Workshop helps Maryland School Systems Improve Safety & Security

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) Workshop helps Maryland School Systems Improve Safety & Security Policies and Procedures

On Wednesday, January 29, thirteen out of twenty-four Maryland School Systems joined Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates (CRA) of Towson, MD, in the “All You Need to Know About CPTED” workshop sponsored by Maryland Association of School Business Officials (MDASBO).

The fifty-two attendees also included Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS), school system facilities and safety and security personnel and various architectural firms. All participants learned the benefits of using CPTED Principles in schools.

Presenters included: 

  • Jillian Storms, MSDE
  • Ron Pierce, MCSS
  • Jeff Straub, AIA, ALEP, LEED AP BD+C, CPD, Principal, CRA
  • Todd Vukmanic, CPD, Senior Project Manager, CRA
  • Rick LeBlanc, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, CRA
  • Larry Levato, AIA, REFP, Principal, CRA
  • Seth Wentz, AIA, NCARB, Senior Project Manager, CRA
  • Lori Walls, Director of Client Relations, CRA

Workshop Key Facts

The four-hour long workshop encompassed dynamic presentations and discussions surrounding everything CPTED including: 

  • What CPTED principles are, and how to use them to analyze facilities to improve security.
  • Techniques on how to identify cost-effective CPTED principles and incorporate them into new and existing facilities.
  • The difference between Threat & CPTED Assessments and how they can work together.
  • How to balance Local, State and First Responder’s security needs and requirements with CPTED Principals.
  • How CPTED Principles contribute to LEED credits.
  • Funding available from the State of Maryland towards CPTED improvements.

“First of all, it was a great idea that captured a lot of interest, as it should.  That we had the room full that we did is testament to that,” Stated Chris Hauge, School Facilities Engineer and Schools Safety/Security Coordinator of Dorchester County Public Schools.  Hauge continued, “Beyond that, the quality of folks in the room was right on target… The conversations and dialogue were outstanding, insightful and collegial. This contributed greatly to the top-notch environment that was created by the participants. Oh yeah, it sure looked like 100% of attendees were engaged… If we could just capture all of that experience in a bottle!”

Workshop Charrette

All workshop registrants also shared in an hour-long stimulating design charrette where they applied the information they learned during the workshop. Attendees were divided in groups of 10-12, each group was provided the same floor plan and site plan for an elementary school.  They were asked to review the plans and provide recommendations where they would improve the plans using CPTED principles.  Then they presented their solutions to the group.  At the end of the presentations, participants agree that they would take the newly learned knowledge back to their school systems to implement immediately.

MDASBO Executive Director, Jeff Ludwig commented, “I think we’re hitting on the topics and the intended audience for relevant instruction. Compound that with the enthusiasm and efforts of volunteers who pull all of this together and we have a recipe for success.”

What is CPTED?

CPTED is defined as a multi-disciplinary approach for reducing crime through urban and environmental design and the management and use of built environments. CPTED strategies aim to reduce victimization, deter offender decisions that precede criminal acts, and build a sense of community among inhabitants so they can gain territorial control of areas and reduce opportunities for crime and fear of crime.

CPTED principles are utilized by architects and engineers for the design of safe and secure schools.  Focusing on improved visibility and surveillance, wayfinding, clear and obvious entrances, appropriate landscaping, fostering a sense of ownership and pride and facility security measures the goal is to create a warm and welcoming safe environment that provides for the needs of the students.

CRA has presented numerous workshops on School Safety and Design throughout the Mid-Atlantic. CRA intends to provide future instruction on CPTED and safety and security workshops to continue to benefit Maryland Schools.

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