Yesterday’s tragic Navy Yard shooting in Washington D.C., in which a gunman killed at least 12 people, will serve to keep active-shooter drills at the forefront of first responder agencies for months to come. Active shooter response is one of the many topics planned for the ASIS Int’l Seminar and Exhibits next week in Chicago. There are three sessions scheduled, which together will expose attendees to topics such as trends in active shooting incidents, patterns and behavior of offenders, tools for preparing a response, and more. (See https://app.epicreg.com/sps_a/SessionSearch/SessionName/C066916A-32D4-4FF1-834C-78664D43E343)
As a systems integrator, you may be wondering what your role, if any, would be in active shooter preparedness. Regarding your clients, what services can you offer to help them evaluate risk factors or plan a successful response? One nationwide integrator, Schaumburg, Ill.-based Convergint Technologies, was actively involved in an active shooter drill earlier this year. Their involvement was centered on technology and its usefulness in helping first responders and school administrators learn what their deficiencies may be.
The drill took place at Addison Trail High School, part of District 88, in Addison, Ill., and took nearly a year to plan and prepare. “[We have] private business, community agencies, school, fire, police, hospitals, Convergint all working together to keep our kids safe. That’s the critical part here — we appreciate the partnership,” said Addison Trail High School assistant principal, Michael Bolden. “This technology here, this is on cell phones and iPads. If the police have this kind of technology they know where people are at; it helps them function,” he described.
While students and faculty, who had assumed roles in the drill as witnesses and victims, took their places moments before the drill began, more than 100 observers were ushered into the school’s auditorium to watch the drill unfold on a large screen on the stage. iPads also were available for the observers — many of whom were law enforcement and educators — to use for close-up viewing. The observation portion of the drill would not have been possible without the video surveillance system that Convergint Technologies, the fifth largest systems integrator in the United States, had installed at Addison Trail High School about four years prior to the drill. The system consists of an OnSSI video management system, approximately 80 network cameras from Axis Communications, and – installed specifically for the drill – the Mobile Operations Center from LexRay, based in Lisle, Ill.