Law enforcement agencies providing security on the campuses of colleges and universities face a stiff challenge. Students, faculty, staff and authorized visitors need easy access to the campus facilities – often at unusual times. At the same time, they must protect students against theft, sexual assault, and similar threats.

Campus law enforcement teams are turning to simple, time-honored methodologies to fight against these threats. They are also looking into the ways that new technology can alter the security landscape. In both cases, strategic policy and training management is needed to ensure officers and security guards are ready to put new methodologies into practice without creating risk.

Duke University a clear example of holistic security strategies
The move to improve security in holistic ways is clearly evident at Duke University’s Central Campus. According to a recent report from the Duke Chronicle, discussions at the university’s recent Academic Council highlighted the need to ramp up security efforts on campus. At this stage, security experts at the university are planning on using strategic fencing – usually decorative fences – to restrict movement around campus. They are also trying to gain more control over how vehicles can move around campus, employing surveillance cameras, working to equip security guards with body-worn cameras and using mobile apps so students can turn on location tracking when they travel around campus.

Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president of administration for Duke, told the news source that the university’s efforts are emblematic of what is happening across the higher education sector.

Drones are among the emerging technologies impacting law enforcement organizations in academia.
Drones are among the emerging technologies impacting law enforcement organizations in academia.

Security innovation increasingly common at colleges and universities
A recent Campus Safety report explained that commercial drones give law enforcement officials an opportunity to ramp up surveillance efforts on college campuses by using drones to watch hard-to-monitor locations. The added visibility could play a key role in protecting students.

A separate Campus Safety article took this potential for drone use to another level by highlighting a program that would use drones to escort students around campus after dark. Individuals who are concerned about safety could hire the drone to provide direct surveillance and serve as a deterrent to potential attackers.

All of these changes in campus law enforcement highlight the need to create new policies and training materials to support officers and security guards. Cost-efficient document management software can give you digital tools for policy and training material creation and distribution, something that is especially important as increased surveillance – whether through surveillance cameras or drones – create potential privacy concerns in the community.