Universities and colleges regularly invite the public onto campuses to large-scale events. These events pose a challenge for campus security professionals. The perimeter security of a larger scale event is particularly vulnerable, and security coverage is often limited, allowing malicious actors to infiltrate the perimeter to cause harm. In addition, the larger and more open the event is, the more difficult it is to secure and protect.

Whether the university’s event attracts hundreds or thousands, campuses must add security personnel and integrated solutions to protect people and assets. Security should be considered in the planning stages for such an event to include emergency services. Having adequate coverage of trained professionals to cover the event sends a message to potential perpetrators that the event is not an easy target. The presence of overt security at events can also convey to guests that they are in a safe environment.

Best security practices for college events

The variety of possible types of attacks at public venues makes preparing for these scenarios challenging. Whether attacks are an organized attempt at terrorism or a solitary action scenario, they can take many forms. Some key considerations and best practices for public events include:

  • An up-to-date emergency operations plan (EOP) prepares and provides for sound policy and procedures in an emergency.

  • Optimal event coverage includes overt and covert trained security and law enforcement. Staff screening and criminal background checks will help head off internal problems early.

  • An established security perimeter with easily recognizable entry and exit points help in meeting security needs.

  • Temporary fencing and barricades can help with crowd and traffic management.

  • Establishing policies for bag search and in or out return procedures can help to avert problems at the point of entry.

  • Security communication equipment procedures help security teams maintain operational contact when an incident occurs.

  • When a school campus is open for a public event, the security team should take special care to restrict sensitive areas of campus from public access.

  • Treat suspicious packages and activity as a worst-case scenario in the event setting.

  • Public address and mass notification systems help communicate vital information to people in an emergency.

  • Situational awareness and the alertness of staff can mean the difference between a successful and an averted attack.

Scaling video technology to secure events

Working with higher education institutions worldwide, Convergint and Milestone Systems partner together to protect colleges and universities with transformative video management and analytics security solutions.

To protect people and facilities, Milestone’s XProtect® video management system (VMS) is an open platform solution that is flexible and reliable in meeting the requirements of any event. With scalability that works with existing surveillance infrastructure and the ability to expand to meet the needs of even the largest event, XProtect provides the foundation to protect event guests.

XProtect Rapid REVIEW, powered by a smart video analytics platform, uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to create searchable footage that recognizes and extracts objects. Whether it’s counting cars, people, backpacks, or line crossing, operators can use XProtect Rapid REVIEW to create a customizable search and quickly report results.

Advanced detection using artificial intelligence

With assistance from partner technology, XProtect open platform can display alerts and associated video events in real-time when a weapon is detected. This proactive feature can trigger automated actions, including notifying monitoring personnel, initiating lockdown protocols, and sending real-time alerts to police dispatch for emergency response.

Aggression detection is a necessary video analytic in areas where the public interacts. For example, audio sensors can monitor sound while listening for raised voices, shouting, or keywords from passersby. An alert notifies monitoring personnel when aggression occurs. As a result, security teams can initiate a proactive response. Some sensors can pick up key phrases, such as “Call 9-1-1” or “Help.” In addition, the audio analytics can tag video associated with the audio, triggering the notification to operators.

College event security is a big challenge for campuses everywhere. The single best practice for those who are planning a large-scale event is to plan early and thoroughly for the event. A comprehensive emergency plan and collaboration with a security team will prepare campuses before an incident occurs.

Enhancing campus safety with integrated solutions

Convergint, partnered with Milestone, has the expertise and technology needed to help security teams better prepare for large-scale campus events through the integration and deployment of advanced video surveillance systems. Contact a security expert today to learn more.