Integrated safety solutions free up more time for school staff to spend more face-to-face time with students while addressing understaffing issues.
School safety expectations continue to rise, yet many K-12 school districts’ budgets remain flat. Some even work with smaller budgets when the demands grow. In addition to these responsibilities, schools also struggle with staff shortages, as do most industries in the US
Brandon Davito, vice president of product and operations at Verkada, a provider of cloud-based building security systems, regularly speaks to school IT organizations and other security buyers about how advancements in security technology have helped to significantly ease the load, like them being challenged to do more with less (11:35).
“These are [often] small teams responsible for a number of sites across the district and their expectations and demands are only increasing, so they are looking for tools that will allow them to scale and provide better service and a safer campus with fewer employees” , he said. “Having a single solution, with a single vendor, allowing them to scale all of their sites and having better visibility and control was really what mattered most to the clients we work with.”
When speaking to school districts, Davito says their primary concern is almost always maintaining and managing various systems. By standardizing on a common platform for all physical security systems, schools can help ease the burden associated with current staffing issues.
“One way to do this is to give more and more employees in the district access to these types of tools. We talked about SROs, district officials, teachers in some cases and certainly principals and vice principals. Many need access to information ranging from intercom tools to security to access control logs and whether or not the alarm system was armed overnight,” Davito said. “The real power is in having the people on the ground taking action and giving them information about the nature of the threat, the level of response needed and exactly where that person or that threat might be.
The whole premise of integrated tools, Davito continued, is that they empower employees to do what they do best, including SROs (13:50).
“An SRO is really supposed to be both a friendly face and a reassuring presence or, when a situation escalates, help de-escalate it and make sure he or she is in the right place at the right time,” he said. “In the past did that mean you had to sit in front of a monitor or in an IDF closet to view footage, which is a pretty crappy situation. [It’s about] SROS who are on the go and need to take quick action to empower them with the tools to get a push notification on their mobile device or a quick feed as they walk across campus.”
During our discussion, Brandon also talked about:
- The Importance of Flexibility in Being Ready to Integrate with Existing Solutions (2:19)
- How recent advances in technology are improving visitor monitoring (4:03) and video surveillance (9:22).
- The Current State of Biometrics in the School Security Industry (6:43)
- How schools are working to mitigate threats from within (10:29)
- How Visitor Monitoring Technology Helps Front Desk Staff Do Their Jobs Better (15:35)
- Predicting the Future of Access Control and Video Surveillance in Schools (18:37)
Watch the full interview here, or listen on the go on Apple or Spotify.