Guns in schools, extra police in schools and armed security in schools. Security consultants present many opinions on how to stop rampant shooters in schools. In 2012, gun violence in schools reached a tipping point.
It started to receive attention after Columbine, continued with Virgina Tech, and now with Newtown’s Sand Hook Elementary massacre, change is being taken seriously. As a Certified Protection Professional, private investigator, and President & CEO of AEGIS Security & Investigations, I have fielded a multitude of questions regarding school safety and security in the last several weeks. In response, I have created a simple (when stated), although admittedly long term process to minimize school violence.
The first step is conducting a full professional security audit. Expert security consultants conducting such an audit would take at least 3 days for a standard sized institution. It would include a full policy review including emergency management, active shooter response, local law enforcement and medical response capabilities, training, policies and procedures, communication systems, adherence to safe schools regulations, anti-bullying initiatives, the school wide positive behavior support plan, memorandums of understanding, and mutual aid agreements.
The second step is conducting a full vulnerability assessment of the physical property to include access control, screening, lighting, camera systems, the use of contractors, visibility, environmental factors, targeting, etc.
The third step is analysis by working through each observation and assessing its individual characteristics and then classifying it for further action. Once the analysis is complete, countermeasure should be defined for each shortfall.
The fourth step would be what is known as red cell operations, aka penetration testing. This would be a real test of security arranged by the security consultant and administrators. This test isn’t designed to scare students or faculty, rather the goal is to determine vulnerabilities and readiness.
The fifth and final step in the initial process is education of school faculty and staff related to understanding the warning signs of various kinds of bullying as well as psychological disorders. The only way we can begin to resolve school violence in the long term is with better recognition and treatment.
For assistance in implementing some or all of these concepts, I offer immediate local service Los Angeles and Southern California as well as scheduled services nationwide. I can be reached at 310-838-2787 or at [email protected].
Jeff Zisner, CPP
President & CEO
AEGIS Security & Investigations