Saturday, March 23, 2019

Logistics On Making Our Schools Safer; The Easy “How To”.

March 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Education, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Now to the logistics for making our schools safer. Arm select teachers and administrators who have previous law enforcement or military experience. Clearly the school ROTC instructor does. Require 10% of new hire applicants to have previous backgrounds in law enforcement or military experience. Because they likely have guns already, they simply need to register their guns with the school resource officer, have another background check and go to the range for a firearms competency range test. Such tests exist already in almost every state for private security and private detectives. All armed staff in a school should be required to meet at least once a month along with the school resource officer and the local police representative, practice at the gun range together and talk strategy. This keeps them alert and prepared.

Without training in threat assessment, criminal profiling or firearms, many of you will disagree with me. But sadly, this is the world we live in that we have to take these steps.

The active shooter in Parkland wanted to live. He tossed the weapon, left with the other students and got about a mile away. This tells me from my criminal profiling training that he had an idea he could get away if he did not engage law enforcement. Why? Because law enforcement is both armed and trained. So would former law enforcement and former military be trained who now work as teachers and administrators in a school. And while I am not saying they should act like a SWAT assault team, I do know this. An armed and trained teacher or administrator with former law enforcement or military experience will likely engage an active shooter if it comes down to life or death. Otherwise every teacher and administrator is a sitting duck at the mercy of some maniac while the school resource officer clearly cannot protect everybody.

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Next each school needs at least 2 school resource officers onsite at all time for immediate backup instead of an officer having to wait on 911 response times, traffic etc. All school front, side and rear doors to the outside need to remain locked. Surveillance cameras should be placed to view all doors leading to the outside and in all hallways. And don’t frown, security cameras systems are as cheap as $150 for the DVR, 4 cameras and the hard drive. Plus quantity purchases negotiated by the school system can get those systems dirt cheap – wired or wireless Wi-Fi. I use them in my home and they can even be accessed by mobile app on phones and tablets. In such case the school resource officer, armed administrators, teachers and law enforcement outside the school can see exactly what is happening and quickly develop effective response plans – minimizing casualties, guiding others to safety and neutralizing active shooters.

With at least 2 school resource officers onsite, one should be monitoring the cameras at all times and the second should be out on foot. Key administrators should also be trained to monitor the cameras and should be in radio communication with the school resource officers, using a set of codes for various emergencies.

A much stronger “See Something / Say Something” campaign with strong awards, prizes and incentives for students and safest schools should be implemented by each school district all year long. Remember, many of the students saw the Face book pages and/or knew something was wrong with the shooters BEFORE they went active. Students reporting strange and dangerous comments, youths displaying guns or abnormally angered and depressed youth are actually noticing a profile and can be very helpful in spotting a potential active shooter. Of course don’t tell it to them it that way. Proactive student involvement needs to have a 100% goal set by the Principal of the school.

There should be an anonymous hotline and/or email for students to report such cases directly to the school resource officer. And he/she must be required to investigate, follow up on and/or forward every case to local law enforcement when the information fits into a potentially dangerous profile.

All elementary, middle and high schools need to have regularly monthly active shooter drills in line with the instructions from Homeland Security and the FBI along with the specific input of the school resource officer and the local police – tailored to each school based on size, access, number of students, entrances, exits and other vulnerabilities. Like I said, this is not hard and I am literally typing this out of my head with no notes. Why then can’t the average police department design such a program as easily? Because uniform police officers are NOT crime prevention specialists. They are primarily taught to deter and engage, not to strategically plan. Most people do not know that.

The problem, as I have told thousands of people when I taught and designed crime prevention programs, is that people have to learn to expect the unexpected and to prepare for it BEFORE it happens. People think curative (after the fact) instead of preventive (before it happens). And that has to change in this day and time. That is why everything calms down like Sandy Hook or Columbine or the church shooting and nobody makes real changes. Then book, it happens again and everyone stands around in shock. Teach the students, teachers and administrators to expect the unexpected and to think about what they would do ahead of time.

Active shooter drills will help but they are only part of the necessary mindset. That is why the best law enforcement and military training simulates the conditions that could occur – so your mind will know how to react and not freeze up. That is also why students should never be taught to rely completely on a teacher, administrator or school resource officer for their safety.

Every student, parent and non-staff person entering the building should have to go through the front doors for entry and walk through a metal detector. No exceptions, including venders, corporate visitors and staff from other schools. There should be no compromise on this. While students are arriving and leaving out both or all school resource officers should be in the field onsite as a trained administrator watches the cameras.

I could keep going and add charts and stats, but you get the idea. Securing the safety of our schools is not hard if the right people have the guts to do it. The mayor, the governor, the city council, the local police department, the parents, the teachers, the administrators, the superintendents, the students, the legislators, the community and yes even the NRA must be involved. But one thing is certain, if you make more guns illegal – only the illegal people will have those guns. And you do not want that. Email me if I can help!

Staff Writer; Trevo Craw




One Response to “Logistics On Making Our Schools Safer; The Easy “How To”.”
  1. Pelvo White, Jr. says:

    This is very good advice.

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