores. The warning "do not duplicate" can be ignored by the key maker even when it is visible. These warnings can also be obscured by a piece of tape on which a room description is written. Rarely does a locksmith remove the tape to ensure there is no warning prohibiting duplication.

A university's best approach is to examine and select a key system that is relatively free from duplication. If the current key system has been in place for any length of time, the university should make a commitment to change the entire system. Changing the key system and using restricted keyways is the best way to establish control and to establish a reference point from which all keys and the areas they access can be tracked.

Another important factor to investigate when selecting a key manufacturer is the number of different key combinations possible without duplicating the same operating key in the system. Most large campuses have a lot of doors and many jurisdictions to accommodate. It is important that the key company provide the combinations required for use over an extended period of time without cross keying or duplicating an existing combination. The system must also provide for lock changes in the future.

Another factor in selecting the locking system is the durability, service-ability and parts availability. Cost must also be considered.

Record keeping is also important. A central point of issuance should be established where campus staff and students can receive keys and the appropriate documentation can be completed. This office should be responsible for all records pertaining to keys and locks. All lock changes should be approved and logged through this office to ensure the records are up-to-date and the lock change meets the needs of the program and the users.

Individuals ordering lock changes should consider the available options and the overall use of the area. Questions like "Who needs access to the area?" and "Who do I want to exclude from the area?" are important. Another question that must be answered is who has jurisdiction for each area on campus.

Keys should be issued for need and not for convenience. A list of vice presidents, deans, and department heads and the areas over which they have jurisdiction should be available. All key requests should be in writing. Signatures should be on file for all individuals who are authorized to issue keys.

Finally, all lock changes and repairs should be performed by locksmiths sanctioned by the campus and under the direction of the office controlling the key program.

Access cards. Cards that have the capability to open doors on campus should be considered as another form of key. Many of the same principles that apply to key control should be used to issue and control access cards. However there are areas where keys and cards differ in use, application, and advantages. One of the major advantages of access cards is the ease with which they can be removed from the system if a problem arises. Another plus is the paper trail and information generated by this electronic system.

Many card access systems can also provide information on doors left ajar or unsecured. These systems can document when a door is opened and who opened it. They can indicate when someone is tampering with the accessing hardware or an unauthorized card is being used in the system. The computer can notify the user when the system is down and needs repair or emergency action.

Campus housing. Whether students are housed on campus is an important factor in the security program. The same level of protection expected of innkeepers and landlords is expected of campus administrations operating student residence halls.

Loss prevention in housing is far preferable to resolving an incident after the fact. Several measures will raise the level of security in campus housing. Some important principles that are effective in preventing crime in residence halls follow:

* The doors to the residence halls should be locked at a designated time and only authorized persons should be able to gain entry. Additional doors for emergency exit should be equipped with panic hardware on the interior and no exterior lock.

* Each student should have a unique key that allows access only to his or her room.

* The doors to student rooms should automatically close to ensure they are not inadvertently left ajar.

* Locks to student rooms should be changed every time a key is reported lost or stolen.

* One main entrance should remain available for students to enter after the doors to dorms are secured.

* Emergency telephones should be placed at the entrance to residence halls.

* Warning bells on doors should sound when doors are left open or ajar.

* Visitors and delivery persons should be supervised at all times by the person they are visiting.

* Doors and windows should be checked during the night to ensure that they are secure.

* Locks and panic devices should be maintained in good working condition.

Universities that have on-campus housing for students should also have a 24-hour security service. At least one security officer should be on duty at all times.

Depending on available funds, card access should be used for exterior doors to residence halls and another mechanism required to gain entry to a resident's room, for example, the card for the front door and the key for the room. Card access provides for immediate deactivation if a card is lost or stolen, therefore raising the level of security in the residence hall. Since keys and cards are not carried in the same manner, this system would, in many cases, eliminate the possibility that both accessing devices are lost or stolen at the same time.

