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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Posted on 10/11/2019
Proven effective to prevent crime and promote security

The Puyallup School District continually looks for ways to mitigate safety concerns throughout the district. CPTED  (pronounced “sep-ted”) is another element of student and staff safety used in the district. Working together with law enforcement officers, city planners, and architects, the district has implemented the concept of CPTED.

WHAT IS CPTED? Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. It is a simple and proven effective concept of buildings and properties designed to prevent crime and promote security.

CPTED encompasses four principles:

Natural Surveillance: The capacity to see what's occurring without having to take special measures to do so. Clear direct views.

Territorial Reinforcement:  The use of physical attributes that express ownership such as fencing, pavement treatments, signage, and landscaping.

Natural Access Control: The physical guidance of people coming and going from a space by the careful placement of entrances, fences, landscaping, and lighting. Controlled entry.

Maintenance: Maintaining buildings and property in good condition. A well-maintained area sends the message that people notice and care about what happens in the area. 

CPTED is used in many cities, counties, and countries to create safer environments and improve the quality of life through reduced fear of crime. By re-evaluating the current structure of the buildings through the lens of CPTED, the district has made positive and effective changes to existing buildings as well as including the concept in the development of the new buildings.

One of the most significant safety improvements is at the elementary and junior high level. All the elementary and junior high schools now have “buzz-in entries” creating a single point of entry, allowing building staff to control public access and allows for the monitoring of all visitors. However, the district continues to face challenges at the high schools. The high school campuses are large with multiple buildings creating various entry points,



On November 5, Puyallup voters will be asked to consider a high school bond measure to improve safety and security, provide additional classroom space, and meet current educational specifications for instructional spaces at the four high schools.

Part of the bond package is to significantly reduce the entry points while high school classes are in session. Limiting public access to a single point of entry will mitigate risk on campus and provide a more secure learning environment.  

To learn more about the High School Improvements Bond Election, visit the Puyallup School District’s website.