It will be days, weeks, and years before we know all the details that lead up to and enabled a young man in Florida to commit the deadliest US mass shooting to date at Pulse nightclub. As a security consulting, design, and investigative company, we will let the media, government, and activists do what they do best and we will focus on the steps businesses can take to protect their populations.
First, as business executives, managers, owners, and human beings we all have to grasp and understand that security measures are put in place to protect assets including people by deterring, detecting, and delaying motivated individuals from causing intentional harm. There is no crystal ball, no magic pill or tool, or “fool proof” answer to the security dilemma. If someone is motivated enough and has access to the right tools or knowledge, they can cause harm to your organization, your employees, and your visitors depending on their objective and resources.
So what can we do to protect our organization from a mass shooting?
- Know your assets. What are you trying to protect?
- Know your threats. Who are you trying to protect them from? What kinds of resources do the threats have access to and how might they attack you?
- Develop physical security barriers based on your answers to #1 and #2 in concentric circles so that the loss or inability to deploy one can be mitigated by another. The more valuable the asset, the deeper it should be within the concentric circles. This includes physical barriers, electronic barriers, and policies and procedures.
- TRAIN YOUR PEOPLE. Training your people will save lives. It doesn’t mean that the entire population (visitors, customers, contractors) will be trained, but any chance for a positive outcome after a security event it will depend on the training you have done before the event.
- Create a culture of awareness. FBI Director James Comey’s statement, “We are looking for needles in a nationwide haystack,” applies to all of us. By creating a culture of awareness, we are able to heighten the overall safety of the individuals and the organization. Hopefully we will not be the victim of a mass shooting event, but there are security events going on all around us every day. Security events happen in public places and private places. The higher the culture of awareness that we can create in our organizations, the better we can respond to any type of security event anywhere. Security awareness with communication allows us to participate in our own protection and to reduce the likelihood that threats will turn into events.
Security programs are not sexy and they will not put you on the evening news (a good thing) but they save lives and they are the foundation of an organization’s stability and prosperity.
For additional resources, ASIS is making available free of charge many of its materials on active shooters and protecting soft targets – including white papers, articles, webinars, and book chapters – to communities, organizations, businesses, and government agencies. ASIS International is the leading association worldwide for professionals responsible for protecting people, property, and information.
Plan. Protect. Prosper.
Protus3 specializes in security system design, security consulting, corporate investigations and other investigative services. Partner with Protus3 and we will examine each situation to identify threats and develop solutions for your best outcome.