Most of the country has an unconquerable attitude
And in most circumstances that would be a good thing. In this respect it’s not. It’s one of the worst things we can have because this attitude is a bad attitude.
And what is that attitude you now ask? It is formally called CHH, ‘It Can’t Happen Here!’ And it is the most dangerous attitude that Americans can have with the proliferation of the mentally ill, anger management issues, and other innumerable issues in our country.
Whether you work in a school or a business, usually they are one in the same, we prepare and give lip service to the fact that we care about employees and students. We tell the media, parents, loved ones, students, & employees that we are spending valuable financial resources on ensuring the business/campus is safe and secure.
But it takes more than money to ensure the safety of our students and employees. It takes a change of attitude in administration and management as well as students & employees. And that attitude is the fact that we can’t dismiss the fact that it can’t happen here.
Even if we accept the fact that it can happen in our school or business are we staying vigilant in reporting it? Are we dismissing the warning signs in the people who may want to harm us? When nothing happens after an incident how much do we relax and begin to ‘sluff’ off the idea of an active shooter?
I can, and will, guarantee that by the end of next week the talk of securing campuses and businesses will have begun to wane and we’ve moved on to something more comical or important. Whether it be the comedy of errors that is our election cycle or the Middle East, it doesn’t matter. We’ll have forgotten what happened in Roseburg Oregon yesterday.
And while the Board of Regents or business owners may rejoice at the idea of not having to confront the possibility of spending their ‘frugal’ salary/bonus financial resources on security, we can’t let them forget it.
We, as security professionals and other employees and students need to make an active effort to ensure that everyone around us doesn’t forget this. It can happen in YOUR business, school, or anywhere you may be studying or working. Therefore it is up to us to make sure they don’t forget.
Financial resources are spent on new physical security measures for our schools and businesses. But do they do any good? Do they really help to keep our students and employees safe from an active shooter incident, or in this month, a domestic violence incident?
As was shown soon after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 we have a tendency to forget and get lax about enforcing our physical security practices, policies, & procedures. I have seen this for myself innumerable times in my 32 years in the field.
“This door has to remain closed and locked at all times!” But then we see smokers, workmen, employees, & others propping it open to allow for easier access during breaks and deliveries. And after break is over it remains unlocked and open.
Working for First Response, Inc. in Mission Kansas immediately after 9/11, we were inundated with requests for added security and the clients clamped down hard with some fairly harsh security policies. Six months later the security contract was cancelled and the policies relaxed to the point of being non-existent.
So, can we prevent school or workplace shootings? As long as we remain optimistic and are willing to overlook threatening items, relax ourselves, and not take it seriously then no we can’t. We have to take the cause of school and workplace violence seriously. At all times.
As security professionals, whether that is officers, managers, or consultants, we can’t allow our clients or companies to relax and become non-compliant with the practices, policies, & procedures that they themselves, probably with our help, developed and wrote.
We must convince everyone, without being overly dramatic and being a Chicken Little, to remain vigilant. And then we have to convince them to trust us and management to then ‘see something, hear something, then say something’.
We have to train the students and employees on the warning signs, the seriousness, and our policies/procedures concerning security. And it really doesn’t matter if the students fully comprehend and understand or not, they must be taught. This is mainly because until the big man upstairs decides to intervene, the world will be getting much more dangerous and we need to protect ourselves and our loved ones and employees.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear