Schools around the country are more focused on security than ever before. With this new level of interest and more advanced technology, what does the ultimate in school security systems look like?
Southwestern High School in Shelbyville, Indiana has become the poster child for school security technology in recent years. The school underwent an overhaul in 2013 after it was picked as a testing site by the local sheriff’s department. Packed with sophisticated access control technology, surveillance features, and emergency countermeasures, the high school might become a model for future security systems around the country.
A Quick Look Into Southwestern High School’s Security Technology
Teachers and administrators each carry an access fob around their neck. This serves two purposes: access control around campus, and an emergency panic button to activate the nearly half a million dollar system. Once activated, the system alerts the local sheriff who can watch remotely in real time from a comprehensive surveillance system.
At the school, classroom doors automatically shut and lock. Teachers inside the rooms can look outside through a peephole system embedded into the bulletproof door, while a supposedly unbreachable deadbolt system keeps the occupants safe. Each classroom is also has a messaging system enabling teachers to signal if everyone is safe, if they need medical attention, or if the suspect is in close proximity.
Outside the classroom, the system can deploy smoke cannons as a countermeasure that supposedly lets the sheriff fight back against an active shooter. The sheriff can remotely control these to confuse and corral the assailant while help arrives.
The security system and its ancillary equipment were installed by NetTalon Security Systems, a Virginia-based security company who also funded the bulk of the project, the rest came from grants. There’s a variety of programs around the country that offer grant money for school security, such as the $16 million school safety grant that Georgia recently passed.
Southwestern High School’s school security system cost just over $400,000 — a price tag that has raised some eyebrows — but the town of Shelbyville hope they can at least use the testbed system as a means to show the nation whether such a system will be necessary.
If your metro Atlanta school is in the market for a new or upgraded security system, or you’re just looking to explore security options, contact C1C today. Our team can install a variety of security technologies — regardless of the size of your school — to keep your students and faculty safe.