include policies on: active shooter including events (training, uniformity, reunification), access controls (locks, alarms, trespassing issues), video surveillance (who has access, how long do you save video), emergencies (fires, police, EMS), and bomb threats (protocol, evacuations, safety).”

Officer Lee has expanded experience working with safety committees and reflects on the following, “As a police officer stationed at a high school in Pennsylvania, our school created a safety committee inviting various job titles and experiences to the table.

“The purpose of a safety committee is to promote the health and safety of your building in a non- adversarial format engaging in the current trends of your building’s needs. The trends can be fluid. For example, last year we were planning more active shooter safety while this year we are focusing on COVID 19.

“The best part is to diversify the group into various backgrounds. A local church started a safety committee and they had members with military, law enforcement, informational technology, and security backgrounds. The safety committee is all volunteers and the group decides when to meet and topic discussion.

“My final suggestion would be to participate in a table top discussion of a fictitious event where the group can brainstorm ideas when an emergency happens. Last year our police department, school, emergency services, and local leaders all met to discuss an active shooter event. What we learned is we had some shortcomings that we would never have thought of unless we had this tabletop discussion”.

In addition, considerations for an effective plan include:

Communication. You must have a means to communicate to your residents, homeowners, and tenants quickly and efficiently. Text messages

are perhaps the most efficient due to a high open rate. There are numerous companies who offer such services.,, to name a few. Send concise directives: Shelter in Place. Evacuate.

Training. There are valuable lifesaving skills that can be learned through proper training that all staff, members, and homeowners should have access to. ALICE (Active Shooter), Situational Awareness, Stop the Bleed to name a few. FOCUS! Safety Training, Inc., and a google search can provide many other resources.

Drills. Practice makes perfect. Just like a fire drill, conduct civil unrest drills.

Senior and disability planning. Partner homeowners and residents within a buddy system to make sure all seniors or those with disabilities are watched out for and assisted during unrest.

Target hardening is about defending your home, school, or business. It is about strengthening your building two fold; preventing crime from occurring and protecting owners from an attack. Target hardening focuses on (4) categories of physical security:

Deny access to the criminal: Simple ideas of a gate or fencing of perimeter

Delay the act: Methods to slow down the bad guy such as locks, bars, key fobs.

Detection of the crime: Before/After the crime has been committed where video and cameras play crucial role for law enforcement

Deter the attack: Keeping the bad guy out, which is all about

prevention methods of an alarm system, motion sensor lighting, and signage.

According to the FBI, there were 28 active shooter events in 2019. An active shooter/s is an individual that is actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area. Shooting incidents are occurring not only at schools, but places of worship, businesses/commerce's, government buildings, and open spaces. According to the FBI, places of commerce and schools rank the highest percentage of shootings over the last decade.

What can we do? Officer Lee shares from his experience, “we need to prepare and practice as a whole. The first goal is to decide on a program such as Run, Hide, Fight or ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate). For example, in Pennsylvania it is mandatory to complete two active shooter drills a year in public schools.

Secondly, get trained in the program of your choice. There are agencies willing to come out and train such as your local law enforcement departments. FEMA and Homeland Security offer free online training to get certified. Develop a policy for your company to incorporate an active shooter program which is often mandatory for some agencies. Finally, everyone needs to practice these drills to become proficient. Practicing drills includes all members of your team which will help impact the preparation should an event take place.”

An additional resource to consider, according to Officer Lee, is CPTED which stands for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. This discipline focuses on the physical design of your building to specific categories such as lighting, landscaping, fencing, access controls, parking lots (territorial). Natural surveillance promotes better visibility around your complex to deter thieves who pray

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