Best Security Options for Government Buildings

best security options for government buildings

Government buildings encompass many different services, from providing public resources at a library to conducting sensitive work at police stations and courthouses. While the nature of each government facility can vary, they all need strong security. A security system for government buildings can improve safety, prevent unauthorized access, speed up response times and deter crime ‚ÄĒ but only if it uses the right components. To help you build your system, we’ve outlined some common elements of government building security and how to choose the right options for your facility.

Elements of Government Security Systems

Security systems for government facilities often include elements you won’t find in residential or commercial systems. Many government buildings have unique needs due to sensitive activities or public safety concerns. Some technologies, like surveillance cameras and alarm systems, help in almost any application, but specialized or more advanced components often support other goals.

Public spaces like libraries and transportation hubs might prioritize crowd control, like counting the number of people in a space or preventing people with weapons from gaining access. While a courthouse or police station might also need to keep weapons out, access control would likely take precedence, preventing unauthorized personnel from entering certain spaces. For instance, a courthouse might have a highly secure records room only accessible to specific individuals.

Common government facilities that use these security systems include:

  • Courthouses and judicial or legislative buildings
  • Libraries, public schools and state universities
  • Police stations, sheriff’s departments and fire departments
  • Federal and capitol buildings
  • State and national border stations
  • Historical buildings and museums
  • Public transportation hubs and public utility facilities
  • Post offices

While each building is different, here are some elements of security systems you might find in government facilities:

1. Physical Access Control Systems

Physical access control systems (PACS) refer to collections of technologies that control physical access to the premises, such as entering and exiting a building. These systems often support federal security, particularly in facilities with multiple levels of clearance. For instance, if workers need special clearance to access a specific floor or room, PACS can help ensure authorized entry.

The technologies used in a PACS can include:

  • Access points:¬†Access points provide physical barriers ‚ÄĒ like turnstiles and gates ‚ÄĒ that require the employee or contractor to interact with a PACS, such as scanning a key card or checking in with a security worker. You might also find metal detectors or devices that scan for cell phones at access points.
  • Credential readers:¬†Credential readers allow access after someone verifies their identity. For example, keycard readers can scan badges, while biometric scanners can scan fingerprints or even irises. These scanners connect to control panels and access control servers to reliably verify credentials and log activities.
  • Surveillance cameras:¬†Typically, a PACS will have surveillance cameras capturing footage at all times at access points, windows, doors and other potential entry points.
  • Communication systems and remote controls:¬†Many access control systems will also use communication tools like intercoms and provide access by remotely controlling doors and gates.

2. Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance cameras record activities, ideally in high resolution, for immediately responding to threats or investigating incidents afterward. Security cameras offer several benefits, as they can:

  • Proactively monitor for threats:¬†Whether monitored on-site or through a remote monitoring service, surveillance cameras can detect threats ranging from suspicious movements to vandalism. Using¬†a surveillance system with artificial intelligence¬†(AI) can go further by helping you identify specific people or vehicles and detect intruders that pass an identified perimeter.
  • Provide trustworthy records:¬†Surveillance footage for government buildings offers valuable records to help with apprehension, reporting and investigations.
  • Deter crime:¬†The simple presence of cameras is often enough to scare off criminals, especially if combined with alarm systems.
  • Support crowd management efforts:¬†AI surveillance systems can also create heatmaps of an area or provide headcounts. They can even identify demographic information, such as the number of children in a space who may need extra attention in an emergency situation.

3. Alarm Systems

While security cameras offer recordings, alarm systems use other methods, like sensors that detect motion or broken windows, to provide real-time alerts of crimes or other suspicious activities. These two technologies work together to provide alerts during an event and footage afterward. An alarm system might notify security personnel on-site or automatically call local authorities.

Depending on the building, alarm systems for government facilities could use manual arming methods, but remote monitoring and access also allow you to activate or deactivate alarms even if you leave the premises.

4. Remote Monitoring and Access

remote access to your security cameras

Using professional remote monitoring services is ideal for government buildings. They allow you to leverage skilled security operators who can alert your team and notify the authorities during incidents. You can also use remote access to get a comprehensive view of your alarms and cameras to make informed decisions from anywhere.

5. Specialized Security Systems

Some facilities benefit from more specialized security systems, like panic devices or lockdown systems. A large transportation hub, for instance, might include components for responding to an active shooter, while a library with valuable documents may invest in glass-break sensors or robust burglar alarms. Customizing a solution to the government buildings’ security needs can help ensure a strong response.

Security Recommendations for Government Buildings

State, local and federal security requirements can vary widely, so you’ll need to choose the right components and implement them appropriately. Consider the following tips as you develop a comprehensive approach to government security:

  • Include cybersecurity and technological threats in your security plan.¬†Government security systems are enticing targets for cybercriminals, so your solution must ensure top-tier protection against interference, ransomware and other digital threats. From highly secure software to professional installation, strong cybersecurity can help ensure the safety and confidentiality of your data and maintain system uptime.
  • Perform a thorough risk assessment.¬†Before buying any security technology, conduct a risk assessment to identify the most prevalent or serious threats facing your government facility. Explore the building’s weak points and characteristics, and lean on the expertise of a security professional.
  • Pair your security system with other environmental alerts.¬†Consider integrating your security solution with fire alarms to easily take action and respond to various threats.
  • Prioritize training.¬†Even the best security system won’t work well if operators don’t know how to use it. Remember to implement robust training on using any new systems and following general security practices.

Find the Best Security Options for Your Facility With Security Monster

Every government facility needs good security, although it can come in many different forms. The right system will likely use a combination of technologies, like surveillance cameras and access control points, to meet your building’s unique needs. At Security Monster, our expert team understands the demands of government facilities. We’ll work with you to identify the best options and implement dependable, high-quality systems for facilities throughout Oregon.

We’ve been delivering exceptional customer support since 2005. Whether you need some basic protections for a small fire station or comprehensive solutions for large or high-security facilities, our knowledgeable team can help.¬†Contact us to request a quote¬†and start building a robust government security system for your facility.

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