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School Shooting Preparedness Blog Series, Part 1

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We have partnered with crisis response expert and Principal of Behavioral Science Applications, Steven Crimando, for a series of blog posts discussing crisis management and violence protection strategies for teachers and students around school shootings. Mr. Crimando addresses one key question to school violence prevention and response in each blog post. And don’t miss our upcoming webinar on Thursday, July 26th at 2pm ET, Protecting Your Schools from Active Shooter Incidents.

How can schools run effective active shooter drills? What should the success criteria of these drills be and how can they improve emergency planning?

Steven Crimando: Like all exercises in all settings, active shooter drills should begin with the development of clear exercise objectives. Many times I have seen organizations of all types begin the exercise development cycle in the wrong place, that is to say, by developing the scenario before the objectives. For example, if the two or three objectives were:

-Test ability to notify everyone in the building or on the campus of an active shooter incident in progress

-Test the ability of those in the building and/or on campus to effective respond to the threat, and

-Test the ability for interoperability with the law enforcement incident command structure on scene,

…well, then you would design the shooting scenario or storyline to stress those specific areas, and you would have a much better sense of whether or not, or to what degree, you were successful in reaching your objectives.

Not only do ill –defined objectives set you up for less than optimal performance during the drill, and provide little meaningful information to build upon, they undermine student, faculty and staff confidence that the organization can effectively respond to a real life situation.


Join us on Thursday, July 26th at 2pm ET to hear more from our expert on the topic during our webinar, Protecting Your Schools from Active Shooter Incidents.