When children go to school, they should never have to worry about returning home safe. A recent study by the FBI confirms the rate of active shooter incidents in the United States continues to rise in frequency, now averaging more than one per month, with schools as the second most common place for an active shooter. Schools should be well-prepared for safety incidents—including the possibility of an active shooter.

School administrators and staff play a critical role in navigating the response to an active shooter situation. Convergint, partnered with EAGL Technology, is working on making that job easier. Here are three best practices for securing a school from an active shooter.

1. Implementing Response & Lockdown Technology

The EAGL System was developed independently in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy. After closely looking at recent active shooter incidents, it become clear that a response had to occurn within the first seconds of shots fired if lives were going to be saved.

With this technology, once an active shooter is detected, an image is sent of the building layout, along with ballistic data and shooter location, to local law enforcement. The EAGL System detects a gunshot in under two seconds and executes all of the emergency notifications, lockdown, live video, public address, and mass communication announcements in under 20 seconds.

A portion of all EAGL sales are donated to Safe and Sound Schools, an organization founded by Michele Gay, whose daughter, Josephine, was killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. Read more about Safe and Sound Schools below.

2. Implementing Visitor Management

Managing visitors and guests from the time they are invited to the time they leave is critical to the security of a school. For many organizations, the processes used to manage these visitors is manual in nature, resulting in errors and long visitor wait times, and often creating risk from unwanted visitors. Visitor management handles all types of physical identities and automates the entire visitor management lifecycle. This solution could include capabilities for visitor pre-registration, registration, security checks and access authorization, check-in/check-out, badge printing, centralized reporting, and audit trail functions.

3. Maintain Connections With Local Public Safety Officials

Schools must consider all areas of school safety relevant to their site and community and remember to include representatives from each stakeholder group. When tragedy strikes, it’s important that public officials are already aware of the school’s emergency response policies and procedures. The emergency response manual should be presented and reviewed  annually in a public forum, such as a school board meeting.

About Safe and Sound Schools: Safe and Sound Schools in a non-profit organization dedicated to improving school safety across the United States through discussion, collaboration, education, and sharing of resources.

Founded in May 2013, following the Sandy Hook School tragedy, Safe and Sound began as a collaboration between Sandy Hook parents, families, teachers, first responders, and community members to endure the safety of the nation’s schools.

Today, Safe and Sound Schools is recognized as a thought leader and resource for school safety improvements in communities across the country.

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