Manufacturing

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Changing-Course-for-Success.aspxChanging Course for Corporate SuccessGP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-07-10T04:00:00ZSharad Shekhar<p>​Conventional wisdom suggests that businesses have a natural life cycle wherein new solutions, evolving markets, and misguided management play a significant role in the probable failure of the company. According to this model, every firm—from family businesses to the largest multinationals—falls into decline. Even those businesses that come back after one downturn may not prevail in the next one. These organizations are replaced by new companies that are born to meet evolving market needs, new technology voids, or changing business environments, and the cycle repeats. But some notable companies—IBM and Apple, for example—have overcome periods of decline and have emerged with a new focus, strong core values, and a powerful new leadership position. </p><p>There are many possible paths to this success, but for a large technology company, regaining its leadership position after a major decline requires several critical ingredients, including: </p><ol><li>A clear target-market focus with in-depth understanding of the customer</li><li>A strong, complete offering that cannot be easily duplicated</li><li>A clear market position and message</li><li>Strong organizational alignment with outstanding team commitment</li><li>A financial foundation that will support the necessary actions<br> </li></ol><p>While these elements may seem obvious to any start-up entrepreneur, they may be harder for an established, enterprise-level company to achieve. Here's a look at how these five key initiatives can be applied.</p><p><strong>1. Clear Target Market<br></strong>A statement of mission, vision, and values can help an organization create a roadmap of where it wants to go and how it will get there. A basic underlying tenet of the statement is that the organization, regardless of its nature (i.e., school, auto dealership, technology company, etc.) will provide a high-quality product or solution that the market needs. Organizations must also identify the right way to communicate to the defined market that their product or service has value and is the best choice. They must support that communication with a solid foundation in marketing, sales, and infrastructure. It's a broad "pull" rather than "push" approach that benefits not only the organization but the market as well. </p><p><strong>2. Strong, Complete Offering<br></strong>Businesses that have grown and prospered offer a strong, quality product line designed specifically for the defined market. Maintaining that portfolio is an ongoing process that requires both a commitment and a product roadmap that will position the organization not only as a product leader but also as a technology leader. </p><p>Crystal balls aside, listening and responding to a changing industry is necessary to ensure that the portfolio offers solutions as well as products. Offerings today must feature greater intelligence and performance capabilities that will make a difference to the industry. In the physical security market, for instance, some of these solutions include products with increased connectivity, cybersecurity features, and an understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT). The offerings should be positioned to work in combination with the expertise of select technology partners to deliver an integrated system that solves customer problems through meaningful innovation. </p><p><strong>3. Clear Market Message<br></strong>Successful companies have an aggressive integrated marketing program that combines the best of traditional marketing with new social media and digital techniques to get their message to the market. These companies have implemented and will continue to refine consistent and aggressive public relations, new print and digital advertising campaigns, and advanced inbound marketing. This is all in addition to updated websites that include significant support tools and search engine optimization. <strong> </strong><strong> </strong><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong>4. Organizational Alignment<br></strong>The successful business operation must fit the needs of the market as it exists today. Many companies start the restructuring with the sales organization to create a closer, more-direct line to the reseller and customer. This approach serves customers by ensuring more direct contact, feedback, and intervention. By listening carefully, understanding what the market needs, and giving value, the company, in return, will receive value.  </p><p>Along with a restructured sales organization, an updated marketing organization can better engage in highly strategic and integrated marketing efforts that are designed to reshape the company's image and drive new business opportunities. Populating the department with internal and external teams of experienced industry professionals who have proficiency in both traditional and digital marketing further helps in achieving company goals. </p><p>Finally, in any technology-based organization, the restructuring of the engineering organization is critical to meet the continual challenge of developing and delivering mainstream solutions with meaningful innovation. Ultimately, it is the close collaboration and alignment of these three primary functions—sales, marketing, and engineering—that will eventually drive the organization towards its new goals.<strong> </strong></p><p><strong>5. Firm Financial Foundation<br></strong>Although a company may have been profitable throughout its history, change is costly. Strong financial backing allows an organization to move forward with its redevelopment in a manner that better ensures success. As an example, the capability of sustained restructure has been a key component in the success of Pelco's reinvention. </p><p>Even when these five critical elements are implemented, success is still not a sure thing. Economic uncertainty, fast-moving markets, and competition from nontraditional sources can take a toll. Companies with entrenched or outdated business models are particularly susceptible to business failure. As it becomes harder to hit performance targets, virtually all organizations need to consider some type of strategic restructuring if they want to avoid the end-of-life paradigm. </p><p>If this sounds radical, it's likely due to the negative connotations associated with restructuring. For many, restructuring conjures up images of court-supervised negotiations with different classes of creditors trying to reach consensus. But when viewed more broadly, restructuring represents an opportunity for companies to examine their operating models with the ultimate goal of optimizing their business for the long term. Companies that follow this process can remain a dominant force for many years to come.​</p><p><em>Sharad Shekhar is CEO of Pelco by Schneider Electric.</em>​​<br></p>

