School Security and School Safety
With Spring Break fast approaching, schools should be focusing on plans to protect their vacant campuses during the extended break. Every year, schools become targets for vandalism, trespassing, graffiti and theft, leaving behind extensive and EXPENSIVE damages for the district.
As we focus on “school security” and “school safety,” these two terms seem interchangeable, but there is difference between the two. Dan Flynn, author of the article “The ABCs of School Security” featured in Police Chief Magazine differentiates between the two.
School safety relies on the condition of the school, where school security relies on the means and products in which to deliver the safe environment. School safety is an “ideal” state of being free of any hazards or danger. Building codes, preventative maintenance efforts, good community, and well trained staff are all examples of what can create a safer school environment. School security is the condition of being protected or prevented from danger. Security cameras, campus police and school resource officers, and CPTED are examples of school security. When schools improve on their security efforts, they tend to improve their overall safety of the school.
Police Chief Magazine also suggests collaborating between law enforcement experts and the private security industry experts to develop school security programs. By training the teachers and providing the latest technology and security systems in schools will also provide a safer environment for the students and faculty.