Page 131 - Security Today, July/August 2018
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The main steps to creating an operationally centric lockdown proce- dure are:
1. Assessing the overall campus design.
2. Identifying the resources for event identification.
3. Identifying electronic systems that can assist.
4. Creating a communication plan.
5. Bringing all aspects together in a site-specific plan.
Once all the steps are completed and a lockdown procedure with an
adequate communications plan is created, policies for education efforts should also be created. Your procedures need to be taught, rehearsed, and thoroughly learned by the site.
Lockdown procedures cannot be cookie-cutter due to the immense variation in the design of campuses. Therefore, creating this sort of procedure should start with a wide look over the architectural layout of your particular campus. Items to consider include: points of entry to the campus, paths of travel, schedule of activities and ability to detect an incident at any location on campus.
You must understand the full operations, and engage representa- tives, of all facets of your facilities such as administrative staff, facili- ties and maintenance, faculty, athletics, and student life. This is criti- cal because roles and responsibilities will need to be assigned in a lockdown procedure. Once this is understood, the second phase of planning a lockdown procedure can take place; identifying what are the current security related resources that can be used for incident identification.
For a lockdown procedure to be initiated, the event needs to be identi- fied and those on campus need to be notified. Think of how that could happen and who is best positioned to identify issues throughout differ- ent areas of the campus. Are there security officers? Are faculty mem- bers able to communicate with security officers or the main office from their classrooms?
In many cases, only an authorized person in an administrative office can trigger a lockdown procedure, but this presents a bottleneck or single point of failure. The incident may not start at the location of this individual and communication to them may take time in a scenario where every second is valuable. A more efficient approach includes several individuals or locations at which an event could be identified. This may include administrative staff in offices, security personnel throughout campus, and faculty throughout the school. Though every- one may not have direct access to initiate the procedure itself, they should have a means of communicating what they are observing to someone that could rapidly initiate a lockdown procedure if needed.
As you may have noticed, technology has not yet been a consider- ation during this exercise. Now that you understand the full scope of the different operations on your campus and what that means in terms of people accessing different areas of the site, as well as having identi- fied the resources that can assist in identifying an event, it is time to look at what systems are currently in place that could be tied into the lockdown procedure.
The following are some systems that could increase the efficiency of a lockdown procedure: video surveillance, electronic access control systems, alarm systems and mass communication systems such as pag- ing, text platforms, or emails.
These systems could be tied to an event to automate communica- tion, trigger locking of strategic doors, assist first responders with tracking and navigation, and help individuals obtain information as quickly as possible. As an example, emergency phones could be added in remote parking lots, lockdown/emergency buttons added in strate-
gic locations, cameras added for adequate situational awareness during a response, etc.
The main goal is to provide systems that allow the earliest detection as possible and the fastest communication as possible. That includes communication to those on your campus, those that may be on their way to your campus, and to first responders. This provides individuals with as much time to react as possible, ultimately saving lives.
Now it’s time to tie all this together to create your lockdown procedure. The general steps should include:
• Event Identification. The lockdown is triggered by the individuals
identified utilizing the systems you have chosen for this step.
• Communication. Communication is sent to everyone on campus and those that could be on their way to your campus, informing them of the event so they shelter in place or refrain from accessing the campus. Communication is also sent to first responders for
response to the event.
• Sheltering. Clear steps, depending on your location, to take to lock
yourself in a building or room.
• Target Hardening. Active steps that can be taken to make yourself
the hardest target possible, such as barricading doors, closing blinds, and identifying objects around the room that could assist in fending off an intruder.
• Room Clearing. The steps taken as individuals wait in their loca- tions for authorities to regain control of the situation and safely clear and evacuate you.
These procedures are only useful if those on your campus are prop-
erly trained. Education is critical in ensuring that an individual could still perform the tasks as prescribed under duress. Typically, drills are conducted on a yearly basis, but increasingly it is recommended that lockdown drill, specific for active shooters on a campus, are conducted once a semester.
Inevitably there will be individuals new to your campus or visiting for the first time so the procedure needs to identify measures for these circumstances as well. For example, requiring that lead role individuals in classrooms quickly assess if individuals directly outside their room could come in for shelter within their space, or providing tour guides with the steps they need to take in different campus locations if they have a group of visitors with them.
There are some collective tips that have risen through years of coordi- nating these types of procedures, which could be applied when you are undergoing this process. Here are ones to keep in mind:
Prerecorded Messages. Audible messages should be prerecorded to avoid relying on an individual under stress to communicate in a clear manner. This also allows them to save time and carry on with their shel- tering procedure as opposed to seeking a paging station to communicate.
Proper Hardware. Door hardware shall be properly designed for the ability to be locked from the inside of the room, not requiring someone to go outside in order to lock it with a key.
Limit Sight. Windows could be glazed or tinted to provide little visuals of the inside. If this is not possible, blinds or other shade sys- tems should be introduced and closing them should be part of the detailed procedure.
Notify Everyone. Do not forget to include communication with those that may be on their way to your campus to ensure they do not come in. This could be via automated messages to students, faculty, employees, and even parents. This may also be in the form of visual indicators at the campus or buildings such as lights that alert on comers.

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