Manufacturing

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Changing-Course-for-Success.aspx2017-07-10T04:00:00ZChanging Course for Corporate Success
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Industry-News-May-2017.aspx2017-05-01T04:00:00ZIndustry News May 2017
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Maturity--Model-101.aspx2016-12-01T05:00:00ZMaturity Model 101
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Bottleneck-at-the-Border.aspx2016-03-01T05:00:00ZBottleneck at the Border
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Port-Security-Management.aspx2015-08-01T04:00:00ZBook Review: Port Security Management
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/June-2015-Industry-News.aspx2015-06-01T04:00:00ZJune 2015 Industry News
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Watching-The-Port.aspx2014-09-01T04:00:00ZIndustry News September 2014
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/A-Diverting-Practice.aspx2005-08-01T04:00:00ZA Diverting Practice

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Changing-Course-for-Success.aspxChanging Course for Corporate Success<p>​Conventional wisdom suggests that businesses have a natural life cycle wherein new solutions, evolving markets, and misguided management play a significant role in the probable failure of the company. According to this model, every firm—from family businesses to the largest multinationals—falls into decline. Even those businesses that come back after one downturn may not prevail in the next one. These organizations are replaced by new companies that are born to meet evolving market needs, new technology voids, or changing business environments, and the cycle repeats. But some notable companies—IBM and Apple, for example—have overcome periods of decline and have emerged with a new focus, strong core values, and a powerful new leadership position. </p><p>There are many possible paths to this success, but for a large technology company, regaining its leadership position after a major decline requires several critical ingredients, including: </p><ol><li>A clear target-market focus with in-depth understanding of the customer</li><li>A strong, complete offering that cannot be easily duplicated</li><li>A clear market position and message</li><li>Strong organizational alignment with outstanding team commitment</li><li>A financial foundation that will support the necessary actions<br> </li></ol><p>While these elements may seem obvious to any start-up entrepreneur, they may be harder for an established, enterprise-level company to achieve. Here's a look at how these five key initiatives can be applied.</p><p><strong>1. Clear Target Market<br></strong>A statement of mission, vision, and values can help an organization create a roadmap of where it wants to go and how it will get there. A basic underlying tenet of the statement is that the organization, regardless of its nature (i.e., school, auto dealership, technology company, etc.) will provide a high-quality product or solution that the market needs. Organizations must also identify the right way to communicate to the defined market that their product or service has value and is the best choice. They must support that communication with a solid foundation in marketing, sales, and infrastructure. It's a broad "pull" rather than "push" approach that benefits not only the organization but the market as well. </p><p><strong>2. Strong, Complete Offering<br></strong>Businesses that have grown and prospered offer a strong, quality product line designed specifically for the defined market. Maintaining that portfolio is an ongoing process that requires both a commitment and a product roadmap that will position the organization not only as a product leader but also as a technology leader. </p><p>Crystal balls aside, listening and responding to a changing industry is necessary to ensure that the portfolio offers solutions as well as products. Offerings today must feature greater intelligence and performance capabilities that will make a difference to the industry. In the physical security market, for instance, some of these solutions include products with increased connectivity, cybersecurity features, and an understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT). The offerings should be positioned to work in combination with the expertise of select technology partners to deliver an integrated system that solves customer problems through meaningful innovation. </p><p><strong>3. Clear Market Message<br></strong>Successful companies have an aggressive integrated marketing program that combines the best of traditional marketing with new social media and digital techniques to get their message to the market. These companies have implemented and will continue to refine consistent and aggressive public relations, new print and digital advertising campaigns, and advanced inbound marketing. This is all in addition to updated websites that include significant support tools and search engine optimization. <strong> </strong><strong> </strong><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong>4. Organizational Alignment<br></strong>The successful business operation must fit the needs of the market as it exists today. Many companies start the restructuring with the sales organization to create a closer, more-direct line to the reseller and customer. This approach serves customers by ensuring more direct contact, feedback, and intervention. By listening carefully, understanding what the market needs, and giving value, the company, in return, will receive value.  </p><p>Along with a restructured sales organization, an updated marketing organization can better engage in highly strategic and integrated marketing efforts that are designed to reshape the company's image and drive new business opportunities. Populating the department with internal and external teams of experienced industry professionals who have proficiency in both traditional and digital marketing further helps in achieving company goals. </p><p>Finally, in any technology-based organization, the restructuring of the engineering organization is critical to meet the continual challenge of developing and delivering mainstream solutions with meaningful innovation. Ultimately, it is the close collaboration and alignment of these three primary functions—sales, marketing, and engineering—that will eventually drive the organization towards its new goals.