A Delaware school district steps up security

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By Julie Brown, Institutional Market Leader, Johnson Controls

Security is a critical, ever-evolving challenge for school districts across the country. In the past, K-12 security systems were geared toward preventing vandalism or break-ins after hours. This has shifted following the tragic active shooter events of recent years – now, protecting students and staff during the school day is at the forefront of K-12 security conversations, and districts are across the country taking action.

A public-school district in Delaware realized that they needed to make this switch and bolster their security strategy with an integrated approach and updated technology. To help, district leaders turned to Johnson Controls as a partner to implement and maintain these crucial systems.

A Multi-Layered Approach
Like many schools across the country which enlist retired police, city and state troopers, or constables as on-site support, the school district was leveraging security personnel to keep a close eye on happenings inside and outside of its schools. While security on the ground is a good foundation, the district recognized the need to integrate innovative technology to meet modern safety demands. Traditional security measures, such as access control, have always played a critical role in ensuring the safety of students, teachers and staff in K-12. However, today, it’s just as important to make sure that those security measures don’t interfere with creating a comfortable learning environment for students.
Traditional security measures, such as access control, have always played a critical role in ensuring the safety of students, teachers and staff in K-12. However, today, it’s just as important to make sure that those security measures don’t interfere with creating a comfortable learning environment for students.
With a security game plan in place, Johnson Controls was able to install an integrated access control system without disrupting classrooms or everyday school activities. The innovative upgrade now provides the school district with a more seamless and secure visitor management system by funneling visitors directly to the main office upon arriving, where they’re assigned escorts to accompany them throughout the building. Visitors are also quickly screened onsite through a background check to eliminate concerns about criminal histories or other issues that may put students and staff at risk. For additional security, Johnson Controls simultaneously updated and integrated CCTV systems to improve the district’s video surveillance.

Driving Value Beyond Installation
As a result of these integrations, the school district saw tremendous savings in manpower and has been able to easily obtain key information about these systems through their online customer portal. Access control helps ensure doors are locked and requires authorization for entry, eliminating the need for personnel to tend to entranceways and exits throughout the building. And, the upgraded video surveillance has helped prevent and reduce hostile incidents between students, or with students and staff.

Additionally, by working with a single-source security solution provider, they now have a streamlined online management of their security system, making it easy to view alerts, system performance, billing and maintenance information in one centralized place. To help resolve any problems or service calls as quickly as possible, Johnson Controls also provides monitoring services, inspections and a dedicated full-time technician for the district.
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