Survey: Campuses Struggling to Manage Their Guests With Access Control Systems

University, school and hospital protection professionals want technologies that will help them better manage visitors and reach them during emergencies.

Other Challenges and Comments Mentioned by Respondents:

On Physical Access Control:

  • “[Our] contract security guard company is useless. They never leave their desks. Fire alarm ann
    unciators go off and they casually walk over and don’t disable the alarms, which makes it difficult to communicate with colleagues. Vagrants are always in the building or sleeping in common areas. Secure doors are often ajar. People often piggyback in to secure areas. The place is completely porous thanks to the contract security guard firm and its employees.”
  • “There are too many areas where doors are left unsecured and there is no notification.”

On Video Surveillance:

  • “Within the past year, we’ve just installed the first video cameras for our college. I budgeted $175K last fiscal year and will be investing another $75-$100K this year.”
  • “Our vendor’s software wasn’t recording when it should have been, and the application was always crashing. We switched video management solutions this year because of it, and things are going better!”

On Emergency Notification:

  • “System was bought and has been on site for three years, but our IT department has been slow to roll it out to the whole campus.”
  • “Authority to issue immediate alerts remains at upper management level, creating delays with delivery of the message.”
  • “College leadership refuses to make it mandatory to join the college alert system.”

On Two-Way Radios:

  • “Dead zones in campus buildings.”
  • “Our radios are not interoperable with the facilities radios.”
  • “In the hospital setting, we are rated for quietness. We went to an extended mic that officers wear on either shoulder so that the volume can be turned down. Some of us have purchased ear pieces out of our own pockets to hear radio traffic better and to lower the noise, especially during the evening hours. We have experienced ‘connection’ issues with both of the external devices, both transmitting and receiving.”

Additional Comments:

  • “All things are doable if you have sufficient funds.”
  • “I represent a wide range of state supported higher education institutions. The issues you list in this survey are, to a large part, dependent on the size of the institution, however they are common amongst all institutions. One potential solution you did not list was the possibility of acquiring and managing systems in a shared services model. While shared services is generally a way to defray costs, it can also address issues such as compatibility, interoperability, and acceptance by management.”

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