Campuses Report Having Mixed Success With Access Control, Lockdowns

Demand for access control, locks, visitor management and other solutions is on the rise, but the ability to lockdown is still a challenge.

Campuses Happier With Coverage, Quality of Access, Lockdown Solutions

Compared to two years ago when we asked our readers how satisfied they were with the coverage of their access control, locks and door hardware, we’ve seen a 20-point increase in satisfaction overall, with 75% rating their coverage as excellent or good, compared to only 55% in 2019. Currently, our healthcare respondents are slightly less enthusiastic about their coverage compared to K-12 and higher ed survey takers. About one in four (26%) healthcare respondents rate their coverage as excellent, compared to 28% of school and 32% of college participants.

Survey participants are also more satisfied with the quality of their access control systems, locks and door hardware today than they were in 2019. Nearly three in five (71%) rate it as excellent or good now, compared to only 56% two years ago. Higher ed and K-12 school and district respondents were the most likely to give an excellent rating (30% and 29%, respectively) compared to hospitals (26%).

Compared to our 2019 survey results, the percentage of campuses experiencing extremely or very challenging issues associated with physical access control has remained remarkably constant. “Campus layout,” once again tops the list at 39%, while “tracking and managing keys” comes in second at 33%. “Lack of metal detection or our detectors need to be upgraded” comes in third on this list.

The percentage of campuses experiencing extremely challenging or very challenging issues associated with their policies and personnel has also remained remarkably constant when compared to the survey from two years ago. The most significant change? Six percent more respondents say their issues with IT department buy-in are extremely challenging or very challenging — up from 18% in 2019 to 24% this year.

That being said “Policies supporting our access control system(s) don’t exist or the ones we have need to be upgraded” continues to be the biggest thorn in the side of campus security professionals. A third say this issue is extremely or very challenging for them (32% said the same thing in 2019).

Additionally, the maintenance and configuration of locks and door hardware continues to pose challenges to this year’s survey participants. There is very little change in the answers to both of these questions this year compared to 2019 — 44% this year for maintenance compared to 42% two years ago, and 36% now compared to 37% previously.

There has been significant improvement, however, in training. Although nearly half (48%) of this year’s respondents say “Students, staff, administrators and teachers are not trained on our access control policies or don’t follow our policies,” that’s way better than the 61% in 2019.

About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration.

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