<strong> </strong></p><p><strong>5. Firm Financial Foundation<br></strong>Although a company may have been profitable throughout its history, change is costly. Strong financial backing allows an organization to move forward with its redevelopment in a manner that better ensures success. As an example, the capability of sustained restructure has been a key component in the success of Pelco's reinvention. </p><p>Even when these five critical elements are implemented, success is still not a sure thing. Economic uncertainty, fast-moving markets, and competition from nontraditional sources can take a toll. Companies with entrenched or outdated business models are particularly susceptible to business failure. As it becomes harder to hit performance targets, virtually all organizations need to consider some type of strategic restructuring if they want to avoid the end-of-life paradigm. </p><p>If this sounds radical, it's likely due to the negative connotations associated with restructuring. For many, restructuring conjures up images of court-supervised negotiations with different classes of creditors trying to reach consensus. But when viewed more broadly, restructuring represents an opportunity for companies to examine their operating models with the ultimate goal of optimizing their business for the long term. Companies that follow this process can remain a dominant force for many years to come.​</p><p><em>Sharad Shekhar is CEO of Pelco by Schneider Electric.</em>​​<br></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Beyond-the-Active-Shooter.aspxBeyond the Active Shooter<p>​Tragically, school shootings are so common that only the most violent and singular capture more than brief attention in the media. One that stands out is a Seattle-area shooting this fall at Marysville-Pilchuck High School that left five teens dead. Fifteen-year-old freshman Jaylen Fryberg opened fire on five fellow students at a cafeteria table on October 24, 2014, with a .40 caliber Beretta, then took his own life. Four of the five victims died of their wounds. Two of the students, one of whom is the sole survivor, were cousins of the shooter. The other three victims, all 14-year-old girls, were friends of Fryberg. He had texted them all inviting them to the lunch table minutes before firing the shots.​</p><p>Several details surrounding the shooting appear anomalous when it comes to school violence, according to experts. Fryberg was a well-liked football player. He was voted homecoming prince just a week before the shooting. In most similar incidents, the perpetrators had been bullied, had a history of violence, or were otherwise isolated from their peers. But Fryberg shot and killed his own friends and family, not anyone who had knowingly caused him pain or suffering. </p><p>An investigation is still ongoing, and there are more questions than answers when it comes to what sparked Fryberg's actions. But the unpredictability of the Marysville-Pilchuk shooting highlights the imperative that schools take a broad approach to safety and security to prevent future tragedies. This article looks at what one school in Weld County, Colorado, is doing to ensure it can rapidly communicate with law enforcement during an active threat. Then, experts discuss how administrators can involve faculty, students, and even parents in a multipronged approach to safety and security. </p><h4>Technology Meets Policy</h4><p>Weld County School District RE-3J in Colorado encompasses 480 square miles along the I-76 corridor that runs through the center of the state. Just five communities occupy this rural area, and only one has a local police department. The community that the high school is located in, Keensburg, does not have stationed law enforcement. "We're dependent on the Weld County Sheriff's Department to be our first responders, and they are located many miles away in Greeley, Colorado," says Greg Rabenhorst, Weld County Public Schools superintendent.  </p><p>The distance makes response time in an emergency crucial at Weld Central High School, home to approximately 640 students and 40 licensed faculty and staff. It also means policies and procedures must be in place so that students and faculty can respond appropriately. </p><p><strong>Response protocol. </strong>The district has worked diligently at establishing safety directives with its students and faculty, according to Rabenhorst. For many years, each building in the school district had its own set of policies and procedures for responding to an incident. But in 2009, the district decided to standardize its response protocols across all schools. It went with those established by the I Love U Guys Foundation, a national nonprofit school safety initiative founded by John-Michael Keyes. Keyes started the initiative after his daughter was taken hostage by an intruder at her high school in Platte Canyon, Connecticut. The last thing she texted her father, after he asked, "R u OK?" was, "I love U Guys." The intruder eventually shot and killed Emily and himself. </p><p>After this tragic event, Keyes began evaluating the way in which schools across the country were equipped to respond to similar crises, and he found that there wasn't a common language among administrators, staff, and students, according to the initiative's website. He began the foundation in 2007 with the help of a 17-person review board that included members from school administrations, nonprofit organizations, government entities, and law enforcement. </p><p>Keyes spoke to Weld County administrators about the foundation in 2009, and they moved to adopt the foundation's protocols across the entire district. The idea is that simple, effective procedures are in place that can be activated at any time by an announcement over the public address system instructing students what to do. The protocols include response procedures for lockout, lockdown, evacuate, and shelter-in-place and are used by more than 5,000 schools throughout the country.</p><p>"You don't want something really complex and difficult in the middle of a crisis, and so it needs to be something that is simple yet effective," says David Miller, principal at Hoff Elementary, another school in the Weld County district.  </p><p> The school district regularly conducts each type of drill throughout the year, and Rabenhorst says the lockout system has actually been activated in a few cases at certain schools. During a shooting at Arapahoe High School near Denver, Colorado, in December 2013, school authorities put the entire district on lockdown. "We didn't know enough about the situation to know what was going on," says Rabenhorst. "You don't know if it's just isolated at that school or across the state." </p><p>In the case of a drill, he notes there's no need to inform parents, because "they expect that they're going to occur with some level of frequency." However, in the case of the lockout procedure that was conducted during the Arapahoe shooting, an automated phone message was sent to all parents' phones to let them know what had happened. This phone system is used to communicate critical messages to parents. </p><p>Rabenhorst says if it weren't for students bringing the information forward, the threats might not have been addressed properly. "We encourage kids to talk, if they hear something that's not right or of a threatening nature of any kind and our kids are doing it," he notes. They also have antibullying programs at all schools, and a hotline number posted where threats or concerns can be anonymously reported.  </p><p>Weld County conducts quarterly safety committee meetings, which are attended by administrators from all six schools, as well as local law enforcement representatives. It also has a districtwide resource officer who spends most of his time at the high school, Rabenhorst notes, and administrators invite him to observe any of the drills that take place at all the campuses. At the meetings, participants go over how drills have been going, as well as any recent developments in school security. For example, the Fryberg shooting in Seattle was a topic at a recent meeting. The grim reality of this shooting led Weld County to review its reunification plan, which is the procedure for reuniting parents and students if a school is evacuated. "What's really important is that we have procedures in place; that you know where you're going, how you're going to communicate where you're going, and that you have... student rosters and contact information," says Rabenhorst. </p><p><strong>Alerts.</strong> While Weld County puts significant effort into its safety and security policies and procedures, the district also wanted to implement a technological solution that could help in the case of an active shooter or related threat. Toward the beginning of 2014, the district started looking into technologies for the high school that might help with this type of emergency response, especially given its distance from the nearest police station.</p><p>One security concern for Weld Central is that it does not have secure entrances, meaning that the school's front doors are unlocked during regular school hours. Rabenhorst says that this is a community choice designed to maintain a more welcoming, open environment. Weld Central does require that visitors check in upon arrival at the school and clearly display their badges. It also conducts background checks for volunteer parents. </p><p>Having unsecured entrances led the school to look for a technology that could guard against an intruder. During the quarterly safety meetings, it also considered the threats that face schools from the inside as well. "We looked at what funds we thought we could allocate for safety and security enhancements, and reviewed what options we had, and we decided that BluePoint was the option we wanted to go with at our high school." </p><p>The BluePoint Alert System works much like a fire alarm. Small blue boxes are mounted throughout the school, and they can be encased in plastic, that lifts easily, to protect against accidental deployment. The system communicates over commercial-grade wireless communication technology and equipment provided by Inovonics. In the event that law enforcement response is required, the clear casing can be lifted off the box and a lever pulled down, setting off an alert at BluePoint's central monitoring station, which subsequently contacts law enforcement. BluePoint has five such stations across the country, all of which operate around the clock. The stations also incorporate redundant systems, including those on the power supply, computer networks, and communications systems.  </p><p>At the same time the alert goes to BluePoint, a phone call is automatically routed through the monitoring station to police dispatch, connecting law enforcement to the school's main phone line so administrators can give additional details on the incident. If no one picks up at the main number, the school's predefined list of numbers to call will be dialed until a person is reached. Generally a principal's cell phone number is included in that contact list, and mobile numbers are called first during after-hours emergencies. </p><p>When the system is deployed, a prerecorded message automatically broadcasts on the school's public address (PA) system, which contains instructions for the lockdown procedure. The wall-mounted units also feature strobe lights, so that in a noisy environment, such as a gym or cafeteria, students and faculty who can't hear the PA message will still know a threat is imminent. The schools hope that a broadcast message in a familiar voice, combined with the strobe lights, will generate less panic than a siren or other type of alarm going off. The strobe lights are also posted on the exterior of the school so anyone outside would know not to enter the building. </p><p>The BluePoint Alert System features a mobile component in the form of a pendant that can be worn by teachers. Weld Central has 12 such pendants, which have been distributed "strategically" among the staff, according to Rabenhorst. These buttons are useful for outdoor and after-school activities. "Some of our staff have them for outdoor PE, so if they're outside and something happens they have access to the notification system," he notes. Pushing the button on the mobile pendant is equivalent to pulling any of the mounted BluePoint levers, sending the same signal to law enforcement and activating all the same protocols.</p><p>The system can also be tied into the IP addresses of any cameras the school may have, and Rabenhorst says Weld Central plans to tie its cameras into that system in the near future. This feature would automatically pull up video from the school for law enforcement when the alarm is deployed. The same feature is accomplished by pressing the emergency button on the mobile pendants. </p><p>Weld Central installed the system in September 2014, right as the school year was beginning. The school has since held training sessions for teachers and students so they know when and how to use the technology. Rabenhorst notes that the district had enough funds to equip only one school with the BluePoint Alert System. Determining where the system could do the most good, Weld Central chose to install the technology at the high school. But school officials hope to deploy the technology at other schools in the district in the future. </p><p>Rabenhorst says the BluePoint Alert System has created an added sense of security for students, faculty, and parents. "This just helps to let them know that we take it seriously and we're willing to put in various features to help strengthen our security," he says. ​</p><h4>The Human Factor</h4><p>As demonstrated in the case of Weld Central, technology can play an important role in school security initiatives. But experts encourage broader programs that include security assessments, regular drills, and a mental health component to foster environments where students feel cared for, and encouraged to report potential hazards. </p><p><strong>Safe environments. </strong>The Seattle-area shooting leaves many lingering questions about why Fryberg would kill his friends and family, and turn the gun on himself. But bullying does not appear to be a factor in that case, leading some experts to urge that looking at the overall climate in schools may go further toward preventing violence than simply dropping in antibullying measures.