Preventing Active Shooters – Schools Struggling to Find Solutions After Sandy Hook Shootings

We can control regular access to our facilities, schools and hospitals. We can have visitors sign into a visitors log.  We can take photos and ask for identification and lock the doors, but the Active Shooter doesn’t comply with any of these protocols and we have no control about when and where the Active Shooter may show up.

Here are some additional controls to consider if you need to improve your school or facility security.

1.  Put in Cameras that are actively MONITORED.  

For security experts, you already know this, but others might not know that cameras that just sit on the wall or ceiling only have 2 purposes:  (1)  To scare people into NOT doing something.  (2) To review after an incident happens and use to arrest someone.

Cameras can also be used to monitor what goes in – ACTIVE monitoring. This can be done in a facility, like a hospital, or company, and there are staff members looking at the camera visuals and watching for certain kinds of behavior.  This is also offered as a service.   Monitored cameras can alert police, check to see who’s entering the halls and actually respond and prevent Active Shooter incidents.

2.  Conduct regular training and drills for ALL STAFF and for all STUDENTS

People give lip service to training, but there’s nothing as effective as practicing for an active shooter.  It’s one thing to know where to go, or what to do, but it’s so much better to rehearse with a drill, have someone come in, unannounced and practice
moving to a safe area, practice locking down a school, hospital or facility.  This will expose all the weak areas, and make people more confident that they can deal with a bad situation and protect everyone.

3.   Have a clear NO WEAPONS – NO VIOLENCE Policy in place.

Policies are important because they say, “It’s a mandate, it’s a requirement” and that means most staff will comply with it.
No Weapons signs should be posted at all entrances.  Any violence should be reported and punished immediately.  This has a deterrent effect, as well as giving you the legal ground to stand on if an incident does occur.  It also makes staff and students feel safer.

4.   Know EXACTLY what the response time from the police department, in case an incident occurs.  

You can time your drills, you can have a conference with local law enforcement to trim down their response times.  You can pro-actively provide law enforcement and first responders with the building floor plans, or a digital map of the building.  These preparations shave crucial minutes off the actual response time in case an incident does occur.

Think about how many people a shooter can kill in ten minutes, more than 2 children a minute.  Every second counts so step up and add these four controls into your security control plans.