“What Did You do to Prepare for This?” Watch any recent post-incident media briefing on a school shooting, and this is a question that you will hear. The public has come to expect that their school and public safety officials have prepared for these events, have taken steps, whenever possible, to prevent them and have taken steps to protect our children from becoming victims should an incident occur.
Even though, statistically, school shootings are still very rare, they occur with enough frequency that parents rightfully demand that schools have measures in place so that their children are safe and protected in their learning environment. Can you imagine the fallout if, after a shooting, the answer to the aforementioned question was, “Well, we really didn’t do anything to prepare, because we felt that the odds of this occurring were too low to invest any time and money into the issue.” As outrageous and ridiculous as this response would be, organizations that do very little to prepare are implying that this is, in fact, how they feel.
So, what should be done to prepare?
Preparing for a school shooting involves many facets. A complete plan should address things like Prevention, Preparation, Implementation, Target Hardening, Response and Reunification.
The focus of this article will be on the benefits of InForce911 for the Response and Reunification pieces of a complete active shooter plan.
One of the goals of the Response part of the active shooter plan should be the rapid notification of law enforcement responders AND the occupants of the building. The faster that law enforcement receives an alert, the faster they can arrive on scene to neutralize the threat. Similarly, the faster the building occupants receive notification of a threat, the faster they can take action to protect or remove themselves from the threat.
With InForce911, law enforcement and occupant notification occurs simultaneously, with a single step. The simple clicking or touching of an icon on a computer, smart phone or other smart device sends out a notification. Within a few seconds everyone is aware that the incident is occurring.
Additionally, through the use of its “chat” feature, once the notification is made, InForce911 allows information to be quickly[RF1] sent out about, for example, the location, type, and perpetrator of the threat. This information is useful to law enforcement as it allows them to go directly to the threat once they arrive on scene. The same information is also useful to the occupants of the building because it can help them decide whether to lockdown, evacuate, or take some other type of protective action.
InForce911 is also beneficial for the Reunification part an active shooter plan. Because InForce911 can be installed on smart phones and is therefore portable, instructions can be sent to building occupants whether they are locked down inside, or have evacuated outside. Information like rally or reunification points, emergency medical aid requests, and other important directions can be easily communicated, which can help minimize the chaos and speed the recovery of a traumatic event.
This article is clearly the “10,000 foot view” of the very complicated issue of active shooter planning and implementation. Planning and preparing for these incidents will save lives and this, alone, should be motivation enough to develop a complete response plan, which should include InForce911. If additional incentive is needed, should the worse happen and, as a law enforcement or school executive, you are called to stand before an assembly of news reporters and you are asked the inevitable question, “What Did You do to Prepare for This?” You will have the answer.
Contact In Force Technology today to set up a demonstration or to ask questions about the role and benefits of including InForce911 in your complete active shooter response plan!