Panic in the Air
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Jan 01, 2015
Every time I hear or read about a shooting on
campus, I naively think this will be the last one.
It never is the last shooting, because, I suppose,
there are some people bent on inflicting pain
on someone else.
There is, however, a way to mitigate and prepare for an active
shooter. There are several security consultants in the industry that
have first-hand knowledge of what works best to keep these types of
people out of a school. It should be noted, though, that if a shooter
has that much determination, they will likely try to fulfill their path
I know two consultants who I lean on when it comes to campus
security. First, there is Charlie Howell, president and CEO of Division
28. Howell is located in San Antonio, and when it comes to security, he
has a wealth of knowledge.
The key to student, faculty, staff and visitor safety and security on a
campus depends upon a security plan, Howell says. One of the most
important topics in the security plan is policies that blend security into
the organizational structure, while providing an achievable goal. The
key component for doing something to provide security to students,
faculty and staff is the ability to lock down a campus, or at least lock
the campus buildings within 60 seconds.
The author of our cover story in this issue, Patrick Fiel, is an
independent security consultant assisting
Argus Protective School Solutions. Fiel
spent many years as the chief of police in
the Washington, D.C. schools.
Fiel’s thoughts are crystal clear: when
an emergency strikes, seconds count.
He writes that K-12 administrators,
teachers and staff need
a rapid connection to first
responders. They need that
capability from virtually
any part of a campus.
Both security consultants
agree; one of the first
decisions involving any
security system is setting
a protocol for its use.
Once this has been set, it
is important to work with
school staff to make sure they
understand how and when any
given system works.
This article originally appeared in the issue of .
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.