On April 27, the Security Industry Association (SIA) – along with representatives of SIA members Axis Communications and Johnson Controls – briefed state legislators on tech solutions for school security as part of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 2018 Spring Task Force Summit. Jake Parker, director of government relations at SIA, moderated two panel discussions at the event in Grand Rapids, MI, featuring James Marcella, Axis Communications’ director of technical services; Kevin Wren, director of risk, security and emergency management for South Carolina’s Rock Hill School District; and Carolyn McGrath, senior manager of portfolio and offer management at Johnson Controls.
In the first discussion, the panelists briefed the ALEC Consumer Protection, Critical Infrastructure and Security Technologies Subcommittee about the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) safety and security guidelines for K–12 schools and recent policy developments at the federal and state levels. The speakers also addressed the current role of technology in K–12 security, assessing how far we have come, key tech advances that are improving security, common gaps and the currently sought capabilities. Panelists closed by identifying key challenges and solutions, including the pitfalls administrators often face in school security enhancement efforts and the role of security technology solutions in addressing these issues.
In the second presentation, Parker, Marcella, Wren and McGrath briefed ALEC’s Communications and Technology Task Force on emerging technology solutions for school security. The speakers discussed the elements of an effective physical protection plan (deterrence, detection and response) and tactics like lockdown, public address solutions, secured vestibule, radio over internet protocol, analytics and recorded alerts and acoustic analytics and aggression detection. They highlighted the latest school security technology, including gunshot detection in K–12 schools, from the integrator perspective and future school security technology from the manufacturer and practitioner perspectives.