Security Magazine: Communication, not more personnel, is key to mass shootings

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The power of communication is nothing new to law enforcement and emergency response. It's often said in law enforcement that the fastest fleeing felon is no match for a police radio. In many cases, solid communications can mean life or death. Consider the most extreme example of the past several decades, possibly ever -- during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, communication between various responding agencies broke down forcing rescuers "to make rapid-fire, life-and-death decisions based on poor communications, contributing to the World Trade Center death toll," according to

Steward makes a great point -- simply throwing more personnel at a problem, in this case to deter potential active shooter incidents, is not the answer -- communication is. And to add to that, properly trained personnel are essential in order to make those communications systems work.  -- IFPO.

By Drew Steward, SecurityMagazine

People across the nation are on edge. Understandably so: as of September 2019, the U.S. had seen 283 mass shootings since the start of the year. Even chaotic false alarms are becoming more common. In order to placate and protect citizens, security teams must take immediate measures. And in times of heightened public fear, the natural response is of course to add more personnel and more resources.

But while additional personnel can go a long way in producing a more visible presence and easing some citizen anxiety, security teams should consider whether this is the best investment for public safety. The real questions we face are not necessarily around how many officers are present, but how relevant personnel will communicate in order to take effective action. When the worst happens, how will key information be delivered to enable efficient response rather than panic and chaos?

In periods of crisis, communication is already prone to breaking down. A unified collaboration workspace can go a long way in terms of integrating key information and delivering actionable alerts. To neutralize active shooters and prevent harm to the public, it’s time to focus not on more security, but better security — by providing a digital collaboration tool equipped for persistent communication and real-time data visibility in high-pressure scenarios.

The Problem With Adding Security Personnel

After a mass shooting, there is renewed pressure on security teams and police departments to ensure that a similar event will never happen in their community. Whether in public spaces like malls, enclosed environments like schools and universities, or special events like concerts and conferences, security expectations are changing. In response, a typical plan of action might be similar to that of Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey, where safety officials decided to increase the number of security officers on-duty to patrol the mall.

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By |2019-11-23T06:40:28-05:00November 23rd, 2019|News|Comments Off on Security Magazine: Communication, not more personnel, is key to mass shootings

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