3 Effective School Campus Security Strategies

The statistics on school shootings today are dismal. So far in 2019, there have been a total of 22 shootings on school campuses in the United States in which someone was injured or killed, and to date, 57 incidents of gunfire on school grounds [1].

School shootings and other threats have necessitated drills and precautionary measures for even young children to stay safe in the event of an emergency. With safety a concern at every school today, from elementary schools to college campuses, how can campus security help ensure the safety of students?

While each school is unique and will have their own approach, campus security can keep the following strategies in mind to increase student safety and minimize threats.

1. Use Existing Data to Identify and Evaluate Potential Threats

Knowing the risks of each particular campus is essential to developing the right strategy. To identify potential threats for your school, utilize available data, including any trends in incidents or surveillance footage, which will help establish a foundation for an integrated security approach [2].

Assess the security department of your school in addition to the threats that both the campus and surrounding community have dealt with in the past. Identify common factors that can influence your security approach and even reveal weaknesses in your system.

Your campus may already have protective measures in place to keep students, staff, and visitors safe, but it’s important to evaluate these for trends and effectiveness as well—think security procedures, technology, training, and patrols. 

2. Consider Prevention Through Design

Part of campus security is affected by specific design elements of the campus. Consider where solid walls, sculptures, large signs, or tall greenery are located—these are all areas that can work to the advantage of a shooter, kidnapper, or attacker.

When working to customize your approach for campus security, consider the design of your campus. Removing obstacles like the ones discussed above can allow more visibility and prevent attackers from having an advantage.

Another design element that can benefit campus security strategies is limiting the number of ways in and out of buildings [3]. This functions as a form of access control. Post signs that inform visitors that access is restricted and that they must report to the office when visiting. Establish a sense of territory by posting campus closing times, using fences, and keeping the grounds maintained—these actions can signal to an attacker that a school is actively protecting its property.

3. Make a Long-Term Impact with Community & Communication

To make a long-term impact, it’s essential to continuously measure your security’s performance and effectiveness. You must identify new risks, areas for improvement, and goals you’d like to reach.

By creating an awareness of school safety and even conducting trainings for your school’s crisis plan, you can help involve the campus community in keeping the school safe.

You can also involve the community outside of the campus—residents should be encouraged to report suspicious behavior, and you can promote school and community partnerships to enhance safety measures.

In addition to the significance of community involvement for a long-term impact, school personnel should be able to communicate with each other in the event of a shooting. Everyone on campus should be able to call for help or communicate or receive a warning.

By working together, communities, security departments, students, and faculty can work to make school campuses safer [4].

You Can Never Be Too Safe

When it comes to the safety of schools, students can never be too safe. At Surveillance Secure, we know how important security is to students and communities. We take an integrative, risk-based approach to safety using technology, expertise, and communication.

Learn more about how we can help you implement an effective school campus security strategy by calling (877) 388-1248.


  1. https://everytownresearch.org/gunfire-in-school/#12420
  2. https://rems.ed.gov/docs/8ThreatAssessmentinSchools.pdf
  3. https://www.heritage.org/education/commentary/heres-how-school-security-should-be-improved-4-easy-steps
  4. https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/stats-services-publications-school-shooter-school-shooter/view

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