A recent Security Today article offers insight into ways to decrease the risk of school violence.
Here are some FM-specific highlights:
*While it’s important to keep communication open, the fear of a copycat is always a concern. Publicizing mass shootings or spree violence can “glorify” the event and make potential attackers believe that if they do something similar, or greater, it will make them immortal or the new measuring stick for future incidents.
*Schools should have emergency/crisis plans and lockdown procedures in place, train staff, hold safety/security drills with emergency responders, and practice responses to different emergency situations, such as an active shooter on campus.
*All schools should have an assigned police officer. If not, a patrol plan that ensures a response within minutes to any and all types of school emergencies needs to be developed.
*Work with a school security expert, in conjunction with administrators and local law enforcement, to complete a thorough risk assessment of all schools and campuses.
*All schools, especially elementary schools, should be secured at all times. Visitors should always check-in and present a government issued ID.
*Frequently test your communication/fire systems, PA system, phones, radios, duress buttons, fire alarms and other devices. Cameras in and around schools have proven to be a strong deterrent and very effective in helping to ensure policies and procedures are being followed, as well as in assessing incidents. They also provide a critical live insight for first responders during an emergency situation.