Safer Schools for a Safer Tomorrow
Executive Summary: What is SecureCampus?
SecureCampus technology is created by ShotSpotter Technologies. This specific branch specializes in allowing schools the benefit of knowing exactly when and where a shot is fired in the school, in case of active shooter scenarios, and contacting first responders immediately. This technology reduces response time, is better than current emergency preparation initiatives, is cost efficient and easy to implement and has social benefits.
SecureCampus's technology allows first responders to get to the scene quicker.
SecureCampus vs Security Guards and Cameras
Georgia leads the nation in the number of active shootings occurring at its schools, with 12 shootings taking place in the past two years. The need for the Atlanta Public School System to make a change in what happens during potential active shooter situations is overwhelming. Some common security options are security guards and cameras, however a recent innovation in gunshot monitoring technology has been developed called Secure Campus. SecureCampus is a proven solution to cut down response time during a shooting, and better aid law enforcement by providing adequate and real-time information about the event as it occurs, such as a map of the campus, location and time of shots fired, injuries, and type of weapon used by the shooter.
Installing SecureCampus into Atlanta public schools is a better option for active shooter situations than hiring additional security guards or installing more security cameras into the schools. Security guards are susceptible to human error, and can’t be everywhere at once. SecureCampus gives a campus 360 degree coverage 24/7, and never takes a break or nap to rest like a guard might. It is always working and always monitoring for gunshots. Without SecureCampus, someone, usually a security guard, has to be present to observe the situation happen and call for help, and on average, it takes three to five minutes for 9-1-1 to receive information during an active shooter situation. With SecureCampus however, that time is cut down to only 30 seconds, and information like shot location and time, as well as weapon type is transferred to 9-1-1, all which can better prepare law enforcement to deal with the situation as it unfolds. The shorter window for 9-1-1 to receive the information, and the constant updating of the information allows for law enforcement to arrive at the scene quicker and more prepared.
Security cameras rely on their ability to see what is happening to do their job. They are limited by the requirement for a clear, unobstructed field of vision. If something is blocking that field, the cameras are useless, or if something important is happening in a camera’s blind spot, then to the camera, that event is not even happening. SecureCampus doesn’t need to be placed in an optimal location that allows it to see what’s going on. It just listens for gunshots from wherever its sensors are installed, and because of its sleek design, prevents the sensors from being messed with or destroyed, a common problems with security cameras.
In an active shooter situation, time that information is relayed to 9-1-1, and as a result, time that it takes for law enforcement to arrive is crucial. With the implementation of SecureCampus into Atlanta public schools instead of hiring additional security guards or installing more cameras, time in an active shooter situation can be saved, and human efforts can be focused more on student safety and defense, as opposed to calling for help. The installation of SecureCampus would allow for a safer atmosphere during an active shooting, and would better prepare Atlanta public schools during that worst case scenario.
Cost Analysis of Secure Campus Technologies
Costs of Active Shooter Situations
Active shooter situations on school campuses not only cost precious, irreplaceable lives, but they can also lead to lawsuits and fines on a school campus. Various lawsuits and fines have been filed and imposed on school shootings, as in the case of Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook Elementary School and Arapahoe High School.
- Families of Virginia Tech victims filed lawsuits regarding the response time of first responders. There was a whole two and a half hour gap in-between the first shooting of two students and the mass killing of thirty students in the Virginia Tech incident. The families claimed that there was plenty of time for first response specialists to prevent the mass shooting from occurring.
- Sandy Hook Elementary victims sued on the basis that the school was not prepared for an active shooter situation. The shooter was able to shoot himself through the front entrance of the school and continue into the school where students and faculty were not prepared for such a situation. The doors were not locked in the classrooms and the shooter was able to get into two separate classrooms and take many lives before taking his own. The families said that the entrance was not fortified and faculty was not properly trained with lockdown procedures. This lawsuit could cost up to $100 million.
- Arapahoe High School only suffered one casualty and had a relatively quick response time from the police, but this does not protect them from lawsuits. Lawsuits were limited to $350,000 per victim or $900,000 per incident in a case of injury or death from violence when the school is accused of negligence.
These monetary costs place a big burden on schools. Not only do these schools have to cope with lost lives, fix damaged properties and fix their reputations, but they also have to deal with many lawsuits and fines imposed on them after such a tragedy. The basis for many of these lawsuits can be eliminated through the implementation of SecureCampus Technology. Given the quick response time and emergency preparedness associated with SecureCampus technology, the basis for most of these lawsuits are eliminated. SecureCampus not only saves money, but can potentially save priceless lives.
How to Alleviate Costs
SecureCampus technology can be implemented as an emergency preparedness initiative in schools similar to how smoke detectors and fire alarms have been implemented in the past. For instance, the invention of smoke detectors came about around 1960. As more people began implementing smoke detectors, the annual fire death rate dropped 70% when compared to recent years. The number of injuries and fatalities associated with mass shootings have been slowly increasing since the 1980’s. This can be turned around through the implementation of SecureCampus, similar to how smoke detectors and fire alarms have aided in the reduction of fire related deaths. More emergency preparedness should lead to less casualties, less liability and lower possibility of facing lawsuits.
