Industry Focus

Smash and Grab

A few years ago – three to be exact – I became the legal guardian of a granddaughter, and with that came the finding of a daycare that not only provided a good learning environment, but a haven of safety and security. I channeled all my knowledge and experience into finding a secure school.

I found a place that met my expectations, for the most part. What I learned from the experience is that a person should never take security for granted. By August of this year, I found a new school. What I learned is that a secure building and enlightened staff offers a more stable and comforting environment.

When my granddaughter was a baby, I wanted to be able to look in remotely to make sure she was being properly taken care of. The first school had cameras in the classroom and I could access the video from my desktop or via smartphone, but the image quality was so poor. I could barely see where she was in the classroom. It drove me crazy.

Most of the time, when I delivered the child to the school or picked her up after a day at the office, the “secure” front door was open. This drove me crazy.

I labored mightily about changing schools, weighing the fact that my granddaughter would have to change schools and make new friends versus true security. I finally made the change, but I waited far too long to make that decision. At the top of my mind was security, and it drove me crazy.

All this comes about because of an email I received from the new school about a “smash and grab” that had happened. The school was warning people about the incident so that we could all be on the lookout. The first thing in my mind was this is security and this is how it is supposed to work.

This incident was reported and school officials were alerted of a possible security breach. From there, all parents – or grandparents in my case – were notified. Never take security for granted. What really caught my attention was the fact that the school does indeed have a camera system in place and was able to detect an image of the criminal — oh, I mean alleged criminal — and by working with their security integrator, they were schooled in letting parents and staff know this had occurred and the proper procedures are in place to ensure the students are safe.

While it is true the thief only wanted to steal money or items to sell, a school full of children is no place to test security measures already in place. Thanks to an astute security integrator, security measures at the front door of the school are always working. The front door is always locked, and a person cannot enter without the proper code and without being seen by the staff. The idea is, if they don’t know you, and you don’t have the proper code, you’re not getting in. Good security makes this grandpa very happy. Bad security drives me crazy.

This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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