Technology tightens campus security
January 24th, 2011
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Lincoln, NE – Digital surveillance cameras. Cell phones. Computer alerts. Technology has revolutionized campus security across America and in Nebraska.
From electronic access to buildings to wireless mass messaging, campus safety is handled much differently than 30 years ago. Wayne State College’s Jay Collier said the new technology has helped significantly.
“One of the things that has made our job easier,” he said, “is the fact that everyone carries a personal communication device—a phone, iPod, whatever. So everyone is constantly is dialed in.”
“That gives us the ability to contact people rapidly.”
Although the technology has proven to be beneficial to colleges and universities, it has also created new challenges. One is meeting expectations of immediacy. Paul Kosel manages campus security at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
“They expected it sooner than you can get it out,” he said. “And no matter how quickly you get it out, and no matter how much information you provide, there’s always a number of people that don’t feel it was sufficient and that it was too much.”
Despite the advancements, administrators know they can’t plan for and prevent everything. Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Clark Chandler said his institution tries to revisit and revise its safety policies and procedures frequently.
“The problem is the next thing is always something different,” he said, “So we have to have enough experience as administrators and as an institution to use our judgment to say something is happening here, or we need to foresee something that isn’t expected.”
Jay Collier of Wayne State said the new technology is helping campus security better handle the situation, when the unexpected does arise.
“I mean the fact what we can send a text to students–that’s pretty awesome,” he said, “because if students are going to check anything they’re going to check a text message.”
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