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A large educational organization required a third-party review to understand how they could bring a higher level of accountability, communications, and integration to their security operations.

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The Problem

Years ago, a large educational organization engaged an outside vendor to provide all security services for its multiple campuses. Year after year, its leaders would approve the vendor’s contract, including consistent pricing increases without a meaningful evaluation of service levels, security incident metrics or other outcomes. They determined a third-party review of the operation was necessary and, through a competitive selection process, awarded Jensen Hughes the engagement to evaluate the overall security operation and assist the organization with defining a path forward.

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The Solution

Our team reviewed 10 years of data from safety and security service contracts, policies, procedures, and training programs to analyze the scope of coverage and personnel training (e.g., dispatch data, Clery data). We identified external benchmarks and best practices, such as security staffing and crime statistics (e.g., local, state and U.S. Department of Justice data), to determine the center’s overall safety and security. We also reviewed strategic plans, incident reports, training records, policies and memorandums. In addition, we interviewed vendor personnel and employees, facilitated focus groups, conducted an organization-wide survey and completed a staffing analysis, among other extensive activities.

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The Results

We determined that the organization hadn’t established accountability measures or communicated clear expectations of the vendor. As a result, inconsistencies, gaps and vulnerabilities existed across the decentralized system. In fact, the infrastructure was deemed insufficient to effectively support a change to a new provider. We generated more than 60 recommendations on how to bring a much higher level of accountability, communications, and integration to how security services are planned, measured, staffed, trained, and reported across the organization’s enterprise. Implementing these will take years, but the right changes are now bringing to the organization’s leaders a sense of relief and confidence that they are providing a steady, increasing stream of benefits to its security, emergency response and overall risk management planning.

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