School security officer protecting students

When it comes to your school’s security, you can’t afford to cut corners.

Researchers estimate there is a school campus shooting nearly every week somewhere in the U.S. That’s not to mention the more common occurrences like bullying, threats and misbehavior that can put your students at risk daily.

Most school districts already have a security plan in place, but many are still not adequately serving their student population. In fact, for the 2015-2016 school year, the median total school district expenditure for safety and security was only $88 per 1,000 students, compared to $259 per student in custodial services and $947 per student in buses.*

Sufficiently ensuring the well-being of your students could mean hiring a private safety and security solutions provider. But how do you choose the right one?

Here are the five questions you should ask before you decide:

1. Can the provider conduct a full risk assessment?

School security isn’t a one-size-fits-all service. It’s important to have insights into a school’s history and surroundings before implementing a solution.

That’s why U.S. Security Associates (USA) offers a thorough Risk and Threat Assessment to determine a school’s vulnerabilities. This includes:

  • Developing an understanding of the local community
  • Reviewing state and local security legislation
  • Establishing open dialogue with local law enforcement
  • Conducting meetings with school officials and more

Without this extra context, a provider simply can’t deliver the most effective school security.

2. What is the provider’s relationship with local law enforcement?

Has the provider spoken with city or county police? Is there a mutual understanding of the roles of each in protecting schools?

Conversations with local law enforcement are key to ensure responsibilities are clearly understood and properly executed. Make sure your provider will communicate with the appropriate officials early and often.

3. How do they select and train their officers?

Not every solution requires onsite officers, but if yours does, make sure the officers are properly trained and frequently updated on the latest procedures.

USA offers best-in-class vetting and industry-leading training to ensure we hire the best officers and keep them in the know. Our full-time, in-house training leaders develop updated learning modules and continually ensure high standards across the company via the SecuritySTARS® program.

4. Does the provider have extensive industry experience?

Keeping students and staff safe every day requires seasoned and savvy leadership, especially when faced with complex challenges. Hiring an experienced security provider could be the difference between life and death in high-risk situations.

USA has thousands of years of combined experience among our leaders and officers, including law enforcement at the state, local and federal level. In addition, our company brings more than a quarter-century of refined processes and procedures to offer tailored safety solutions for your school.

5. Do they offer specific training programs for your students and staff?

While security personnel can help prevent and manage crises, they can’t be everywhere at once. This is why it’s crucial for students and staff to be trained in emergency preparation and reaction. Ask your provider what kinds of programs they offer.

Among other services, USA offers Active Shooter Response Training, a series of mock exercises designed to help participants make better decisions to protect themselves—and others—when a crisis happens.

Before you hire anyone else, make sure you’re getting the most trusted name in security and safety solutions, with a proven program at many different school districts. Contact USA and get started today.

Click here to learn how U.S. Security Associates helps Horry County Schools be Safe. Secure. Friendly.®

*Source: Council of the Great City Schools, Managing for Results in America’s Great City Schools 2017

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