As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the start of another school year has brought uncertainty to many college and university campuses across the country. Institutions of higher education have debated the correct way to mitigate the threat of exposure to the potentially deadly virus while meeting the educational needs of all students. Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most have either adopted a hybrid learning model, combining in-person instruction with virtual learning, or gone to virtual learning only. According to the CDC, the risk of transmission with hybrid learning is low to medium. Virtual-only instruction represents the lowest risk of infection with COVID-19.
Manufacturing facilities and warehouses each represent a vital link in the supply chain. When something disrupts operations at these sites, such as a security threat, it can slow or temporarily stop the movement of goods and services to the hands of the consumer. This results in customer frustration and lost revenue.
Journalist Jane Jacobs developed the concept of “eyes on the street” as it relates to public safety over 50 years ago. The theory holds that pedestrians tend to feel safe in public places that attract a lot of people because the crowds perform informal surveillance of the area and can draw attention to any potential threats. According to the theory, to draw the necessary numbers of pedestrians to keep “eyes on the street,” the public space and the area around it must be accessible and attractive.
During a public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, medical facilities and personnel are even more critical than usual. While trying to care for patients infected with the novel coronavirus, health care providers have faced challenges such as lack of personal protective equipment, insufficient supplies of respirators, and overwork, as well as the risk of contracting the illness themselves or passing it on to their families.
Voting is a precious right; the core of our democracy in the United States. Officials for the 2020 election continue to face challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the possibility of foreign cyberattacks. Election boards contending with these legitimate concerns should not neglect the physical security of each polling location.
The last six years have seen an alarming trend, both in the United States and abroad, in terroristic attacks using motor vehicles as weapons. These attacks have involved cars and trucks barrelling into large crowds, pedestrian areas, and college campuses. Potentially any soft target, such as sports stadiums, community centers, and government buildings, could see a vehicular attack.
Ensuring public safety should always be the driving force of security. Protecting both people and property from an attack can take more than rudimentary safeguards like fencing and traffic barriers. Mass demonstrations such as protests can put security teams at odds with these goals, but when intensive measures are taken, the response can project a tone of intimidation instead of protection. With the right tools and excellent preparation, any location can be ready to both safeguard people and property while also maintaining an air of professional authority.
As the pandemic continues to wash over the country, state and federal parks and services are drowning in closures and occupancy restrictions. Unfortunately, citizens are looking for solace away from quarantine procedures in the majesty of nature. This puts undue strain on the National Park Service that wasn’t designed for long-term regulations to minimize exposure. Fortunately, there are many ways that location managers can mitigate the disruption in service with either temporary or permanent barrier systems. Using simple methods to upgrade security procedures can help facilitate easier transitions as these places are reopened to the public.
Security teams and building designers have long had to deal with an important balancing act. Pedestrian safety is important, but oftentimes it comes at the cost of aesthetics. In addition, with the advent of social distancing, creating pathways for high foot traffic areas is an even greater challenge.