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Entry-Control Approaches
(Chapter 4   Entry-Control Technologies, Continued)

WHO lets you in

A security person (or a person assigned to this duty) is located at some particular entry point, either at the vehicle entrance onto campus or at the main entry doors into the building. This security person establishes that the person wishing to enter is a valid student, employee, or visitor. In smaller schools, this can often be accomplished with no more than the recognition of the person by the security person. In larger schools, this validation can be accomplished through issued ID cards (usually with photos), badges, vehicle stickers, or mandatory school uniforms. Although this is not considered a high-security approach for the reasons listed below, it can be one of the most expensive approaches for most schools.

  • Strengths: A security person can do more than simply check an ID card. He or she may also notice if something appears amiss, such as if a student is drunk or acting strangely. A security person can also prevent two or more students from entering using one ID card.
  • Weaknesses: A security person in this task can become bored and may become careless or move to a different job. A security person's attention can be diverted. A dishonest security person could allow unauthorized individuals to enter. Using a person for entry control is an ongoing expense for the school. A simple picture ID card can be stolen and used by someone else; experience has shown that security personnel can sometimes fail to identify persons who have an ID card with someone else's picture.
  • Costs: Depending on the part of the country, each security guard will cost between $8,000 and $30,000 per year, plus training, uniforms, and so forth. (This does not apply to the costs of an actual law enforcement officer.) One guard can be expected to handle roughly 250-350 cars per hour, providing that vehicle occupants are prepared to show ID immediately.
  • Every member of a school's security organization must have a thorough background check before being hired, with references and previous employers called. If possible, periodically require drug testing on a random basis.

 



Research Report:   The Appropriate and Effective Use of Security Technologies in U.S. Schools