How Integrated Systems Help Prepare, Prevent and Protect Against Mass Shootings
Active shooter incidents are unpredictable and evolve quickly, at any time and in just about any place — and unfortunately, they are becoming more likely.
According to FBI data, active shooter incidents are at all-time highs, steadily rising over the past two decades in both frequency and number of fatalities. In fact, 277 mass shooting events took place from 2000 to 2018 in the US, with places of business and education accounting for the top two locations.
Are you protected? Are your people as safe as possible?
In the age of ever-changing threats to public safety, more and more decisionmakers find themselves in the crosshairs as they reexamine protocol, consider threats and think through the build landscape to find an acceptable level of safety and emergency preparedness. When it comes to active shooter defense and preventing tragedy in our schools and workplaces, an integrated system is the only approach.
Here are four building security capabilities that are changing the game as we know it, putting unprecedented preventative and crisis management power into the hands of building designers, security leaders and personnel:
- ESTABLISH A NERVE CENTER: Systems such as access control, area of rescue, video surveillance and mass notification are critical to any location. When used on their own, however, they can leave communities vulnerable. These systems must talk to each other — as with any system with multiple plugins, touchpoints and data — to unify communication and control.
For true active shooter defense, this type of nerve center is necessary for daily management and accessibility functions that can be integrated on any device. Functionality — such as that delivered by ZeroEyes, an artificial intelligence (AI) analytics technology that provides first responders with better situational awareness to best deal with the worst situations — can work in tandem with a backbone system, like BluBØX, to deliver a cloud-based system that is fully mobile-integrated. By linking everything together, critical responses and complete access control can be enabled for building lockdown, mobile-credential control of entries, exits and choke points, and the ability to share room-by-room visibility of the facility, visitor management and advanced security or intrusion functions with the entire staff.
- MANAGE SMARTER ALERTS & DELIVERY MESSAGES STRATEGICALLY: Those inside a building with an active shooter need different messages than the people off-site or in nearby facilities.
For true active shooter defense, security and administration personnel must be able to integrate mass-alert solutions, such as Alertus, to send preset or custom messages to targeted groups in the affected population — both on- and off-property — including media and local law enforcement. This includes text and email notifications, audio alerts or warning lights, and captions that can appear on screens.
- IDENTIFY A SHOOTER MORE QUICKLY: There no longer is a classification for a likely or frequent target for mass shooting, so every organization and facility should have protocols in place. For example, schools and other institutions have well-defined drills for when gunshots are heard, or when somebody has made a credible threat against the safety of a building and its occupants. Gunshot detection systems help qualify these threats, but only after the first shot is fired. Once a shooter is inside a building firing, it’s too late.
For true active shooter defense, the ability to spot a threat sooner is necessary — even before a shot is fired. Communicating faster buys time, and extra time saves lives. AI-driven, real-time detection and alert systems, such as ZeroEyes, scans approaching persons for weapons and telltale body movements. It also allows staff to initiate a lockdown, decrease response time, lead people to evacuation points or safe zones, as well as save critical minutes in directing law enforcement personnel to precise building locations.
- MANAGE KNOWN SECURITY LIABILITIES & STAY AHEAD OF EMERGING THREATS: Known liabilities come in many shapes and sizes, from people who have been laid off from work, expelled from a school or who have made credible threats to building occupants’ safety.
For true active shooter defense, camera-agnostic recognition systems can connect to a database of security liabilities to identify and flag threats upon their arrival in a surveilled area. AI designers and security experts, such as AnyVision, have designed solutions that can be deployed to any kind of camera with a minimal hardware footprint to ensure proactive monitoring that can extend to non-shooting safety, such as alerting staff to the presence of a trespasser with a restraining order, etc.
Technologists, security experts and former military and law enforcement leaders are reimagining building security at a rapid pace. While the modularity of the solutions cited here do not automatically guarantee smooth deployment, properly vetting and integrating the technology can be seamless when working with partners who have invested significant time in assessing and working with these tools.
That’s why LaMarco Systems is offering free on-site assessments for anyone interested in vetting, integrating and deploying a seamless, end-to-end security platform that can anticipate danger and respond faster and more effectively.
This knowledge — coupled with the expertise of assessing your buildings to find and address the subtle weak spots that can endanger occupants during a crisis — will put your organization among the US’ building safety leaders.
Visit https://activeshooter.lamarcosystems.com to find out more or schedule an on-location evaluation and analysis of you building or campus’ security.