Integrated Security Audits

 

                                                            Site Inspection

                                         In Place Security Measures Review

                                                Security Perception Survey

                                                             Audit Report

 

The objective of a security audit is simple – to help an educational facility protect its critical assets – students, staff, visitors, property, operational continuity, and public image by providing practical and cost-effective recommendations. It is not the intent of the audit to make schools secured, locked down facilities, nor is it a building code or a life safety analysis.  School emergency preparedness starts with a comprehensive examination or “audit” of the current situationAn integrated security audit provides an assessment of an organization’s physical security posture, technical security systems, security procedures, practices, and policies, and identifies existing and potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities that can:

 

  • Identify emerging and potential school safety problems
  • impact the safety of staff, students, and visitors
  • increase exposure to liability and worker’s compensation costs
  • disrupt operational continuity
  • accommodate criminal activity, including theft and property damage
  • damage public standing

 

Assessing weaknesses has another impact, verifying what security processes are working effectively.  Our analysis of a school’s security posture lets them know what’s working, what isn’t, and what could work better and provides them with practical prioritized recommendations that can help to ensure the safest environment and foster the confidence and support of parents and the community.

 

Integrated Security Audit Components

Site Inspection, In Place Security Measures Review, Security Perception Survey, and Audit Report

 

Some states now mandate schools to conduct periodic safety assessments.  For example, Nebraska and California requires schools to review and update their safe school plans annually, the State of Virginia requires school site assessments every two years,

 

Annual Review of Safety Plans:

Nebraska: RULE 10 states: 011.01D The school system’s safety and security plan(s) are reviewed annually by one or more persons not on the local school system safety committee and not an employee of the school system.  This review will include a visit to the school buildings to analyze plans, policies, procedures, and practices and provide recommendations.  Any recommendations made as a result of the analysis are forwarded to the head administrator and to the school safety and security committee to be considered in making revisions to the plan.

 

Site Inspection
A physical assessment of an educational institution’s facilities and grounds, a Nesbitt & Associates site inspection includes:

 

  • a survey of the facility and grounds that assesses the physical security posture of the complex, identifies conditions which could increase the potential for a security or safety incident which is inclusive of fire, and a pictorial view of all sites, including an aerial site view
  • a area crime statistics analysis that assists in understanding the area and surroundings and its possible effect on the safety of students, visitors, staff and property, and
  • a natural hazards analysis that assists in preparation for a weather related incident.

 

In Place Security Measures Review
Nesbitt & Associates, doesn’t just check to see if the locks on the doors are working.  Our analysis of the effectiveness of existing security measures includes a review of:

 

  • security policies and procedures
  • security related human resources practices, including employee manuals
  • security staff or contractors
  • testing and evaluation of current security technology, including

– alarm systems

– video systems

– access and key management

– emergency communication systems

Security Perception Survey

Administrators and staff are in a unique position to help educational institutions identify and address security issues, school climate, campus safety concerns and perceptions.  Our anonymous, non-intrusive security perception surveys provides valuable feedback that helps schools identify real and perceived safety, security issues while prioritizing responses using limited resources.  Survey responses can set a baseline for measuring future improvement, raise stakeholder awareness and responsibility regarding security issues, with the outcome to improve morale because the survey demonstrates interest and concern. The critical data and insite can provide for the development of school safety grant proposals.   An example would be Special Education, Bullying and Cyber Bullying Protocols.

 

Audit Report

The audit report analyzes and rates the weaknesses, risks, and vulnerabilities identified by the site inspection, in place security review, and the security perception survey.  Based on the analysis, recommendations are suggested, with priorities based on the ratings.  It is not the intent of the audit report to turn a school into a secured, locked down facility.  Rather, it is to provide advice and guidance on how best to protect the students, visitors, staff and school assets, and includes an analysis of law enforcement presence and recommendations for developing the best working relationship.  A typical report format would cover:

 

  • Audit Objectives
  • Institution Overview
  • Site Inspection

– Site pictorials, including an aerial view

– Physical Assessment (i.e. Athletic fields, Playgrounds, Gymnasiums)

– Area Criminal Analysis

– Natural Hazards Analysis

  • In Place (Existing) Security Review

– Security Policies, Practices, Procedures (i.e. Bomb, Fire and Weather)

– Security Personnel Efficiency

– Security Technology Review – Access, Alarm, Video, and Emergency Communication Systems

  • Management/Staff Perception Survey
  • Security Threat Analysis (by building, department, etc.)
  • Recommendations Review
  • Commendations for effective practices and programs

 

When completed, our audit will identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities and make recommendations that will help you to save lives, protect your assets, guard against liability, improve the morale and performance of your people, and/or ensure your current systems and policies address all your security needs in the most efficient and effective way, bringing you the best return on investment. Your school leadership will decide how and when the report will be shared with the school community.

 

Resources and Training available to your school

Our team isn’t just and in-and-out agency who exposes your weaknesses and walks away.  Our consultants, upon request, can provide continued services to facilitate school emergency/crisis tabletop exercises for building and district crisis teams, and their community agency partners, in a half or full-day professional development setting, to help schools learn whether their written school emergency / crisis plans might work in a real emergency.