School Safety Technology

Crime Mapping News, Volume 3 Issue 2, Spring 2001
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Police Foundation, April 2001. The topic of this issue is GIS and school safety. The articles in this issue include a discussion of the use of GIS as a tool for responding to critical incidents at schools; a description of SchoolCOP, a free software package that allows for mapping and analysis of incidents occurring in and around schools; a brief description of MAPSS, an analytical tool that allows for spatial analysis of student pathways, hangouts, and the neighborhoods surrounding schools; an article describing a safe schools mapping initiative developed by the San Diego, California Police Department; and an annotated bibliography of articles, reports, and books relating to the topic of school safety.

Digital Imaging for Safe Schools: A Public Safety Response to Critical Incidents
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), n.d. This NIJ-sponsored resource guide, developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), presents step-by-step instructions on creating three-dimensional images on CD of school properties for use during critical incidents. (NCJ 212907)

Guide to Using School COP Software to Address Student Discipline Problems
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), September 2001. This Guide is designed to help school administrators, police officers assigned to a school, and non-sworn school security staff reduce student discipline and crime problems using a new software application called the School Crime Operations Package, or School COP. School COP is designed to enable you to record and store detailed information about incidents involving student misconduct and crime.

Keeping an Eye on School Security: The Iris Recognition Project in New Jersey Schools
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), July 2006. The iris recognition scanner is a security system that links eye-scanning cameras with computers to identify people. This security system was adopted by three schools in New Egypt, NJ under a science and technology grant from the NIJ. The intent of the iris recognition technology is that of a security measure for schools in the United States. This article briefly describes the results of the evaluative study.

Safe Kids, Safe Schools: Evaluating the Use of Iris Recognition Technology in New Egypt, NJ
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), December 2004. In 2002, the Plumsted Township School District received Federal funding to purchase iris recognition technology in its three schools. The technology chosen identifies teachers, staff, and parents seeking entrance to schools, makes a decision about granting entry, and unlocks the doors for those allowed entry. The findings revealed some problems, such as the technology “freezing up” and issues of “tailgating,” but overall, the implementation of the system appeared to be successful and most users considered it a safe and convenient method of security. The impact findings revealed ease of use and a heightened sense of safety for parents, as well as for teachers and staff. Six general recommendations are offered for those interested in implementing their own iris recognition system.

School COP Software
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Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), n.d. The School Crime Operations Package (School COP) is a free software application for entering, analyzing, and mapping incidents that occur in and around schools.

School COP: A Software Package for Enhancing School Safety
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), July 2001. The project aimed to develop software that school administrators, school district security staff, and police officers assigned to schools could use to enter, analyze, and map incidents without formal training and without the need for other software.

Software Radio for School Safety
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), April 2006. Using a handheld transceiver designed with multiple waveforms in the UHF and VHF bands and an easily configured user interface as a base, this project attempted to modify the device with two way radio waveforms, both analog and digital, and mobile-side implementations of cellular waveforms with bandwidths low enough to be processed on a low power handheld TDMA and AMPS processor. Testing showed that the transceiver did not operate in the cell bands, limiting the usefulness of the device for school personnel who had hoped to use it to incorporate both civilian and public safety communication methods. Processing hardware for the device included an iPAQ consumer handheld, which was based on a StrongARM 206 MHz RISC processor. Future handheld projects should focus on the rising bandwidth of modern cell waveforms and the problem of moving data at higher sample rates between the RF transceiver and a standard consumer handheld.

Surveillance Tools for Safer Schools: Final Report
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National Institute of Justice (NIJ), March 2002. Proper installation is the key to the effectiveness of a video surveillance system. The video cameras customarily used for surveillance application have low image quality, such that there is often not sufficient detail in the images to identify people and objects. This report assessed five approaches that might correct this problem.