You may have read the recent astonishing Washington Post article reporting that there had been 204 mass shootings 204 days into 2015. The report cites information gleaned from Mass Shooting Tracker, a crowd sourced which tracks the number and location of all gun-related events where 4 or more people are killed or injured.
The article has been drawing much attention, and much debate. This is partly because of the parameters of what should qualify as a “mass shooting”. While Mass Shooting Tracker defines it as any incident where 4 or more are killed or injured, the FBI defines it as “three or more killed in a single incident”. This makes one set of data driven by intent, and the other driven by end results. Either way, the reality of public shootings involving random victims is absolutely real.
Have We Become Accustomed to Violence?
Brutal acts should be startling. Yet today, another news report about a serious public shooting—however you define it—hardly give us pause. Perhaps it is because if we do pause, we’d have to come to grips with the fact that a public shooting really can happen anywhere at any time. And it has happened anytime and anywhere, to people in the workplace, praying at church, grocery shopping, in line getting fast food, and studying in school.
Something We Can Do
Articles such as the one in the Washington Post highlight our need to do all that we can to make public spaces safer. By implementing security technologies, such as access control, surveillance cameras and systems, and alarm systems in the workplace and other places where people gather, we can stem the tide of violence.
It is important for business owners to understand the possibility of a public shooting incident and create a plan for the prevention or management of a serious situation. Security systems can be a very effective and multifaceted tool in keeping employees, customers, and students safe, especially when there is a plan in place and employees are trained in the use of the system and in crisis response.
Here are a few tips for implementing an effective crisis prevention plan:
- Install layers of security, starting at the perimeter of the property.
- Have both silent and sounded alarm systems.
- Use both visible and covert cameras in video surveillance.
- Set up access control to manage and limit access to important areas.
- Develop lockdown procedures.
Train all employees to spot suspicious behaviors and develop a system to communicate those concerns to other employees immediately.
However you calculate crime, the cost is just too high. Make security a top priority and find out more about how residential and commercial security systems can do much more than just “sound the alarm” if there is an intruder.