Any visitor, known or unknown, is a risk to the school. Visitor management policies, procedures, and management software are effective solutions for deterring unwanted visitors and identifying suspicious behaviors.
Unknown visitors significantly increase the threat level. They must be stopped at or before the entrance to verify identity and reasons for the visit. To do this, it’s best to leverage a combination of physical security strategies.
Vestibules provide a comfortable environment for the visitor that may be equipped with video and audio feeds to clearly verify identity and purpose. Staff may communicate with the visitor from a safe location while they vet the visitor and compare information to known threat lists. The video feed allows staff to not only verify identity but also recognize suspicious behaviors and signs of duress.
Once inside the school, access-controlled doors can prevent the visitor from roaming freely into classrooms, offices, and other sensitive areas.
These features may dramatically reduce risk, but nothing can stop a visitor if the doors are unlocked during student arrival and departure times. Staff vigilance should never become complacent. Well-trained staff should always be aware of who is coming and going in real-time.
Visitor Management Systems
Visitor management systems streamline the verification process and maintain referenceable records of prior visits.
Pre-verification may be used when a visitor’s arrival is scheduled. Vendors, family members, and regional administrators are just a few of the visitors that your school may schedule. Visitor information can be processed in advance and compared to real-time identification when the visitor arrives. The visitor is still required to request access by communicating with the staff on video and intercom. Advanced screening may also identify a threat before arrival by comparing visitor information to local and national watch lists.
The details of the visit and the visitor’s identifiable information are stored to expedite future visits or conduct a post-incident investigation.
An electronic, real-time log of visitors also provides accountability during an emergency that requires evacuation. Without a visitor management system, it would be impossible to ensure that all visitors are safely out of the building.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all technology solution that will guarantee safety. However, experienced security organizations offer an excellent advantage. A security professional can visit your school to collaborate with administrators, security staff, the IT department, and other key stakeholders. The resulting plan will be a tailored and comprehensive security solution.