Friday, April 24, 2009

Five Ds of School Safety

In order to avoid falling victim to DENIAL:

* DETER - Have alert, visible and armed security on site. Train and equip response teams to a high standard and make their capabilities known (though the details of their response techniques should remain classified). Convince the potential attacker they won’t succeed in killing innocent targets if they come to your locale.

* DETECT - Like Detectives, be ever vigilant for “clues.” Virtually every school attacker, student or terrorist, conducts extensive reconnaissance of their target. They will analyze the availability of ingress and egress points. Questions will be asked about the site’s security preparations. They may photograph and/or sketch the area. Both human and video surveillance can help you pattern these recon missions.

* DELAY - Harden the target with security checkpoints and random security patrols. Drill lockdown procedures to remove easy targets from their potential kill zone. Make sure the lock-down procedure includes the means to lock the doors to areas of refuge. Avoid the urge to evacuate anyone into an area not proven to be safe from potential snipers or bombs.

* DESTROY - If they still choose your site as their target ... you must respond quickly and forcefully. An analysis of active shooter incidents by co-Author Richard Fairburn suggests that even a Rapid Deployment team is unlikely to assemble in time to save lives.(1) In most incidents, the only chance available to save lives is an instant response by on-scene personnel or the first arriving officer. At this point we are not just seeking to defeat the attackers. One of the lessons of the 2004 Russain school massacre, as outlined in John Giduck's excellent book, "Terror at Beslan" is that we must attack immediately, with maximum violence, and no intention of pulling back or giving up ground. Attack the enemy hard and fast and DESTROY them before they destroy more innocents.

-LTC David Grossman

Remember, denial is not a survival mechanism.

These Ds apply to any security situation.

In your home: Deter with motion lights and not having expensive toys in sight. Detect with motion lights and an alarm or a dog. Delay with reinforced doors that are locked. Destroy with a shotgun.

On the street: Deter with a look of confidence. Detect by making sure you are always aware of your surroundings(no iPods in public!). Delay by running if possible, fighting if necessary. Destroy with the best means at your disposal-generally, a gun.

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