Ready to Respond

By Jennie Mclamb, CPP, PSP, PCI

If the company has armed response personnel, they will be trained to engage the shooter per the company’s use-of-force policy. If an attack is occurring or about to occur, the primary goals are containment and de-escalation without risking further injury until police arrive on the scene. If containment and de-escalation are not possible, the priority is to monitor the perpetrator’s movements.

Security should also evacuate the area as quickly and safely as possible. If officers can communicate with people they cannot evacuate, they should tell them to lock and barricade doors and remain quiet so as not to alert the attacker (as any buildingwide message also would have told them). If employees cannot lock and barricade the doors, they should be told to disperse, hide, and remain quiet. Officers must ensure that employees do not cluster together as it increases the number of potential victims.

In a multi-story facility, officers should be dispatched to the floors above and below the incident to monitor elevators and stairwells, while available armed officers split up as follows: two of the armed security officers are trained to respond to the rear of the building and monitor the emergency stairwell exit doors. They also clear any pedestrians from the area. Two armed security officers respond to the front of the building to assist in clearing any pedestrians from the area. Two armed security officers respond to the garage levels of the building to monitor elevator lobbies and stairwell exit doors, and to restrict employees from entering the lobbies and stairwells. At least three armed security officers should respond to the outer perimeter of the affected building to conduct crowd control. A contingent responds directly to where the threat is.

Security officers restrict entry into the garage and clear any vehicle traffic to allow emergency services to enter. Officers also stop all traffic from entering and will initially restrict all traffic from leaving. Officers will let traffic exit when given the order by authorized personnel.



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