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The Top Five Technology Trends for Campus Safety in 2019

By Tommy Blackwell, Director of Security Solutions, ShotSpotter 

Across the country, the challenge to keep students and staff safe, while maintaining a welcoming, open campus environment has become a major concern for campus police and public safety agencies as well as college management.  Fortunately, new smart campus technologies are available to facilitate safety protocols, coordinate responses, enhance investigations, and reduce response times for campus emergencies. 

While there are many technology options for campus security, here are five of the top tech trends that we see as game changers for campus public safety and law enforcement departments

1. IP-Enabled Cameras 

One of the most important tools for law enforcement is well situated IP-enabled cameras that pan/tilt/zoom for maximum effectiveness.  The latest generation of cameras offers high-resolution details and makes surveillance across campuses much more efficient. Many systems integrate with facial recognition and notification systems and provide time-saving video search capabilities, making them critical investigative tools.

2. Mobile Applications

Since it is a safe bet that nearly every college student carries a smartphone, universities can take advantage of a wide range of mobile apps to help increase and streamline emergency communications. These emergency notification apps can send widespread campus alerts from law enforcement to students and also gather intelligence from students by making it easier to report suspicious activities or active crimes.  Some campuses are providing students with free panic button apps, such as Rave or bSafe, that enable them to alert campus police if they feel threatened and/or to monitor their safety.  

3. Wearable Tech

In addition to mobile apps, some students are taking advantage of wearable devices to monitor their safety and provide their parents with added peace of mind. Products, such as 911 Help Now Wrist Alarm and Vigilant Wearable Personal Alarm, enable students to activate an alarm in the event of an emergency.

4. Gunshot Detection

With the increased threat of gun violence on and around campuses, a growing number of universities are installing gunshot detection solutions to help campus law enforcement quickly and accurately respond to gunfire incidents. Technologies, such as ShotSpotter, detect gunfire through specialized audio sensors placed around the campus. When gunfire occurs, critical information is relayed to campus police (sent simultaneously to a 911 dispatch center, officer cell phones and MDT in less than 60 seconds—including a precise location and number of gunshots. This greatly accelerates response times to critical incidents, such as an active shooter, and helps ensure officers can provide immediate aid to victims.

5. Facial Recognition

Facial recognition systems are another way technology is helping to enhance campus security. For example, building entrances can be monitored by inexpensive HD cameras equipped with facial recognition technology. Artificial intelligence software automatically captures the facial images from live video and images can be matched against a database.  Suspicious match alerts can be instantly routed to campus security.

Campuses today are choosing a “layered” approach to security technologies to help them maximize student safety and school budgets. With budget considerations, they often bring on new technologies over several budget years. 

For more information on how ShotSpotter can help keep your campus safe, visit:


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