“It is shocking how many campuses have left themselves vulnerable to school violence, such as an active shooter,” says Richard H. Price Principal, Senior Analyst, CPTED CPD with Soteria Group, Safety by Design, who served 21 years as an FBI Special Agent. “Of all the campuses we’ve analyzed, NONE are doing everything they should to prevent school violence.”
With the intention of gaining insight to how the Clery campus crime reports can be better utilized in identifying vulnerabilities on campuses nationwide, the Soteria Group has recently reviewed Clery reports of universities and colleges in our surrounding states.
As a result of such reviews, Soteria Group has identified areas for improvement in security, including gaps that could make campuses vulnerable to the unthinkable — an active shooter.
What the Clery Act Does:
|Campus Crime Data
The Jeanne Clery Act, a consumer protection law passed in 1990, requires all colleges and universities who receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus and their efforts to improve campus safety as well as inform the public of crime in or around campus. This information is made publicly accessible through the university’s annual security report.
|Support for Victims
Under the Act, institutions must provide survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking with options such as changes to academic, transportation, or living, or working situations, and assistance in notifying local law enforcement, if the student or employee chooses to do so. It also provides both parties in a campus disciplinary process certain rights.
|Policies & Procedures
Colleges and universities must outline specific policies and procedures within their annual security reports, including those related to disseminating timely warnings and emergency notifications, options for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and campus crime reporting processes.
Many Campus Vulnerabilities Exposed
“If you know what you’re looking for, most Clery reports show that even with good faith efforts, most school and college campuses haven’t even done some of the basic, low-cost improvements that can literally mean life or death in an active shooter rampage,” says Paul Feist, Principal, Senior Analyst and CPTED CPD, with the Soteria Group, who has 25 years of experience in law enforcement.
“It isn’t a matter of being a high crime campus. In fact, just the opposite. Campuses that have higher crime rates have police/security departments that understand how campus design and training can make a big difference. They are already moving in the right direction,” says Feist. “It is the low or no-crime campuses that you really have to worry about. It is that false sense of security that, in part, led to the Umpqua College massacre.”
If you’re a school administrator or campus police/security, you need to immediately address some of the common vulnerabilities we see in most Clery reports, such as:
- How often is your text warning system list updated?
- What are the specific patterns of video coverage? Are you missing key areas (such as parking lots and perimeter areas) where violence occurs?
- What systems do you have in place for shooter containment and location tracking?
- What technologies are you using to secure classrooms in lockdown?
- When was the last time your staff went through any Active Shooter Response Training or Drills?
- Do you have an Emergency Operation Plan?
- Do you have bullying or tip lines for people who may be at risk. How are such concerns handled?
- Do you have Emergency Management Training?
- How many of your staff are trained to use the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command Systems (ICS)?
- When was your campus evaluated for target hardening/CPTED by certified professionals?
Since Clery reports are public documents, other people will see where your organization is deficient, which opens you up to increased civil scrutiny if something happens on your campus.
“With one site visit, we can help you improve your campus security,” says Arthur R. Tatum, Director of Design for FBT Architects and Principal of Soteria’s Environmental Design Division. “We can help you prepare for and prevent campus violence by using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) techniques, staff trainings and creating or modifying your emergency operation plan.”
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles include:
- Natural Surveillance
- Natural Access Control
- Territorial Reinforcement
The Soteria Group is certified in CPTED, combining our extensive experience in law enforcement and architecture to analyze and remedy risks for on-campus violence BEFORE it happens. We look at the environmental, psychological and social logistics surrounding school campuses, workplaces, and other vulnerable locations to determine the risk factors for violence and how to fix them. From architecture to online behaviors, we know what to look for and how to minimize risk and damage.
Our campus violence prevention and campus safety trainings are the gold standard:
Call the Soteria Group (505-263-7059) to arrange a campus risk and response training session for your team.
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