Improving safety and security at a small West Virginia college

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By Julie Brown, Institutional Market Leader, Johnson Controls
Due to the unfortunate rise of external threats on campus, higher education institutions are continuously seeking ways to improve their security strategy. With security threats top of mind, a small West Virginia college was ready to update their physical security systems. The school determined that they needed to be proactive about campus safety based on risks identified at other schools. With 18 campus buildings, this meant a new approach to security. Having determined their needs, the college needed a partner that could help meet its goals.

Implementing a successful security strategy
Johnson Controls was brought on through the company’s relationship with Sourcewell, a member-focused organization that helps nonprofit organizations, government agencies and education systems meet their security and technology needs. Johnson Controls started by pinpointing a specific location within each building to more effectively control those entering and exiting. Moving forward, the team helped the college implement access control and camera systems. When Johnson Controls described the value of being able to lock down all doors on a campus in case of emergency, this capability was integrated into the campus’s existing camera systems.
Johnson Controls started by pinpointing a specific location within each building to more effectively control those entering and exiting.
These implementations did bring on some obstacles, but the team was able to proactively work around them. For instance, Johnson Controls had to get creative with installations with the door hardware. Each door had a unique challenge ranging from concrete framing to newspaper jammed in the locking mechanisms. The team was able to provide strategic recommendations for improvement.

Advanced security systems lead to increased protection
With these upgrades and the additional design considerations, the college is now able to determine who is in their building at all times. They have added wireless locks, access controls to the dorms and an emergency communication system. The technology allows the school to remotely lock down doors, which greatly improves the school’s risk profile. In addition, the college is now equipped to prevent potential incidents and be in a good position to respond in the event of a threat.

Interested in updating your educational institution’s physical security systems? Learn more about how Johnson Controls can help improve your campus security here.
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