Friday was a very sad day for the city of Virginia Beach as well as our country. Yet another senseless and tragic mass shooting has taken place and has left us with many questions. Why did this happen? How did this happen? What could have been done to prevent this from happening?
Hearts are broken and loved ones have been lost forever. The answers are not easy, and most everybody will have their opinions. I will say that preventing tragic events like this from happening will be an unfortunate ongoing task, but it is a task that must continue.
The shooter, an employee of 15 years, had clearance and access. So the question is: What could have been done to prevent this? It is my firm belief that through threat assessments and building classifications, many of today’s buildings would be a lot safer.
As part of an ongoing effort to provide a safe and secure environment at all of its facilities, organizations can conduct a facility security level assessment of their facilities.
The term “facility” is inclusive. It applies to buildings, suites, campuses, infrastructure, and land. Additionally, it should encompass leased, owned, and controlled facilities.
The following five security evaluation factors are used as the basis for the determination:
- mission criticality – the criticality of the missions carried out by the occupants in the facility;
- symbolism – the attractiveness as a target and consequences of an event directed against it;
- facility population – the peak total number of personnel in government space;
- facility size – based on the square footage of all county-occupied space; and
- threat to occupant agencies – viewed from the perspective of target attractiveness
In Virginia Beach, if x-ray machines and magnetometers had been in place, would they have prevented this person from gaining access? Security protocols could have been put in place that everyone, not just citizens and customers, must pass through these devices for access into the facility. Protecting a building from these events is challenging, but organizations can implement measures that may help reduce the impact of these events.