Matthew R. Dimmick

A New York Times article published on April 6, "In Shift, Police Advise Taking an Active Role to Counter Mass Attacks," provides well qualified information for individuals regarding preparations for active shooter incidents. This article, again, raises for discussion the importance of preparedness--on both individual and organizational levels--for active shooter threats.  MSA Security promotes many of the concepts in terms of survival of individuals through our Golden 15 Program. 

As security professionals, we are required to look beyond individual preparedness as discussed in the article, and determine what steps our organizations can take to improve the survivability of employees and/or students, depending upon the organization’s make up. 

We must design our security programs to increase the time available to employees to Run, Hide, or Fight as recommended by the Department of Homeland Security.  To enhance your organization’s ability to address these threats, consider the following:

  • Conduct a Threat and Risk Assessment to determine the probability of a mass attack or active shooter incident as well as the effectiveness of current protection strategies against this dynamic threat.
  • Develop/review and practice Emergency Action Plans. Plan development and implementation are very cost effective, with personnel time being the most significant expenditure.
  • Encourage local responders to train at your facility and participate in your exercises.
  • Design Physical Protection Systems (PPS) with the thought of delaying an adversary and providing rapid information to authorities so they can better facilitate a response.
  • Provide training to employees and/or students to allow them to recognize and respond appropriately during an incident.

For more information on MSA's Active Shooter Response Training and the Golden 15, click here.

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