Attracting students from across the country, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is the largest and fastest growing community college in Iowa and is committed to providing each student the freedom to learn and enjoy the college experience in an orderly, safe, and lawful manner. With a growing national focus on campus violence, DMACC, along with all colleges and universities across the United States, has made campus security and student safety a top priority. To prevent incidents of crime, DMACC has implemented a focussed security plan that includes a mass emergency notification system, access control system, security guards, and a cooperative relationship with all local emergency responders. Key to its success is the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, which was installed to provide greater and more reliable coverage across campus and, ultimately, boost the safety of students and staff.
With close to 75,000 full and non-credit students and 3,000 full and part-time staff spread across six campuses, 48 buildings, and 1.4 million square feet, DMACC faces the daunting task of securing a vast physical space. Like all colleges, DMACC deals with security challenges ranging from accidents, theft, and student misconduct, and relies heavily on its surveillance system to capture these incidents on video. “All American colleges must, by law, report crime data on an annual basis in what is called the Clery report,” explained Ned Miller, director of Campus Safety and Emergency Management at DMACC. This information is used by staff and students to determine the level of security they can expect. While DMACC boasts a low crime rate, the College is not immune to the problems that have plagued other colleges, and is driven to keep incidents of crime at bay. “The crime report becomes a significant recruitment tool to attract new students, so we want to pre-empt potential problems and stay ahead of the curve.”