Security Technology Executive

JUL-AUG 2018

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an urgency to empower teachers and students to make more informed decisions with regard to their own response. "It's one thing to tell people to 'run, hide or fight'; it's another thing to teach them how to run, how to hide, and how to fight if they have to. I believe our schools need to invest more time and effort into worthwhile, simple training that our kids and teach- ers can actually employ in a panic and give them more information to make better choices," Shales says. "Teaching them how to act like police officers in their response is too complicated but telling them to always lockdown is too simplistic. We have to improve our training and response strategies while equipping them with simple, intuitive and useful technology." Jeff LeDuff explains that there are myriad other technologies schools may implement beyond the ubiquitous video surveillance camera or door lock. Advanced technolo- gies such as acoustic sensors that help ident ify gunshot s and can simulta - neously alert law enforcement are use- ful, as are emergency communication options that include multiple-platform mass not if icat ion syst e m s t h a t ca n alert those within a threatened building , a command group and a law enforce- ment agency of an active situation. " We are also see- ing some sophisticat- ed communication tools that would allow teachers, students and law enforcement to share information and directives during a critical incident. As opposed to social media, or an app that not everyone may have downloaded. This solution turns the communi- cation into actionable info for on- site police to gain awareness of the situation," adds Jeff. Shales points out that perhaps the most dan- gerous threat to schools is the lack of proactive approaches to hardening school security from both a physical and a policy perspective. He considers the following four mistakes the most egregious made by school administrators when planning a security solution for their facilities. www. • July/August 2018 • SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE 25 students. Schools are not utilizing more holistic tech- nology that allows for rapid response and notifica- tion," says Kelly LeDuff, Logistics Manager and co- owner of Open Eyes Safety Training in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Open Eyes boasts 30-plus years of law enforcement experience and the latest emergency alert technology to provide clients with a high level of emergency safety training. Kelly, who runs the consulting business with his father Jeff LeDuff, a former Police Chief in Baton Rouge and graduate of the FBI National Academy, both agree that technology solutions that allow rapid response from law enforcement to emer- gency situations, similar to what is seen with a fire response, makes a huge difference in the impact of school active shooter events. By focusing first on sophisticated alert systems, schools are protecting students by bringing in law enforcement as quickly as possible. "The biggest problem I see is that the current focus is reactive, not proactive. What this means is that schools are investing in things like camer- as, which are helpful evidentiary tools, but these offer limited help in the event of an emergency if a school is not able to share that camera feed with law enforcement or teachers in the event of a school shooting ," adds Jeff. John Shales, co-founder and CMO with BluePoint Alert Solutions, a company that provides advanced two-way emergency communications and situation- al awareness tools for school campuses, equates the school shooting crisis with that of school fire threats decades ago. "There was a time in our country when the biggest threat to our kids' safety in schools was fire. Fun- damentally, two things changed that dramatically: technology and training. Technology came in the form of fire alarm systems, fire resistant building materials, better building codes, thought-out exiting plans, etc. The training came in the form of what to do and how to do it. We didn't focus on train- ing every student or teacher how to use a hose to fight a fire but how to get the fire department there faster and how to take simple precautions to protect yourself and t he students with you. I believe that the same holds true for the threat of an active shooter," Shales stresses. He admits that active shooter events are far more complex than fire and therefore require even better technology and training. The need to harness the power of technology to not only provide police fast- er alerts but to also supply them information and situational awareness capabilities that can improve police response is essential. He says there is also » Jeff LeDuff explains that there are myriad other technologies schools may implement beyond the ubiquitous video surveillance camera or door lock. «

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