The 4 Things Organizations Need to Counter an Active Shooter
With the recent mass shootings still fresh in our minds media pundits on both sides continue to miss the most important lesson; how can we ensure something like this does not happen again? Most importantly, what steps can we preemptively take to help organizations counter an active shooter situation? When it comes to security, preparation and preemption are keys to successful prevention before an attack even occurs. While ideally police and security organizations tasked with protecting us would be able stop these shooters before they murder innocents, the fact remains that these attacks are difficult to predict. We are living in dangerous times and if you’re concerned about the safety of your organization in the face of active shooter threats, we urge you to read and follow the tips below:
Be aware of the threats
Being aware of threats against your organization is not just an external matter. Organizations, particularly religious and political organizations, are often quite aware of the hate being spewed against them online. What is more difficult to decipher are the intentions of those working within your organization. As we saw with the San Bernardino shooting, many times there is an underlying rage that bubbles up to the surface with disastrous consequences. We’ve had success identifying threats both inside and outside organizations with our Vulnerability Assessment and Threat Monitoring services, so if you feel your organization lacks awareness around your threat profile feel free to contact us directly.
Empower employees and those around you
Recent cases have demonstrated that potential shooters post content on social media that makes their intentions clear. This indicator is something social network users should be aware of and need to report as soon as they suspect something. As the old saying goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry” in situations like this where lives could be saved. Employees need to know that even if they feel a threat might seem benign, they should report it.
As former FBI agent Katherine Schweit states “people need to not only “see something and say something,” but they need to do it urgently. Call the FBI, call the local police, call the state police. If you don’t want to call law enforcement, call a human resources office. Call the counsellor at a school.”
Improve the security around your organization
There are tangible steps organizations can take to help mitigate these risks such as routine security training and zero tolerance policies towards workplace intimidation. As this article states about the potential vulnerabilities in the workplace“according to the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, common vulnerabilities in commercial buildings include a lack of security cameras, insufficient control over parking areas, and open access to the entrance.”
While some of these ideas might seem like common sense, if the leadership of an organization demonstrates the priority placed on security it will impact the entire culture of an organization. In that way a strong and robust culture can police for any disgruntled or toxic employees who might cause the members of an organization harm.
Make sure you have a plan in place
As we covered in past posts having a plan of action in the event of a mass shooting can save lives. Many organizations do not believe this could happen on their premises and thus do not plan. This mentality is not just wrong, but dangerous. Preparing your staff on what to do in case of a shooting as well as codifying evacuation plans is an obligation all leaders have to their employees.
Summer is ending and this month many people are going to be vacationing, and that means congregating in public areas. In this climate, on an individual and on an organizational level everyone needs to be aware. All it takes is one alert citizen to stop a potential massacre and save precious lives.