Use Caution When Performing School Security Assessments and Other Types of Work After Hours

Three of our analysts were conducting school security audits last night when they went to check a cafeteria loading dock area.  As they rounded a corner they came upon three young men who were smoking marijuana.  This particular school district is in a community with an unusually high level of violent crime and I had cautioned our analysts to be especially careful when they conduct the night time portion of the assessments. 

Our personnel are often conducting safety audits in two or three states in the same week and each community has different risk levels for violence.  It is not unusual for us to have one analyst working in Maine while another is working in the Chicago area on the same day.  Obviously, the crime rates will vary between regions and even in different parts of the same community.

As with local personnel who perform internal safety assessment processes, our personnel could easily be attacked if they do not use caution.  The same cautions apply to school employees who must move about in the evenings and at night.  For example, some school districts employee energy managers who check lights at schools during hours of darkness and most districts have night time custodial personnel and food service personnel who arrive before the sun rises. 

People working in and around schools after hours have been sexually assaulted, robbed and even murdered.  Whether personnel are internal employees or as in our case outside contractors, appropriate caution should be exercised when working in and around schools in high crime areas after hours.

About Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a non-profit school safety center. The author of 27 books on school safety, Michael’s campus safety work has taken him to 11 countries over the past 34 years.