Every event like the shooting in Virginia Beach provides us with the ability to reflect on security. How can we better protect personnel? And how do we address access control?
The article “Electronic Doors Obstructed Pursuit of Virginia Shooter, Police Say” appeared in both Campus Safety magazine as well as Security Sales & Integration magazine. You can read the original article here.
This article states that “police had difficulty accessing doors on the second floor due to not having the required key cards”. This hindered their ability to respond to certain areas of the building.
Organizations must recognize the need for response and that speed is critical to combatting the threat. Any delays may cost lives. However, locked facilities may prevent a shooter from entering to begin with. The electronic locks also assist campuses in “lockdown” solutions.
It seems clear that the answer is not to abandon locked doors. Then what is the solution?
There is no single solution, but the simplest solution may be to give law enforcement access to the “Knox Box.” Building code requires that this box contain keys for fire response and be located outside of each building at a specified primary response location. Access to this box would give law enforcement the same level of access as the Fire Department.
What is access control?
In situations like these, it’s important to remember that access control is not the same as access denied or lockdown. Access control means that authorized personnel have access to certain areas and unauthorized personnel do not have access.
In this case, law enforcement and first responders are authorized personnel. Organizations should also provide them with the proper access to the facility.
In addition, access should be denied to unauthorized personnel. At this point, the sequence of events concerning the timing of the shooter’s resignation and the shooting are not entirely clear. However, as a former employee, the shooter’s access to the building should have been revoked immediately upon resignation.