Connecting School Security Professionals, Virtually

It’s no secret that the landscape for campus security professionals has shifted enormously since our last edition went to press in March. Schools across the country were forced to close, many through the end of the school year, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. School security leaders have taken on new roles, from assisting with meal and laptop distribution to conducting truancy checks on students and investigating increases in campus break-ins.

In addition, public health officials and campus security teams are being tasked with planning for the safe return of students and staff this fall or even in 2021. The University of Alabama system, which includes the main Tuscaloosa campus as well as locations in Birmingham and Huntsville, has already created a task force to do just that. The committee includes infectious disease experts as well as student life, student health and academic staff members.

Committee officials are considering a range of factors: enhanced cleaning measures, class- room social distancing procedures, the provision of coronavirus testing and the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to all members of the campus community. Housing policies must be considered alongside the implementation of health and security programs, making the planning process even more complex.

The mounting list of concerns for campus leaders, including the possibility of second and third waves of the coronavirus pandemic, is only growing longer by the day. In addition to the new threats, campus security teams are still addressing the old ones: active shooters, school break-ins and fire and life safety risks.

That’s why Campus Security & Life Safety is making it easier than ever for school security and law enforcement professionals to attend our educational events with our first-ever Campus Security & Life Safety Virtual Summit. Set for July 15, the summit will feature a panel of campus security experts from across the United States and individual sessions on topics like active shoot- er strategies, access control solutions and lockdown techniques.

Best of all, the event offers complimentary registration for campus security professionals, who will have the ability to watch the day’s presentations live or view archived versions at a later time. Whether or not you have had the opportunity to attend one of our in-person regional summits, this virtual event will feature crucial information and perspectives that you will not want to miss out on.

As universities, school districts and other campuses around the country plan their long-term responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Campus Security & Life Safety hopes to be a source of information as well as a conduit for professionals to share best practices and ideas for keeping students, staff and faculty safe.

The current public health crisis may be keeping us apart physically, but our slate of events and resources are only a click away.

This article originally appeared in the May June 2020 issue of Campus Security Today.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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