</p><p>"We always say that if it's a school shooting, the shooter had to have been targeted, and they had to be targeted specifically," says Barbara Coloroso, an author and advocate of antibullying programs. "And that's a myth." She says this myth can lead administrators and even parents to look for the wrong cues when it comes to preventing school violence. Instead of paying special attention only to students who are the victims of bullying, schools must foster a "community of caring" in which all individuals feel their needs are being met. </p><p>"What went wrong with this boy will probably take a while to figure out. And it's interesting that the news will jump right away to, 'oh well probably he was bullied,'" says Coloroso. "But we have to look at it as much more complex, just as we have to look at security in our schools as a much more complex problem that's going to require a complex and in-depth solution." </p><p>She points out that there may have been a disproportionate response at Marysville-Pilchuck, when Fryberg was suspended for physical violence toward another student who had apparently called him "something racist," according to a student witness. Police won't reveal any details about the other student involved, but Coloroso says the school's disciplining procedures must be fair and consistent, and separate bullying from everyday conflict. </p><p><strong>Mental health.</strong> Mental health care is another important factor in establishing safe and secure educational environments, says Carolyn Wolf, an executive partner in the law firm of Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP. "There has to be training for individuals to be sensitive to it, to understand when a kid says, 'I'm upset,' 'I'm depressed,' or 'I'm thinking of hurting myself,' that somebody takes that seriously and acts on it," she says. </p><p>Wolf, who is director of the firm's mental health law practice, advises schools, college campuses, and workplaces on their approach to violence prevention. She says mental health is a key component to preventing school shootings, but that each time another shooting happens, "the conversation starts, but it doesn't continue, and we just keep learning the same lesson over and over." Many investigations of school and campus violence end up pointing toward individuals who were plagued with mental health issues but did not receive the care they needed, such as the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook shooters. "There still is a significant stigma associated with mental illness or needing mental health treatments," says Wolf. She points out that it's difficult for parents to admit their child may have a mental illness, but getting the student help while he or she is still a minor can go a long way in preventing tragedies. </p><p>Wolf recommends that schools put more funding toward their counseling programs, as well as training and educating staff about the signs to look for in students who could pose harm to themselves or others. Schools that have set up threat assessment programs and kept them funded, as well as provided services for families who indicate that their loved ones might need mental health care, have seen success, she says. </p><p><strong>Preparedness.</strong> Ken Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services in Cleveland, echoes the sentiments of Coloroso and Wolf, advising that active shooter training be balanced with other types of programs. By focusing too much on shooting scenarios, schools might miss critical steps and signs when evaluating other threats. "We're finding schools that, because they have that tunnel vision focus on the active shooter, they're missing critical day-to-day training and awareness and focus on day-to-day issues," he says, such as students who are sent home with parents who don't have legal custody. He adds that more schools need to greet and challenge strangers walking their hallways, rather than assuming their presence is authorized.</p><p>Trump recommends that schools "diversify" their drills by altering the times. Some drills should occur at the beginning of the day when most threats tend to manifest themselves, or in the middle of a lunch period. That way, students are kept on their toes and ready to respond no matter what time an incident happens, he says. He notes that even when schools do implement drills, they often compete with other professional development priorities. Trump says that getting drills on the school calendar early is key, as well as conducting at least annual security assessments to keep safety at the forefront of school administrators' minds.</p><p>He points out two school districts that accomplished this and diversified their drills in a simple, cost-effective manner. "The superintendent and assistant superintendent would conduct unannounced visits to schools in their districts, along with their local law enforcement agency partners, and tell the principal upon their arrival to announce a lockdown drill immediately," says Trump. He says this kind of drill was over in less than 10 minutes and everyone was debriefed within 15. They then came up with a list of things that worked well and those that could be tweaked the next time.</p><p>Trump is a proponent of basic security threat assessments that start not with technology but with people. "Engaging your students is a part of that. Empower them to see what they consider to be their security concerns, and they might point out things that are a lot simpler than what [adults] come out with." He notes there have been schools who have students on their school crisis teams. They give the kids a clipboard a couple times during the school year and have them do a school safety assessment from the perspective of the students. "Oftentimes kids identify both gaps in school safety, as well as relatively simple and cost-effective solutions, that adults may never think of," says Trump. ​</p><p><br></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/best-defense-0012580.aspxThe Best Defense<div class="body"> <p>When a person faces a life-threatening situation, like an active shooter, higher analytic functions shut down. But training can ensure that the proper response to the threat occurs almost instinctively. That’s the basis of boot-camp training for soldiers. Police and private security professionals have long understood the need for strong training programs. In the wake of deadly shootings at Columbine and elsewhere, K-12 schools have come to realize that one or more attackers with modern large-capacity weaponry can cause massive loss of life before the police are able to arrive on the scene and intervene. Thus, students and staff will have to confront the threat on their own. Given that reality, schools are starting to put more emphasis on the importance of training students and staff in various response scenarios.