“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.” The fact that those words now ring as a tired cliché highlights how horribly commonplace mass shootings have become in this country. In Kentucky, two young teenagers are dead and fourteen more injured because a disturbed student came to school with a firearm. The toll in Texas was only one student wounded, but again, the shooter was another student who decided a gun was an appropriate tool to settle a dispute. Two school shootings in as many days – is this becoming the new normal?
The continued standoff between those advocating for stronger gun control laws and the gun lobby shows little sign of abating, and the chance of Congress producing any meaningful change are presently minimal. As a former police officer, I respect the rights of law abiding, sane citizens to own a firearm, but I do believe gun sales should be restricted from anyone who can’t prove those qualifications. It is currently easier to purchase a firearm than it is to buy an automobile, and I don’t think that’s an optimal arrangement.
Nevertheless, we have to deal with the situation as it exists currently. Our schools, hospitals, airports and other public spaces have all been subject to attack; exhaustive reviews of methods to tighten security are invariably conducted after each incident, new measures considered, evaluated and sometimes implemented. But despite all the reviews, all the new measures adopted, all the debate and all the thoughts and prayers, we continue to have incident after incident of mass shootings and school shootings.
My company has consulted on security for schools, hospitals, and large corporations, among others. Our approach is holistic and comprehensive. We begin with an “All Hazards Assessment”, wherein we assess the effectiveness of the proposed countermeasure, whether that countermeasure is functioning as designed, whether proper procedures are being followed, and if there are any inherent weaknesses in the countermeasure that compromise its effectiveness. We will send individuals with diverse profiles to see if they can elude your existing security system and gain access to your space. We conduct tabletop exercises with you and your employees to further assess your security needs. We will then craft specific solutions that complement and enhance your existing security measures.
If you are in the process of relocating your company, or are planning a new facility, that is an optimal time to bring us in for a safety assessment. Employing the principles espoused by DHS, we can help you design a building that can withstand almost anything.
Safety does not depend solely on video cameras, barriers, or security guards. A successful security system must be transparent to your occupants, employees or clients while being apparent to any person or group with ill intent. We employ industry standards set by the Department of Homeland Security, the Anti-Terrorist and Force Protection, the Primer to Design Safe School Projects in Case of Terrorist Attacks and School Shootings, among others.
While it is true that it is impossible to mitigate every hazard risk, it is still possible to implement best practices to make your company, school or organization the safest environment possible.