Editor’s Pick: Robin’s 10 Best Campus Safety Stories From 2021

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The campus security articles, videos and podcasts I have chosen show the breadth and depth of the issues and incidents that all campus protection professionals face.

When Editor-in-chief of campus security Amy Rock and I decided to change our approach to our year in review coverage this year, a little anxiety took hold of me. How was I supposed to pick the best content in 2021 when there was so much great material to choose from?

Choosing my favorite items was a bit like trying to pick my favorite kids. Not that I have kids of my own, but if I did, I’d love them all!

But like my future kids, all of the stories, podcasts, and videos we’ve released this year – including content that didn’t make it to Amy’s or my Top 10 lists – had their own unique characteristics that I found. have made them appreciate in full, special ways.

Not surprisingly, the pandemic dominated our coverage. Almost all articles, videos and podcasts Campus security released this year has touched on COVID-19 in one way or another.

However, most of the articles that I selected as my favorites for 2021 did not feature the pandemic as the main topic. A lot of other things have happened this year besides the coronavirus, like bad weather; parents acting at school board meetings; political unrest and more.

Additionally, like every year, 2021 featured content highlighting best practices in technology, emergency management, and mental health.

In fact, I think maybe this article shouldn’t be called “Robin’s 10 Best Campus Safety Stories from 2021” at all. Instead, the list that follows highlights articles, videos, and podcasts that show the breadth and depth of topics all campus protection professionals need to address.

And lest you think this list includes everything we cover in Campus security, think again. There are a whole host of topics that I do not mention in this list but the articles of which are also commendable. These topics include cybersecurity, sexual assault, hazing, mental health, labor shortage, supply chain issues, active shooters, lawsuits, Title IX, the Clery Act, the workplace violence, increased crime in hospitals, use of force, intimidation, indoor air quality, training, threat assessment and management, media management, etc. I could go on and on.

I would also like to thank the many school, university and hospital protection professionals who contributed to the content this year. Some of your work is mentioned in this article, but the vast majority is not. It wasn’t because it wasn’t good. It was great! I was limited to just 10 articles, videos and podcasts.

So this is it. There is no particular order.

Good year!

I chose this article not only because I love dogs, but also because it shows the impact campus police departments can have on their students and local communities when the department is open to approaches. new and unconventional.

U of I K9 Lollipop helped fellow human officers successfully defuse a situation involving a man with a knife who threatened to kill himself.

According to Patrick Wade, senior director of strategic communications for the Urbana-Champaign Department of Public Safety at the University of Illinois, his department has four Comfort K9s that have a wide range of tasks, including answering calls and answering calls. mental health disasters, as well as community engagement. The positive impact on the community is truly impressive.

What really struck me about these types of programs, however, is the way they help abused children open up to advocates for what happened to them. In one study, using Comfort K9 allowed victims to open nearly 85% of the time. Normally, without the use of dogs, the disclosure rate by child victims is only 34%.

Read the article.

Although Campus security often focuses on safety, this article and video gallery, put together by Amy, demonstrates that protection professionals in hospitals, schools and universities need to have a clear understanding of emergency management, not just emergency management. security and law enforcement.

The dramatic videos in this gallery are important reminders that severe weather is a significant threat facing campuses.

Watch the videos.

Normally, school board meetings are rather boring and trouble-free proceedings. However, in 2021, they were anything but. Parents and other members of the public began to threaten and harass school board members. It got so bad that in October the Department of Justice and the FBI had to intervene.

In “Safety Planning for Volatile School Board Meetings,” author Gary Sigrist Jr., CEO and President of Safeguard Risk Solutions, described the prevention / mitigation, planning, response and recovery actions that school districts in Kindergarten to Grade 12 must follow to keep school. members of the security council. Sigrist provides specific advice that addresses parking lot security, room capacity, and other issues that will help campus protection professionals prevent, respond to, and recover from these types of security incidents.

Read the article.

In the results of the 2021 Campus Security Video Surveillance Survey just released, 30% of respondents said they had purchased body cameras in the past two years, and 27% said they were considering to purchase this equipment over the next two years.

With that in mind, I thought a lot Campus security Readers could learn a lot from my interview with 2021 Health Care Director of the Year Mike Hodges. In this podcast, Hodges, who is the director of public safety for Piedmont Healthcare, explains why his agents are now using body cameras and how they went about acquiring this equipment. He also discusses the policies developed by Piedmont Healthcare and the results of the use of this technology by his department.

Watch the video or listen to the podcast.

Chemistry Teacher Drops Beaker

In this tabletop exercise, the beaker shattered and an unknown amount of mercury spilled onto the carpet in the classroom.

I highlight this tabletop exercise by Idaho Office of School of School Safety and Security analyst Guy Bliesner as it demonstrates the randomness and bizarre nature of some of the incidents that school safety professionals face. Of course, most K-12 campuses have contingency plans for things like active shooters, inclement weather, etc. But mercury contamination? Oh good?

This exercise, which is based on an incident that actually happened in a classroom, highlights the fact that school safety practitioners need to be flexible and ready to respond to virtually anything. It’s also the first in a series of Bliesner tabletop exercises we’ve performed throughout 2021.

Read the article.

Colleges, school districts, and healthcare organizations buy a lot of security tech these days, but how should campuses go about buying the right things? The 11 factors covered in this long-standing article Campus security Editorial contributor Lieutenant John Weinstein will help campus protection professionals assess the suitability of specific technologies.

Read the article.

While it is wise for those responsible for the safety of schools, universities, and hospitals to be generally aware of the different types of technology on the market, it is virtually impossible to keep up with the latest trends. In addition, it is probably not realistic for them to go through the “weeds” of highly technical subjects.

That is why it is important to hire a well qualified security systems integrator. But how?

In this article, author John Nemerofsky, who is COO of Sage Integration, asks four general questions about experience, IT skills, maintenance and innovation that campuses should ask contractors. security systems before hiring them.

Read the article.

While we may think we are “done” with COVID, the current wave of infections and hospitalizations has made it clear that COVID is not done with us. That said, it’s never too early to plan for the future as we don’t know when the next pandemic will strike.

This article highlights 11 lessons college and university emergency managers have learned so far from the current pandemic and how they can be applied in the future. This story draws on the experience and expertise of college campus emergency managers across the country, including emergency managers at Kennesaw State University, Georgia Southern University, University of Notre Dame and the University of Georgia.

Read the article.

I wrote this editorial shortly after the Capitol Riots of January 6. It’s a reminder that we all need to examine our biases and the lenses we look at to make sure our perceptions of reality are based on fact. In campus security, denial is dangerous and can cause us to ignore obvious threats, such as those posed by the January 6 rioters.

We owe it to the Capitol Police officer who died, his 140 colleagues who were injured in the riots, as well as law enforcement professionals across the country and our organizations, to confront our biases. so that we can fully understand who and what is really a threat. Only then can we respond realistically and appropriately to the security threats we face.

Read the article.

This latest video gallery highlights five people who choose to follow their best angels. Whether it’s a high school student saving a choking classmate, a college student disarming a gunman, or a police officer using his crisis intervention training to save the life of another veteran. , these videos show that bravery and a willingness to help others still exist among all walks of life.

Hopefully we all choose to follow these examples and embrace our best angels in 2022.

Watch the videos.


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