At Escuela Campo Alegre, an English-language school located in the Venezuelan capital, technology is a major focus and the school has much valuable equipment to protect.
The school uses security patrols to protect students, staff, and the expensive equipment.
For years, security officers had been responsible for marking items and locations on a checklist to indicate that they had been at each required stop along their patrol. Obvious discrepancies between what they had checked off and what had been taken care of led to the conclusion that officers were not conducting patrols.
The school implemented an electronic guard tour system. Specially encoded “buttons” that could be read by a wand were affixed at 80 stations throughout the campus. Touching a wand to all buttons along a guard’s route offered physical proof that the patrol had taken place.
At first, officers were expected to walk for an hour at a time, but that proved too tiring, leading to high turnover. Now officers use a rotation where they patrol for 30 minutes and remain stationary for the next 45 minutes. CCTV has reduced the amount of area that must be patrolled.
The system has helped reduce thefts, improve fitness levels among officers, and cut costs.
Guillermo Guevara Penso is the security manager for Escuela Campo Alegre, in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a member of ASIS International.