</p> <p>The approaches to active-shooter training are evolving, especially in light of the recent Newtown and Aurora shootings. Not everyone can agree on the best approach, but they all agree that any training program must be tailored to the school, taking into consideration the facility’s layout, the makeup of the classes, and other characteristics.</p> <p> <strong>Evolution<br></strong> <br>When a school orders a traditional lockdown, it includes shutting and locking doors, turning off lights, and having students hide as best they can. In some situations, this is still the safest approach. However, in other cases, students end up being defenseless targets for the shooter or shooters to easily and cruelly pick off. This was the case at Columbine when students were shot while hiding under tables in the library. (Though if the students had evacuated at the point that they knew there was a shooter, they may have met the gunmen in the hallway as well.) </p> <p>Although many schools still teach traditional lockdowns, there has been a movement toward newer approaches that enhance the traditional techniques, says Amy Klinger, educational administration professor at Ohio’s Ashland University, who spoke on the topic at the GovSec conference earlier this year in Washington, D.C. Klinger is also director of programs for the Educator School Safety Network, a nonprofit school training organization.  </p><p> Not everyone applauds the newer approaches, however. Kenneth Trump, president of consulting company National School Safety and Security Services, is concerned that people are too quick to discard proven best practices, like lockdowns. While the lockdown and other security measures implemented during the active-shooter situation at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut failed to save the lives of 26 people, those measures did save many other lives in that incident, he says. “There were people who reportedly were in lockdown when the gunman went past the room. So it did not work for all, but it did work for some. So you just don’t summarily throw out decades-plus of best practices,” asserts Trump. </p><p>Proponents of the newer options counter that they are trying to marry the best of the old with something new. “Oftentimes, people think that it’s replacement of lockdown. It’s really not. It’s adding additional components to lockdown that are much more situation-specific rather than just sort of a general response to any particular event,” Klinger tells <em>Security Management.</em></p><p><strong>New Tactics</strong></p><strong> </strong><p><strong></strong>Two popular active-shooter response-training approaches that go beyond traditional lockdown in active-shooter training are Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-supported “Run Hide Fight,” and ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate). </p><p>The City of Houston used federal DHS funds to produce “Run Hide Fight” as an active-shooter-response video. It instructs viewers that when they are confronted with an active-shooter threat, they should first run out of the building or kill zone if possible; if that’s not possible, they should hide. If hiding securely isn’t an option, they should fight with anything available to end the threat, rather than simply waiting to become the next victim. This approach has won many supporters, and it is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s online active-shooter training program. But it was for the workplace, not schools.</p><p>ALICE, a training course developed by former SWAT-team leader Greg Crane, of training company Response Options, is specifically geared toward school shooters. However, the “Run Hide Fight” tools are now used in schools as well. Though both programs include the traditional tactics of evacuating (running) when possible and locking down in a room (hiding) when evacuation isn’t a reasonable option, they also include instruction on how to fight back, which has generated controversy (more on that later).</p><p><strong>Evacuation. </strong>The evacuation aspect can be difficult. That’s true in a multi-level hotel or a high-rise office building, and it’s no less true in a school. There are often classrooms on several floors, and those rooms may not be near an exit. Additionally, there may not be communication about where the shooter is. But having a plan can help. That’s why Klinger tells Security Management that schools should have certain protocols for when to flee. Klinger said during her presentation that kids who leave tend to survive these attacks.</p><p>It’s important to remember that schools have a wide range of communication capabilities. “We work in schools where they don’t even have a PA system,” Klinger says. Others have advanced systems that can send messages throughout the school. But even where communications are good, it’s possible that the person responsible for operating the system will be incapacitated at the start of an attack—or that person may simply not have good information to relay—so there is no telling what sort of information will be passed back to teachers and classrooms. Faculty must be prepared to work with what they’ve got in the moment and use that for quick action.</p><p>“When I have information about what’s happening, if I’m at the north end of a building and the active-shooter event is occurring at the south end of a building in the gym, why would I lock the door and sit there, and wait for him to find me? Why would we not remove ourselves from this situation?” asks Klinger. </p><p> But running has its risks, because one never knows if the shooter will be along the escape route, and young children might be hard to keep quiet or control in an evacuation, increasing the risk of evacuation, while sheltering in place has fewer risks if the room is secure. “We’re talking about in K-12, with maybe the exception of the lunchroom or the gymnasium, those rooms lock. Even in many of those cases, those rooms lock. And if they don’t, we’re usually putting the kids in the kitchen or in locker rooms,” says Paul Timm, PSP, president of RETA Security.</p><p>Bob Lang, assistant vice president for strategic safety and security at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, sees evacuations as one viable option, depending on the circumstances. His school trains teachers to plan out possible evacuations. “So we are training them in what to do when they first walk into their new facility and new classroom and what to look for relative to escape routes...what to look for in figuring out how to get people out.”