SecureCampus can be funded for through various federal grants, asset forfeiture funds or community funds. Don’t let funding be a reason not to implement SecureCampus Technology in your schools and save you unnecessary costs. Contact us today to review your funding options.
Implementation of SecureCampus
SecureCampus is a security system from installed in order to detect gunshots and alert police immediately. It’s installation is fast and easy in comparison with other security systems such as security cameras, etc. SecureCampus is similar to fire detectors; therefore, it’s installation is similar. The amount of time spend in installation depends on the wired system the school has implemented within their campus. In this case, wireless installations take less time than hard wired installations. The average hard-wired system takes approximately 6 to 8 hours; however, if the school has a wireless system, the average time is approximately from 2 to 4 hours. SecureCampus can also be integrated within existing security cameras in order to give police audio and video information, making SecureCampus more effective. Installing security systems that are big in size can be really hard to install and might take a really long time. However, the SecureCampus devices are designed to be small; therefore, installation would be much easier. The amount of time will reduce since the device is not as big as other security systems. With the implementation of SecureCampus security would be more effective. In case there is an emergency the police will receive information quickly and the response time would be much faster compare to other security systems, this makes SecureCampus more effective.
As we might now, people worried about the security of their children when they are at school. Parents expect their children to be in a safe learning environment getting a good education; however, sometimes accidents can happen. We’ve seen it many times, for example, the shooting in Sandy Hook, Columbine, or most recently in San Bernardino. SecureCampus can help reduce shootings and create a safer learning environment for children. It is really hard to create to create a good balance of security and have a good and safe learning environment within a school because their is many things going on outside outside of campus. That is why the installation of SecureCampus is really exciting for students because it gives them a better learning environment. There are many noises that can be confused with shootings such as fireworks, a door closing, etc. However, Secure Campus can distinguish the difference between these noises, reducing the chances of a false alarm and chaos between students and staff. When there is a shooting within school zones, students tend to panic, creating chaos within the staff and students because they don't feel safe. However, with the implementation of SecureCampus, there would still be chaos, but students will feel more safe because they know the police have already been informed of the incident going on and they are more safe.
The most important thing is school safety because when parents send their kids to school they expect their children to be safe and in a learning environment. However, sometimes tragedies occur and those tragedies lead to several fatalities. That is why more schools need to implement SecureCampus, it is a fast and easy installation, and it would make their schools more safer.
Social Benefits of Secure Campus
Secure Campus technology can have social benefits for the Atlanta Public School System in addition to the benefits already discussed. Installing Secure Campus in Atlanta Public Schools will help students and teachers feel safer at schools as well as cut down crime in the surrounding areas. So how will Secure Campus help students and teachers feel safer in the classroom?
Secure Campus will help teachers and students feel safer in ways that are similar to a fire alarm system. Secure Campus notifies Law Enforcement immediately when a shot is fired like a fire alarm would report a fire. Students and Faculty don’t have to worry about calling 911 in the event of an active shooter situation. Teachers don’t have to worry about assessing the situation to see if they should call law enforcement, instead all they have to do is follow the set emergency protocol to get their students to safety (WECT). Secure Campus will also allow students to get to cover while law enforcement is immediately notified (University Herald). A student at Savannah College of Art and Design (where Secure Campus is already in use) said, “I think this Secure Campus is really exciting for us students to know that they will be there no matter what”. (University Herald)
Secure Campus can also help cut down on crime in the communities around schools. Secure Campus utilizes Shot Spotter technology, which has already help curb gun crime in cities across the nation. Police used Shot Spotter Technology in Fresno, California to catch a gang member because he fired his weapon in an area covered by the system (KFSN). The gang member fired his weapon in his back yard, and the police went to the scene. They found that he was in possession of an illegal firearm, and they were able to arrest him. The data gathered from Shot Spotter technology can track where shots are being fired so the local police departments know where to patrol more (NewsNet5). Adding Secure Campus to Atlanta Public Schools can help tell you which schools are in more troubled areas than others, so you can better utilize security resources. Secure Campus will also help get illegal firearms off the streets near Atlanta Public Schools. Shot Spotter technology used in the U.S. Virgin Islands has led to 55 gun seizures this year (Virgin Island Daily News). The police there tracked gunshots, and when they went to the locations of the shots they found illegal firearms. They were able to confiscate the firearms and get them off of the streets. Illegal firearms have also been confiscated in South Bend, Indiana where gunshot-tracking technology is in use (South Bend Tribune). Getting firearms off the streets near the schools will help keep guns out of Atlanta Public Schools.
Secure Campus has helped students feel safer on their campuses across the country, and Shot Spotter technology has helped police departments crack down on gun crime in cities. Adding Secure Campus to Atlanta Public Schools will help create a safer learning environment, and show your commitment to ending gun violence in schools.
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