Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly which is why private office security is so important. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims. Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.
In the recent shooting at YouTube headquarters, one employee thought he was hearing popping balloons when in fact it was multiple gunshots. It wasn’t until he noticed people scrambling that is was an active shooter situation.
Good practices for coping with an active shooter situation should be taught to every employee and regular active shooter exercises should be performed regularly to ensure office security. This not only pertains to security personnel, it applies to everyone in the office.
• Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers
• Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit
• If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door
• If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door
• CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO!
Human Resources Responsibilities – Prevent an Incident Before it Happens
Your human resources department and office managers are your first line of defense when it comes to office security and should engage in planning for emergency situations, including an active shooter scenario. Planning for emergency situations will help to mitigate the likelihood of an incident by establishing the techniques described below.
• Conduct effective employee screening and background checks
• Create a system for reporting signs of potentially violent behavior • Make counseling services available to employees
• Develop an EAP which includes policies and procedures for dealing with an active shooter situation, as well as after action planning Facility Manager Responsibilities
• Institute access controls (keys, security system passcodes)
• Distribute critical items to appropriate managers & employees, including floor plans, keys, facility personnel lists and telephone numbers
• Coordinate with the facility’s security department to ensure the physical security of the location
• Assemble crisis kits containing: – radios – floor plans – staff roster, and staff emergency contact numbers – first aid kits – flashlights • Place removable floor plans near entrances and exits for emergency responders • Activate the emergency notification system when an emergency situation occurs