</p><p>In training and conducting drills with the students to prepare them for evacuations during an active-shooter situation, it’s important to stress that those evacuation routes might differ from the ones used daily or during a fire drill, Klinger says. They’ll also need to be taught that doors and windows that they normally wouldn’t think of using might be something they’d need in this unique type of threat situation. </p><p>The key is “to make sure kids understand there [are] multiple ways out of a room or out of an area. Especially areas like gyms or cafeterias, where you have large numbers of kids. They’re going to try to go out whatever door they came in as opposed to the four or five other doors that might also lead them to safety,” Klinger says.</p><p><strong>Barricading.</strong> If there is a closet or a safe room for children to hide in so that it appears there is no one in the classroom, that’s a desirable option and one that has been employed successfully by schools in mass shooting events. But when there is nowhere to hide, a barricade against the door may help deter the shooter or at least stall him while law enforcement arrives. In training, teachers are taught to be aware of the way the door opens. They are taught “to determine whether the door opens in or opens out, [because]..... If it opens out, then you’re not able to barricade the door,” says Lang.</p><p>Barricades are going to be makeshift, says Klinger. “You’re not trying to keep this individual out for two hours. You’re trying to keep him out for a very brief amount of time, until he moves on to the next room or until law enforcement arrives or to delay, deter, and defend from that individual. So we use whatever you have—desks, chairs, tables. Whatever you can flip over and put up against a door,” she explains.</p><p>Klinger adds that there can be internal barricades also, so children can be barricading within the room, such as behind overturned desks. That way, if the shooter does get through the door, at least it will be more difficult to actually get at anyone, which might buy time to disarm the shooter.</p><p><strong>Situational specifics. </strong>An important aspect of training is to get teachers to recognize that they will have to make some snap judgments based on the specifics at the time. In Klinger’s training program, faculty are taken into a classroom environment where they can role-play how they would respond in certain scenarios. That way, she explains, they can get the hang of thinking through the scenario and quickly deciding what the best route to take is. This “really helps people to start to understand that there is no right or wrong answer, that there [are] a lot of different options that people could undertake depending on the situation and what they know is happening and so on,” says Klinger.</p><p>Teachers are also taught what factors to consider in evaluating the viability of evacuations. For example, if the teacher has a first-floor classroom where there’s a door that leads directly outside the building rather than into a hallway, or if there are windows that the students can climb out of, then evacuation may be feasible and safe—and thus desirable—even if the teacher or students can’t tell where the shooter is. </p><p> If the shooter comes at lunchtime, evacuation may also be the best option for those teachers and students in the cafeteria, because there are typically multiple exits in that area, and it’s an open space where it might be harder to find cover from the shooter, says Klinger.</p><p>If the teachers are in upper-floor classrooms, however, the only exits will be into hallways, which could be a more dangerous choice if they don’t know where the shooter is; so instead, their best option might be to barricade the room until they get a better sense of the situation. </p><p><strong>Fight/Counter.</strong> Most people agree that evacuating when possible and barricading when stuck in a room are the right approaches, but there are many dissenters from the idea of fighting back in an environment that involves K-12 students. Trump thinks the ALICE approach, particularly the “counter” portion, is preying on the heightened post-Newtown emotions and isn’t the best way to prepare for a potential active shooter. “You’re asking a kid to take a 20-minute or 40-minute workshop or assembly, and then implement something that people in the public-safety community armchair quarterback every time they have an encounter with someone,” Trump says. Trump notes that the approach doesn’t take various age levels, development stages, and special needs into consideration. He adds that it could open students up to further injury, such as if the shooter has explosives or was only going to commit suicide rather than hurt others. </p><p>Moreover, schools that encourage students to attack may be opening themselves to additional legal liability. “One kid stands up and runs to attack the armed gunman and gets shot and killed, somebody’s going to be held accountable. There’s going to be tough questions. What were your policies and procedures? Was this run by your school attorney and approved? Did your school insurance carrier consider this and review this and give you the go-ahead?” Trump states.</p><p>Timm agrees that teaching students to fight back might not be the best approach, particularly if the students are in schools where the doors can be locked and the students might be safe in traditional lockdown. “From a liability standpoint, I probably don’t want the kids fighting anybody,” he says. And while he wouldn’t want kids to just be sitting ducks if the shooter gets into the safe room, he worries that if kids are told fighting is an option, they won’t understand that it should only be a last resort. “I just get nervous that whether the kid is 8 or 12 or…even 15, he might have a little cowboy in him and think, ‘I’m going to get that guy. I’m going to sprout a cape and get that guy.’ And maybe even leave the confines of the safe room to do it. I just think it’s not a good idea,” Timm says.</p><p>Supporters stress that fighting back is a last resort. “If you’re in a dire situation, you need to go into survival mode and do whatever you have to do to have a chance to live,” Linda Watson, CPP, security consultant with Whirlaway Group LLC says. She adds, “We know these kids aren’t cops. They’re not trained in martial arts. They’re just little kids going to school…. But do you sit there paralyzed, or do you say, ok, if we have to fight, we fight?”</p><p>“Ninety percent of our time training is on evacuation and barricading. We also spend time talking about violence-prevention measures. We talk about how teachers and school people can think more like an emergency responder, and even with things like communication and calling 911 and how to assist a law enforcement response, all those kind of things,” Klinger says. </p><p>“We spend hardly any time…on the counter or fight aspect of it, for a lot of reasons,” she explains. “Number one because there is that pushback. But the primary reason is that when you focus on the fight aspect, everything else gets lost.” Klinger adds that what little training she does do on fighting back includes throwing things and creating diversions to get away. The “Run Hide Fight” video advises people to incapacitate the shooter if possible, by using whatever is available, such as chairs. The video also shows people hiding beside the door so they can catch the shooter off-guard when he enters the safe room.