How Prepared Are You for an Active Shooter?
Some states laws are being enforced and reinforced, to aid schools for preparedness of emergency situations.
For example, the North Carolina General Statues/Article 8C calls for:
- 115C-105.49. School Safety Exercises
- At least once annually, each local school administrative unit shall require each school under its control to hold a full school-wide table top exercise and drill based on the procedures documented in its School Risk Management Plan (SRMP).
- The drill shall include a practice school lockdown due to an intruder on school grounds
- North Carolina authorizes local boards of education to adopt emergency response plans for incidents of violence. And while there are some exceptions to this law, such as Charter Schools, the reality is that every “soft” target is vulnerable to the same type of violence no matter if the law compels you to take action to protect your student or not.
Florida Statute 1001.212 Created in the Department of Education the Office of Safe Schools. The office is fully accountable to the Commissioner of Education. The office shall serve as a central repository for best practices, training standards, and compliance oversight in all matters regarding school safety and security, including prevention efforts, intervention efforts, and emergency preparedness planning.
According to National School Safety and Security Services, emergency planning evaluations and consultation services should be utilized to:
- Help school leaders evaluate school emergency and crisis plans
- Develop district and building school crisis teams
- Develop school safety drills and exercises
- Implement school training on emergency and crisis plans
- Enhance school crisis communications
Emergency planning is not new. Many of us remember “duck and cover” drills in schools for earthquakes and nuclear attack. Most schools routinely conduct fire drills and have some procedure for natural disasters and weather-related incidents. Being prepared for what we hope will never happen is a proven way to decrease the number of accidents and casualties.
The difference for today’s school is they are facing threats of a different nature. Schools are seeking the expertise and experience of professionals in the law enforcement community and state and federal security sector who can offer insight and training for physical security and active shooter emergencies.
As we have seen, many times the “first responder” to an active shooter situation is you. While police, fire and medical personnel respond to these incidents as quickly as possible, the situation is often over before they arrive. This gives teachers, staff, and students the opportunity to learn more about these situations and take the necessary steps to practice for the type of emergencies we hope will not occur.
The process begins with Emergency Preparedness
The goal of an emergency preparedness evaluation consultation is to identify strengths and gaps in:
- Existing district and building emergency planning processes
- Existing district level and building level written emergency plans, and their interrelationship
- Content of written plans versus actual practices at the district and building levels
- Relationships with first responders and other community partners
- Level and adequacy of engagement of key employee groups and school-community constituents
- Types, methods and adequacy of school emergency drills, exercises, etc.
- Adequacy of crisis parent and media communications, joint information sharing plans, etc.
- Professional development training of certified and support staff, students, parents, and others.
This professional evaluation assessment will foster school emergency planning sustainability by identifying strengths and gaps in written plans versus practice; improving emergency planning processes and relationship which need to engage diverse employee support groups and school-community partners; focusing on best practices that can be institutionalized without long-term dependency upon outside experts and costly ongoing resources.
Why True Vigilance?
True Vigilance, Inc. was founded by Paul Damico, a law enforcement, safety and security, and emergency management professional with over three decades of experience, after observing the increase in senseless murders at the hands of active shooters and/or armed assailants. From his experience, which ranges from street cop to S.W.A.T. to Federal Bureau of Investigations Joint Terrorism Task Force to a large school district Chief Officer of Safety and Security, he knows that the better prepared you are, the safer you are. And while we all hope violence will not come to our schools and our children, the sad reality is that sometimes it does.
Violence will continue in schools, some from multiple threats, so preparation is a key to staying safe.
His team of highly sought-after professionals all bring with them the experience you expect when considering your safety. They also have the understanding and compassion of parents with an unique ability to work within a school environment to express and convey what is often a frightening, controversial, yet very real threat to the well-being of our children and our schools.
When you are ready to take the next step for your school, simply call for a free, no-obligation inquiry. As Paul has said, “If even one life is saved as a result of what we do…it’s worth it.”
Direct Line: 949-422-5959
Email: [email protected]