Strategic video surveillance creates safer K-12 schools
The school security landscape has dramatically shifted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Video surveillance remains a critical tool in protecting the K-12 community, with U.S. schools investing over $360 million in physical security equipment in 2020.
Schools across the U.S. are putting their money where their concerns are and increasingly investing in new security technologies to create safer environments for our nation’s students. This investment trend is evidenced in a 2020 study conducted by Omdia on behalf of the Security Industry Association (SIA). Their report showed that the market for physical security equipment in K-12 and higher education was estimated at $716 million in 2020, with the K-12 sector accounting for around 56% of the total spend. Schools are looking to improve their physical security defenses, and video systems figure largely in strengthening that arsenal.
Data from a 2021 survey by the National Center for Education Statics shows that students and school personnel alike each view shootings, victimization, fights, weapons and illegal substances as key concerns. These issues may only be amplified by the fact that the pandemic has acutely increased the number of young people suffering from mental health issues.
Schools, as well as the security leaders that serve them, have a tough balance to strike — keeping schools open while protecting the perimeter and making internal areas feel safe and welcoming. A comprehensive mix of strategically positioned cameras and flexible video management systems (VMS) can be powerful weapons in protecting schools and campuses.
Leveraging VMS to strengthen security district-wide
To enhance the effectiveness of district-wide efforts, it’s important to evaluate VMS platforms to ensure that the software being used is scalable and flexible. Another critical consideration for security leaders is ensuring video surveillance. A VMS should be able to integrate with other core safety, security and building management solutions based on an organization’s needs, but it should not put a heavy burden on operating costs. Many VMS offerings today facilitate a distributed video surveillance architecture that is flexible yet robust and that enable centralized monitoring to provide a district’s central control room with a view of all school building locations.