<br> <strong><br> Emergency Communications </strong></p><strong> </strong><p><strong></strong>Ensuring that critical information can be communicated during an active-shooter situation is important. Klinger notes that the whole staff should know how to carry out these tasks in case the people who would normally fill those roles are hurt or not available during an attack. </p><p>Teachers and other staff throughout the school should be trained not only in how to use the school’s emergency communications equipment but also in how to provide effective information to 911. For example, they should learn to be as specific as possible when giving information to 911 operators or when communicating with the rest of the school; in describing a shooter’s suspected location, for instance, that would mean providing room numbers if possible rather than just providing a wing or a floor.</p><p> <strong>Drills<br> </strong><br> Experts all agree that it’s not enough just to tell people what they should do. You have to give them a chance to act out those lessons through exercises, both to test their training and to test the protocols themselves. “We have to do drills because there’s only a few times we know if our emergency procedures work and one of those is during the emergency. So that would be an inconvenient time to find out they don’t work,”says Timm. He advocates including local law enforcement agencies in such drills when possible so that there is collaboration and consensus between the school and potential first responders to any incident.</p><p>Watson says that going through the motions during drills can make the actions that will be required feel more like second nature to the students should they ever have to respond in a real incident. “We pop up, and we hide under a desk, and we all pull into this room…or we all shelter in place so that it becomes a very natural, not a scary thing, just something that we do maybe once a month or whatever the frequency they feel they need,” says Watson.</p><p>Klinger says that for the lockdown enhancement drills, her group conducts “what-if” scenarios, where teachers might find out from the principal whether there is a certain level of lockdown or if there is a shooter in a certain area, and then they have to figure out what the appropriate reaction would be to that particular threat situation. It’s not as crucial for the students to actually practice barricading as it is for them to understand all of the potential evacuation routes, she says.</p><p>It is important to drill for a variety of possible situations that could arise with an active shooter. Trump is concerned that some schools do drills that are convenient for them, rather than ones that will be helpful in demonstrating the different problems that might come up during a true emergency. For example, some schools will only do drills in the morning but not when there are lunch periods. “That doesn’t make sense. That’s not good practice,” he states.</p><p>The age of the children involved will affect how they are trained in these procedures, says Klinger. “When you’re looking at high-school kids, when you’re looking at secondary kids, I think you can be very open and very forthcoming, [explaining] ‘this is what we’re doing and why,’” Klinger says. </p><p>However, for elementary students, Klinger says her organization encourages teachers to build on important skills that are already being taught. Among those skills are moving together quickly without pushing or trampling, and obeying certain commands quickly without asking questions. For younger kids, especially, it’s “not necessarily saying ‘this is what we would do if there was a guy with a gun,’ but instead you’re saying ‘this is what we would do if in an emergency we all needed to move quickly away, or if we all needed to get away very quickly, or we all needed to be together.” She adds that these are skills that are transferable to other extreme situations, such as a weather emergency.</p><p>John Bruner, founder of In-Crisis Consulting, compares drills to game-day training in professional sports; for example, football players will practice with loud crowd noise being pumped in so they get used to playing in hostile stadiums. He says he has at times used simulated gunfire during drills with teachers and faculty to simulate the noise and smell of gunpowder that might send the individuals into fight or flight responses. He adds, however, that they would only do this when students are not at the school and with advance notice to participants and cooperation from local police and public safety.</p><p>“Even though [they] know what’s going on…I’ve seen teachers at the end get a little emotional and start crying because they’ve gotten a true feel for what this feels like,” says Bruner. </p><p>Some schools go even farther and use the sounds of live gunshots on drills with student participants. Those sorts of drills may do more harm than good, however, according to Stephen Brock, school psychology professor at California State University in Sacramento and a member of the emergency assistance team for the National Association of School Psychologists. Brock worries that many children are going to be upset and potentially traumatized by being exposed to that type of training. </p><p>Brock also says that training for an active shooter could have the effect of making young children, in particular, view schools as violent, scary places, even when their schools are safe. It can help to avoid referring to the events as active-shooter drills and to reassure younger children that the school and the teachers are there to protect them, he says. However, he questions whether active-shooter training is an effective use of school resources. He says limited dollars and time might be better spent preparing for other incidents, including natural disasters like earthquakes and tornadoes.</p><p>Other experts agree that schools must not forget about the natural disasters that Brock mentions and other emergencies that need to be prepared for. Watson says that emergency managers should consider using an all-hazards approach because tornadoes and hurricanes occur more frequently than active shooters. Considering the high consequences of this type of low-probability event, however, it is understandable why some schools find it worth a portion of their limited resources.</p></div>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465