A Shreveport, Louisiana based company is working tirelessly to provide schools with security, peace of mind, and a safe place for learning. Homeland Safety Systems Inc., a commercial and industrial technology company, has developed a state-of-the-art security camera and communication system that can better prepare schools and increase safety in the classroom.
The Homeland Safety Systems solution is simple: place a high definition security camera and mic in every classroom, hallway, and lunchroom. Homeland’s system allows for educators and administrators to have access to every area of the entire campus in real-time, also giving them the ability to view 800 of the school’s cameras at once to ensure nothing can slip through the cracks.
This unprecedented access gives school officials the ability to detect, deter, and intervene in situations before they become explosive. Imagine being able to see the exact moment a student was bullied or witnessing a student exhibiting dangerous or threatening behavior that otherwise would have gone undetected.
During the investigation after the Columbine massacre, detectives discovered that both Harris and Klebold wrote about the bullying they faced at school, and many experts believe that bullying was a contributing factor in their attack.
“The video footage provides an objective account of an incident, and in the case of bullying, the footage can serve as a starting point for conversations between parents and teachers,” said Tony, a spokesman from Homeland Safety Systems, Inc.
School video surveillance is not a new concept. According to an article on School Leaders Now, “75% of public schools reported using security cameras to monitor their buildings.” The article also asks the question- what about using them in the classroom?
According to a study done by Extreme Networks, 70% of teachers polls think that “video cameras should be used in the classroom.” 41% of those polled also said they could cite a specific incident in which video surveillance “prevented or helped solve a problem.”
Another article on NPR stated that “Many school administrators say video cameras cut down on any number of crimes, from assault to theft to gang violence. At Clifton High in New Jersey, the decision to install cameras came after several sexual assaults in a school stairwell.”
Homeland Safety Systems takes a comprehensive approach to school surveillance. Not only are the common areas and classrooms covered by video, but their systems allow for sound to be recorded as well.
Another aspect of the Homeland Safety Systems solution to school safety is their ability to share real-time video footage with first responders. During an emergency, police officers can directly access the cameras from their laptops or phones. Not only does this allow officers to determine exactly where the threat is, but it also allows them to identify people who are wounded and direct emergency crews to their location.
During the Columbine massacre, police were criticized for their delayed response. With the Homeland Safety Systems camera, police can cut their response time down drastically.
“These incidents unfold quickly, usually between 2 to 3 minutes, so literally every second count. If we can cut down the police department’s response time by even a few minutes, it’s going to have a huge impact on the outcome,” said Tony.
Homeland Safety Systems understands that no two schools, or buildings for that matter, are alike. What might work at one location may not be optimal for another, thus, Homeland ensures a cost-efficient solution by custom designing and manufacturing each school’s system to fit their specific needs.
The Homeland safety plan always begins with a school risk assessment, including FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) experts who perform a complete walk-through and survey of the school. With an all-hazards approach, every aspect of the school’s safety and security is evaluated to determine overall wants and needs. Once the survey is complete, Homeland Safety custom designs a security system based on the necessities of the school. Homeland does not charge schools for the risk assessments.
“It’s so much more than just cameras and microphones,” said Tony. “We don’t consider ourselves just a company, we are a proactive solution to dynamic problems.”
Going Beyond Safety
Homeland Safety Systems, Inc. goes beyond the worst case scenario of an active shooter.
Consistent monitoring of individual classrooms can give administrators the ability to watch over and protect every teacher and every classroom at any given time, also providing a cost-efficient and time-saving solution. Increased classroom monitoring not only makes students behave better, but it gives administrators a powerful tool to review teachers’ performance and create more accountability with the educators.
“We’ve done studies with our educator clients over the last 9 years, and it’s proved that having the camera and microphone in the classroom can increase the overall performance of the school system by holding the teachers and the students accountable in the classroom,” a spokesman from Homeland Safety Systems said.
With school shootings on the rise and test scores on the decline, this simple and cost-effective solution can counter both issues at the same time. Increased accountability, real-time monitoring, and being able to intervene early are just some of the issues that the Classroom Enhancement Solution provides.
Schools in Bienville, Monroe, Desoto, and Lincoln have deployed Homeland Safety Systems products and have seen improvement in academic performance. In Lincoln Parish, schools with Homeland products have improved performance by 10%, and in Bienville Parish, the improvement rate is almost 20%.
Homeland Safety Systems is a Shreveport based company that believes in giving back to the community. Homeland offers free risk assessments to any school who invites them to visit. Even if Homeland doesn’t install a single video camera, the free risk assessments can help educators develop emergency preparedness plans. The company has been involved with numerous law enforcement drills while contributing expert support to multiple law enforcement agencies throughout Louisiana and Arkansas.
Check out this video from Homeland Safety Systems explaining their philosophy on school safety.