Make Parking and Transit a Key Element of Your Campus Safety Plan
Campus safety is as important an issue as ever.
The U.S. Department of Education reports that despite an uptick in 2015, the number of criminal offenses reported declined between 2005 and 2014. Colleges, particularly those located in urban environments, are not immune to larger crime trends, and improving statistics are not a substitute for earnest vigilance.
Safe campus environments are created through a combination of concrete steps that include officer patrols, lighting plans, facility security, education, and a practice of awareness (See Something, Say Something).
Parking and transportation play a pivotal role in enhancing and embracing security. Left unchecked, they have the potential to be vulnerable areas with the campus security network. One of the great challenges transit systems face is making sure uninvited or unauthorized passengers do not gain entry to a system. While many unauthorized passengers may have no intent to cause problems, there is no need to invite risk.
Many agencies use controlled access to help minimize risks inherent when access is uncontrolled. These same agencies have found that the data gathered provides incredible insight into user trends and resource allocation needs. A system such as Passio Technologies’ Gateway solution securely tracks boarding passengers by unique ID cards, and then provides ridership data and trend analysis that allows planners to detail nearly every aspect of the rider profile. Through demographics reporting employees, students, and faculty ridership can be tracked by day, date, time, and individual route and stop. Financial allocations can be quickly determined, and smart deployment of resources can be adjusted quickly to meet real time demand.
The introduction of tap and swipe card technology ensures that each passenger’s ID card is validated against a database every time they board the vehicle. Individuals who don’t belong on the bus don’t have the opportunity to ride. Often universities or agencies forgo an effective and easy to deploy security measure due to a mistaken belief that the cost is unnecessary or it will create a disruption to service.
Some agencies have even taken the platform one step further by integrating the controlled access system with a notification system. Many agencies use such a platform to alert riders of service changes, but it can be easily integrated with existing notification systems to ensure complete coverage of a school’s population.
The bottom line is universities have a lot of tools at their disposal to ensure the safest campuses possible. The technology is available today, and that’s why it is imperative we look at every solution possible.
It may be impossible to completely eliminate the bad guys. But, we can certainly make it more difficult for them to do harm.