Tools to Help Prevent School Threats Like Newtown, Connecticut

Before the Newtown, CT, tragedy recedes from public consciousness, we’d like to add our voice to those proposing ideas that can help prevent this type of senseless killing in the future. The security industry has a role to play here. We also have an opportunity.

While SIAC does not have all the answers, we would like to suggest our industry have a national dialogue quickly, and come up with proposals where we are part of a solution that will be able to say 10 years from now, “We helped prevent future Newtown’s from occurring.” We’d be remiss in our duties as responsible citizens to not step forward at this critical point.

Our thoughts to help spur discussion include the following: What tool(s) can we offer law enforcement and school systems to help them quickly respond to a threat?

One option is to add a panic/hold-up type device for immediate law enforcement response in every school. It would need to be a “double-action” locking device to avoid accidental trips and probably located in the school office where only knowledgeable adults could get to it. Most schools already have alarm systems so adding the device would in most cases be minimal in cost. Companies could provide this as a donation to the school, at cost or at a significantly reduced fee. Associations could get involved to promote and publicize the cause.

We could do more by including video, additional hold-up devices, etc. Buy-in from IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) and NSA (National Sheriffs Association) ahead of time would be critical to implement a coordinated effort. Working in partnership with law enforcement we could lay out a joint position with safeguards to ensure all parties are in agreement.

SIAC urges you to get involved in this dialogue and push it through your state and national associations (CSAA and ESA). Our children deserve no less. We urge you to respond to this blog, letting us know whether you support our suggestions or don’t think they are a good idea. Add your own suggestions if you’d like. We want to hear from you.


Executive Director of SIAC
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