Page 130 - Security Today, July/August 2018
P. 130

How to create a lockdown procedure with an operationally centric approach By Michael Niola
Campus lockdown procedures, much like other emer- gency response and disaster preparedness measures, are critical to the safe and secure operation of a school campus. Holistically, this includes the safety of stu- dents, faculty, staff, contractors, and even visitors that may be on the premises. The purpose of a campus lockdown is to pro- vide an orderly way to minimize accessibility to areas of a campus, buildings, or rooms, to reduce the risk of danger to those on the site.
Lockdowns of a campus are not entirely new, as they have been a part of responses to natural disasters such as a tornado, earthquake, or other sever weather. However, the way we look at and design these procedures is evolving. With an increase in active shooter events on campuses, lockdown procedures must be created or updated to include this new and complicated threat.
Though these types of events are still rare statistically speaking, we should be prepared to provide added safety and security to individuals on the campus should such an event happen to occur. Having read through countless safeguarding policies for schools, campuses, and districts, a striking observation is that most of the lockdown proce- dures are alarmingly similar and vague. They state that when a lock-
down is initiated, some sort of signal will serve as the lockdown flag indicating that you are to stay inside, lock your doors, and remain silent until further notice. These procedures sound adequate in theory but lack detail, consideration for the different operations that take place on a campus, and are too passive as a reaction to a critical event.
The main complexity of designing a proper lockdown procedure is the fact that there are different types of visitors accessing different func- tional spaces on a campus at any given moment. For example, you have students attending class, students in administrative offices, staff work- ing in the administrative spaces, visitors touring the campus, contrac- tors working in different areas, athletes using different facilities, etc.
Also, campuses, such as medical facilities, universities or colleges, tend to be open and inviting, allowing for multiple points of entry without verification of authorized access at every location. Properly securing an open campus is a different topic completely in itself, but for the purposes of this article we are considering your common school campus that allows entry at multiple points. Specific to a school cam- pus, a lockdown procedure should account for the reverse evacuation of individuals that may be outdoors, returning them into a building in an orderly fashion to continue with the lockdown procedure.
New Africa, Robert Elias/

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