With the recent horrible shootings in Las Vegas, and in Parkland, Florida, a discussion on how to prevent these violent acts should be at the forefront of any issues confronting our great country.
Talon recommends a four-step process. First, schools, businesses, and government entities should conduct Security Risk Vulnerability assessments to harden locations and make it more difficult to attack and assault innocent victims. Second, protocols, policies and procedures should be developed to advocate for Zero Tolerance of threats, and threatening behaviors. These policies should be reinforced with terminations and temporary restraining orders. In extreme cases law enforcement should be contacted to determine if criminal laws were broken and the threats and behaviors have been documented. Third, administrators, executives, managers, students and employees should be trained to detect aberrant and dysfunctional behaviors that indicate a propensity for violence. The training should involve instructions on how to communicate a threat with “see something, say something.” Fourth, a training program on Emergency Response to an active threat situation should be a part of an effective violence prevention program.
Utilizing the Secret Service model of three circular rings of security, professionals should conduct a vulnerability assessment of the outer, middle, and inner perimeters.
The outer perimeter, or curtilage, defines where the property line begins, and where liability starts. Fencing with gates to limit access and egress points is recommended, backed up with technical electronic surveillance cameras to provide early detection is advised.
The middle perimeter, usually parking lots and foliage and grass, should establish checkpoints and minimize access into a building or structure. These checkpoints should be manned by trained security personnel. In some cases, it is recommended that metal detectors be installed to discourage someone from bringing in knives or guns. Barriers should be installed to prevent an attack with a vehicle.
The inner perimeter should have
a main desk with options
electronically lock down entry points as well as offices. All personnel should be badged with a picture identification indicating they are an employee, visitor or vendor. Background checks should be conducted to vet employees as well as vendors.
According to various studies, people have on average three minutes BEFORE law enforcement personnel are able to resolve an active shooting situation. Three minutes is a long time when bullets are flying and people are bleeding out. As such, emergency equipment such as tourniquets and other medical supplies should be in close proximity or ideally be on hand in the event of an attack in which people are wounded.
As previously stated, policies and protocols should be established to develop a Zero Tolerance acceptance of someone engaged in making threats or developing a hostile work environment.
It has been my experience in conducting post traumatic attack interviews that people who knew the perpetrator detected their aberrant behaviors and inherently knew they represented a threat. However, they failed to say anything because they did not want to become a victim or target. It is recommended that an anonymous information line be established to allow folks the ability to provide specific information that will enable intervention and deterrence.
Training folks to detect behaviors that are indicators of possible violent acts is imperative. While human behavior is no exact science there are indicators that someone making threats is moving toward a violent act.
Finally, it is important to train people how to react during a violent attack. It is critical that you are able to quickly recognize an attack is in progress, as those precious moments can mean the difference between a successful outcome or a tragic circumstance. Hiding under a desk and becoming an unmovable target is not the answer to a correct response. However, this was the reaction of many students in the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. Talon teaches run, hide, fight with situational awareness.
In conclusion, it is sad that our society has become so vulnerable to people who are deeply angry with severe character flaws and mental issues. How we deal with them will be the subject of our newsletter in April.
Talon provides armed security, Security Risk Assessments and training in “Targeted Violence Prevention and Active Threat Response.”
Talon also partners with Leatherback Gear,
, to provide bullet resistant backpacks. We believe this backpack will save lives.
Ron Williams, CFS
United States Secret Service-Retired