We’ve been busy the past two months conducting security assessments for private schools, pre-schools, home school groups, and churches. The most frequently asked question during the assessment is about the use, cost, and need for an armed guard. Do you really need an armed guard to protect your facility from an active shooter event? Let’s take a risk-based approach to get the answer.
Risk is your exposure to a hazard. Risk is measured by analyzing threat or likelihood, vulnerability, and consequence.
Threat or likelihood is the probability of an active shooter event occurring. Based on the number of schools in the U.S., and the number of active assailant events that have occurred in schools during the past 20 years, it’s not very likely that this will happen at your school. In fact, it’s more likely that a student at your school will be injured during a slip/trip/fall event, or while choking on a piece of food.
Vulnerability is your susceptibility to an attack. Having police and/or armed guards (armed responders) doesn’t lesson your exposure to the attack. In fact, active shooters plan their attacks around the school resource officer or the armed guard. And in some cases, the adversary will intentionally engage with the armed responder. Unfortunately, the armed responder can be one of several vulnerabilities discovered by the adversary during their attack planning cycle.
Your goal is to discover what vulnerabilities exist, and to make the necessary corrections to lesson your vulnerability number or score. Most vulnerabilities include a lack of plans, policies, and security related procedures; failure to train employees; and a lack of situational awareness and reporting.
Consequence is the impact of the active shooter event. Because we are dealing with and trying to protect human assets, the consequence will always be considered as high or critical.
Do you need an armed guard? My hope is that we have empowered you to answer that question.
If you want more information on risk, take a look at this quick video.
I specialize in the protection of people and facilities and provide security services including: Emergency Action Plans (EAPs), security assessments, training and certification in CPR, AED, first aid, bleeding control, active shooter prevention and response, behavior threat detection, firearms and more. Contact me today by scheduling a call, emailing, or calling 615.956.3912.