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Appropriate and Effective Use of Security Technologies in U.S. Schools: A Guide for Schools and Law Enforcement Agencies (Sensitive Version)

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 1999
142 pages

This document provides basic guidelines to law enforcement agencies and school administrators and encourages their collaboration as they decide what, if any, security technologies should be considered as they develop safe school strategies.


The guide should help schools, in concert with their law enforcement partners, analyze their vulnerability to violence, theft and vandalism, and suggest technologies to effectively address those problems. It describes commercially available technologies and urges thoughtful consideration of potential safety benefits from their use but also the costs that schools may incur for capital investments, site modifications, additional staffing, training and equipment maintenance and repair. It does not replace the use of appropriate expert advice or provide detailed instructions on installing equipment or making cost estimates. The document includes information on security concepts and operational issues; video surveillance; weapons detection devices (walk-through and hand-held metal detectors and X-ray baggage scanners); entry controls; and duress alarms. Figures, tables, resources, references

Date Published: September 1, 1999