Knightscope’s 5-Step Recommendation for Securing Schools, Colleges and Universities

December 12, 2022

Advocates, individuals, and government officials at all levels must do everything they can to ensure that schools are safe places for students, teachers, and other employees.  We don’t, however, think anyone in education wants to create the ‘Fort Knox’ of schools.  In order to prevent school shootings and other types of crime from occurring in our educational institutions, it is crucial to invest in a wide array of approaches that systematically create safe, healthy, and supportive schools for all students rather than just hardening access to them.
Let’s face it… all the security measures won’t stop a well-intentioned child or teacher.  We have all seen it happen frequently despite the training: someone props a door open to help another person enter the building who has their hands full.  The deployment of security elements in schools has received more focus in recent years to help mitigate this, but overzealous security measures are detrimental to the academic environment, student functioning, and school climate.  Therefore, it is imperative to build schools that are both welcoming and comfortable, as well as safe and secure.  
Crime prevention that focuses on natural deterrence, monitoring, access control, and territorial reinforcement discourages criminal or antisocial conduct, which leads to a more peaceful environment for learning.  Here are some of Knightscope’s recommendations for achieving a well-balanced security program.
STEP 1 Secure the Parking Lots, Structures and School Grounds

Enhance the safety & security of your school’s campuses with a team of Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) throughout your parking lots and structures.  Make your school grounds an uninviting place for those seeking out a place to do evil deeds.  Knightscope's K1 Blue Light Towers and Blue Light Emergency Phones provide a very noticeable and recognizable fixed location to access dependable communications away from buildings. They are fully wireless and don't require digging or trenching when installed.  Patrolling K5 ASRs monitor and record all vehicle and pedestrian traffic entering and departing your campus, promoting a safer environment for all.  While on patrol, the K5 will act as your mobile call box - at the push of a button, a student, guest or teacher may call security in the event of an emergency, or for basic information if needed. 
Patrolling ASRs are a valuable asset to your employees and/or security team acting as a commanding physical security presence that offer extra eyes, ears, mobile functionality, and a voice to help deter auto break-ins and vandalism.  The K-5 also detects people, plates, thermal events, and mobile device signals, which can all aid in the event of an investigation or deliver real-time alerts about individuals on your Watchlist caught on campus property.  Our K1 Hemispheres even provide Facial Recognition alerts at controlled access points.  All alerts are delivered via our web-based user interface, the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC).  Notifications, text messages, emails and phone calls may also be immediately forwarded to a School Resource Officer or to Knightscope+, our optional remote monitoring solution.
STEP 2 Monitor Drop-off and Pick-up Locations

Placing K1 Towers at the student pick-up and drop off locations helps ensure that all traffic is monitored and promotes safe driving practices in these high traffic areas, which tend to bottle neck as vehicles jockey for position, enter, park and depart.  A K1 monitoring these staging areas records all pick-ups and drop-offs in the event there is a question or concern regarding a student’s whereabouts.  Just like the K5’s, the K1’s can also make announcements to all entering the campus, such as a general, welcoming greeting, or a combination greeting with a safety message to help adopt a safety awareness culture.  Facial Recognition on the K1’s can aid in the detection of either students that are suspended and or expelled, or any other person who may no longer be allowed on the school’s campus. 
STEP 3 Monitor the Administration Office
The Administration Office can be a vulnerable campus location, as these offices are typically open for business hours or while school is in session.  With Facial Recognition, People Detection, and programmed Prerecorded Broadcast messages, a compact K1 Hemisphere can enhance your visitor experience while providing a higher level of security.  By monitoring and recording all who enter and leave the office, you gain the advantage of eye-level HD video and/or photos of persons in the event this information is needed at a later time for investigative purposes.  Just like the K5, the Hemisphere also has an Intercom button call feature in the case of an unstaffed reception area.  This can be a very useful feature for visitors needing assistance.
STEP 4 Campus Supervision
Keeping the inside of your school’s campus safe is just as important as the exterior of the campus.  A K5 can assist your already heavily tasked Campus Supervisors, Security Staff or School Resource Officer (SRO). In many cases, Campus Supervision is responsible for overseeing a growing number of students year after year.  Often there is not enough supervision for the students as well as the staff.  With a K5 to assist with either patrols and or stationary observation points at different times of the day, you gain the advantage of monitoring certain areas that might otherwise go unchecked due to the lack of personnel. With People Detection Automatic Broadcast Messages, the K5 will make announcements to persons it encounters providing that extra presence for your staff.
STEP 5 Focus on the Students and the Staff
Knightscope partners with its school clients, incorporating newly determined solutions or more effective processes into KSOC software updates or road map ASR capabilities.  With a dedicated Knightscope Team to assist you 24/7, we are helping to enhance the safety and security of school campuses throughout the nation.  Take Knightscope to another level, by upgrading to Knightscope+ to access the additional capabilities of a remote monitoring Knightscope Team trained in incident intervention and alert escalation.  A partnership with Knightscope provides you with the opportunity to focus more on your students and staff.
Reliable security procedures that keep everyone on campus safe are essential to education.  There are numerous strategies to increase campus security, and you can obtain it without overspending or being forced to hire more people.  Finding the appropriate technologies to create a more secure environment for learning and teaching is the first step in building a more healthy and productive educational experience.  Take a few moments to visit with one of our experts and discover how we can help your school. Click here to learn more.

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