We were joined by crisis response expert and Principal of Behavioral Science Applications, Steven Crimando, who discussed up-to-date crisis management and violence protection strategies for teachers and students to mitigate and prevent school shooting scenarios. Our expert answers a series of questions about preventing school shootings in our blog series, School Shooting Preparedness. And don’t miss our upcoming webinar on Thursday, July 26th at 2pm ET, Protecting Your Schools from Active Shooter Incidents. Make sure you didn’t miss part 1, part 2, or part 3 of our blog series!
School shootings are gaining awareness around the country, and schools everywhere are taking action to prevent them. In fact, in 2016, the CDC found nearly 90 percent of public schools had a written plan for responding to school shootings, and 70 percent of those schools had drilled students on the plan. That’s great news, but how can schools ensure their active shooter preparedness plans are as effective as possible?
How are responders addressing situational awareness during school shootings? Where are they typically getting their information from? How can the flow of information be optimized?
During school shootings, like any crisis, responders should be getting information from multiple sources. Reliance on single data points is a recipe for failure. In at least one recent shooting, police discovered once well into the response that the CCTV feeds they were watching to track the shooter’s movements were on a delay. While they were still watching him move through the building, he was already outside. Real-time Information and intelligence sharing is one of the most critical elements in response and is not tested nearly enough in drills and exercises.
Each community and organization will have a different mix of information sources that will allow responders to gain quick and accurate situational awareness. This can be tricky for responders since many SWAT and Emergency Service Units are regional. The tools for situational awareness can vary greatly across a region and responders cannot make assumptions about what information or data sources will be available when they arrive.
One of the best ways to optimize the flow of information is rehearsal and pro-active collaboration with responders. Knowing how information will flow, it’s limitations and timeliness, before an incident will help responders in making missteps in their reading of a live-fire event. So, to summarize, multiple sources of information accessed in a pre-agreed upon and pre-tested manner will be very important. Testing is critical. Obviously you can have timely information that is not accurate, and accurate information that is not timely; both will trip up responders. Perfecting communications and information sharing during planning and exercising is one of the most critical tasks for leaders from the schools and responder communities.
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.