Lighting. Campus lighting is a highly debated security measure. The amount of lighting necessary must be considered along with campus vulnerability. Most crime prevention reports indicate that sufficient lighting does inhibit criminal activity. Campus lighting requirements are dictated by aesthetics, budget, and city conservation requirements.

In the past, surveys of campus lighting were taken by a patrol officer who went to various parts of the campus and tried to read a newspaper. If he could read the print, the lighting was considered adequate. Most campuses today have an electrical engineer on staff who can conduct a more scientific survey using light meters that can accurately measure light availability.

A deceiving factor when surveying a campus visually is that bring areas seem to make less-lighted areas seem darker. Campus lighting should tend toward uniformity of brightness. Parking areas and highly used areas should be well-lighted.

Parking control. Parking control is an important factor in restricting access to the campus to those who are authorized, especially in housing areas. This can be easily accomplished by registering vehicles and supplying authorized individuals with decals. Restricting various authorized parking areas can be accomplished by color coding the parking permits or by restricting access to certain parking areas with gates activated by access cards.

Emergency call boxes. Emergency telephones are used by many campuses and are dispersed throughout the campus. On most campuses these telephones are activated and dial automatically to campus security when the receiver is picked up. The communications center of the campus police department is instantly alerted to the location of the caller, even if the person cannot speak. The communications officer can then dispatch a patrol to the location of the call box.

Fire alarms and suppression equipment. Fire alarms and fire suppression equipment are necessary for any campus. An effective program incorporates a routine maintenance and testing program.

Intrusion alarms. Intrusion alarms should be used in areas where access is not permitted at certain times and where a quick response is imperative. Campuses tend to rely too heavily on intrusion alarms. However, these devices are reliable and cost-effective in certain areas on campus, such as the cashier's office, areas containing expensive equipment, museums, archival vaults, and campus clinics where controlled substances are stored.

CCTV. Closed-circuit television is another type of security equipment that is often used inappropriately on campuses. Questions that must be answered before installing such equipment in a campus environment include "Who will be monitoring the picture?" "Will that person know if someone is out of place?" "Should the image be recorded?" and "Who will review the record?"

For the most part, cameras are used with best results in situations where the picture is viewed by someone in the building where the protected area is located, because that person is more likely to be familiar with the people who should be in the area. The close proximity also allows for quick response.

Recording is only effective if tapes are changed and reviewed periodically for picture quality. This type of equipment can be used effectively in specific environments, and if used properly can reduce problems in many areas, including student housing and campus museums.

Computer protection. Computers represent a significant investment for any campus and lend themselves to theft because of their light weight and popularity. A number of methods are available to protect computers and office equipment. Alarming devices can be attached directly to the equipment so any attempt at removal can be detected. Another alarming process is to hook a number of computers together with a single wire that creates a complete circuit. If the wire protecting the units is cut or removed, an alarm sounds.

Nonelectric security devices include anchoring devices that secure the equipment to a desk or table. These devices require no electric supply or monitoring station. Also, computers can be secured with heavy-duty cable or cord fastening them to the wall or a table. In any of these instances the security program is only as good as the people responding to and operating the system.

Electronic article surveillance systems. Electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems allow items to be marked with a device or tag that sends a signal, which in turn activates an alarm when the protected item is removed without authorization or deactivation. These devices can also report to a central station or activate a camera to capture the incident on film.

This equipment is used in retail outlets to prevent theft of high-ticket items. Most campuses use this equipment to protect library books.

No program should rely totally on electronic measures or the police department to ensure the safety of the campus community. Students, faculty, and staff should be informed of their responsibility for their own protection and the protection of the campus. They should be made a part of the program. They should also be aware that it is necessary to inform the security department about suspicious persons or incidents and make emergency situations known to the proper authorities.

E. Floyd Phelps, CPP, is assistant director of the Department of Public Safety at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He is a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:physical security program
Author:Phelps, E. Floyd
Publication:Security Management
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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