In the wake of the Parkland shooting, schools are rethinking their active shooter policies. Review the top security system upgrades for schools to defend your school from armed attack.
Active Shooter Protection Program Ideas
Perform a Threat Assessment
In the wake of a mass shooting incident, there may be a call to take a specific action, such as arm teachers with guns. But adopting a trendy threat deterrent may not be the best strategy for your school. A better idea is to undertake a threat assessment to find out where you are vulnerable. Together with local law enforcement, assess school policies, security and surveillance measures, and employee training. Then take specific actions to reduce threats to your school, whether it's more training on how to handle a mass shooting or purchasing body armor to protect school security officers.
Secure the School Building
Securing the premises is a good place to start, as it limits access points and hiding spots for active shooters. Install surveillance cameras around the building so security personnel can monitor activity in all parts of the school. Fence off school grounds to further reduce the number of access points.
Inside the building, funnel all students, staff, and visitors through a single entrance that's set up with metal detectors, a known deterrent. If metal detectors are cost-prohibitive, have security professionals screen bags for weapons. Replace glass windows with bulletproof glass and test locks on door and windows. If an incident takes place and the school is put on lockdown, these measures can save lives.
Invest in Safety Measures
In addition to protecting the premises and educating teachers, get safety equipment to keep all safe. A perimeter protection and its broad range of use is an effective and smart solution for protecting the school premises and everyone in it. The SecPro Perimeter Security System identifies various threats while reducing false alerts, performs automatic self-testing and maintains the area’s natural appearance. By means of its integrative feature, it can connect to any app that has the compatibility to send voice and text message alerts to a designated group which in this case would be the school staff and students. Consider ballistic bomb blankets that mitigate against bomb fragmentation injuries. These blankets are convenient and smart solutions when it comes to taking care of the safety of a group of people. Provide students with bulletproof backpack inserts. The backpack inserts are designed to provide bulletproof protection while weighing less than a pound. These are a few examples of inexpensive and effective safety measures for schools.
Include Emotional Support in Security Training
While a stronger security system will protect schools, it should be paired with emotional support to have the greatest impact on school safety. When the Secret Service studied school shooting incidents between 1974 and 2000, they found that, overwhelmingly, others knew of the shooter's plans before the incident. Since shooters rarely act on impulse, schools can prevent shootings from taking place by encouraging open communication around critical issues, including violence.
Data also shows that students who are bullied or who are threatened by gang violence are more likely to bring weapons to school. When schools can identify which students are bringing weapons to school and then intervene with support for the student rather than punishment (like expulsion), incidents can be deterred.
The best security solution combines protection for teachers and students with measures that thwart incidents from arising. A security consultant may be able to help your school identify threats and opportunities, select violence prevention strategies, and protect the public health.