Sadly, the threat of gun violence has become a top concern for every American school. Since 2013, there has been an average of one school shooting per week in the U.S. For the past two years, we have been contacted by dozens of schools asking whether face recognition can help. To be honest, there are cases when it might not have made a difference. But there are many more where a biometric surveillance solution might have saved lives by notifying security, campus police or other authorities about threats in real time.
Here are a few ways that face recognition can make schools safer:
Facial recognition systems work by matching images taken by surveillance cameras against a large database of photographs. This can be used to instantly validate whether individuals on school grounds are students or members of the faculty. Security can be instantly alerted whenever someone who isn’t a student or member of the faculty enters so they can ensure that the person has a valid reason for being on school grounds.
Prior to the recent shooting at Douglas High Schol, the Broward County Sheriff’s Officer received several tips about Nikolas Cruz’s intentions to carry out a school shooting. This serves as a powerful example of an individual who should be enrolled in a database as a potential threat. Some examples of individuals who might pose a threat include:
- Expelled students
- Local drug dealers
- Gang members (non-students) with a history of trespassing on school grounds
- People who have threatened a school
Using face recognition, security can be alerted to these individuals’ presence the moment they arrive on campus. Access to this information in real time can help them do a better job of securing school grounds and proactively preventing incidents.
Protect School Events
Face recognition can help ensure that school events are safe. As an example, students and other individuals are regularly banned from college games for disorderly conduct. With face recognition, these banned fans can be recognized in real time. This can help event security personnel do a better job of ensuring these games are safe for students and fans. Face recognition can likewise be used to instantly recognize potential stalkers, violent criminals and individuals on terror watchlists.
Using face recognition can keep schools safer by offering an additional layer of protection. When it comes to school security, every second counts. And with facial recognition, security professionals can gain valuable data, that may even save lives, in real time.