Safe And Secure Schools: Trends, Practices And Funding

What is your primary means of emergency communication?

Have you put your ICE information into your cell phone?

What crisis supplies does your school have?

How many registered sex offenders live in your zip code?

What is an ICS structure?

How do faculty and staff correspond with students?

Which exterior door is most often propped open?

What is the most important security product?

These are the questions school security expert Paul Timm asked attendees to consider during Thursday’s ASIS 2010 session Safe and Secure Schools: Trends, Practices and Funding.

Timm, president of RETA Security, implored attendees to think of how they would answer the questions to his “pop quiz.”

When it comes to emergency communication, many attendees answered cell phones, but Timm said while that it is the most popular answer, it is also incorrect.

“The no. 1 answer would be a two-way radio,” he said. “A (landline) telephone would be excellent also.”

Only a handful of seminar attendees raised their hand when asked if their ICE (in case of emergency) information was programmed into their cell phone. Timm challenged attendees to program their ICE information in phone right away and to tell everyone they know to do it as well.

For crisis supplies, Timm said a simple first aid kit just doesn’t cut it. He suggested each school have a plan to deal with bomb threats/suspicious packages, create crisis flipcharts (which are one-page, double sided, laminated documents with emergency instructions), emergency supplies (like a backpack filled with bottled water, cups, energy bars, orange safety vest, rain poncho, 70-plus piece first aid kit, crank flashlight, Mylar blankets, pens, paper, clipboard, glow sticks, blue tarp, tissue, whistle and toilet paper), drills & exercises and mass notification.

Timm also said that propped doors are an invitation to criminals and the most important security product for schools is a functional communications device.

He advocates security committees in schools involving administration, faculty, support staff, students, police department, fire department, and parents.

“Students are ahead of us in technology, and they’ve got a much better pulse of knowing what’s going on in their schools,” Timm said.

About the Author

Cindy Horbrook is content development editor for Security Products magazine.

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