Having personally responded to a mass casualty event as a Patrol Sergeant, I can tell you first-hand that every second matters…
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “A Study of Active Shooter incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2013”(FBI Releases Study on Active Shooter Incidents — FBI), 70% of incidents are over in 5 minutes or less and 37% of those incidents are over in 2 minutes. Combine that with the average Police response time in the United States of 7-10 minutes (Average Police Response Times In The U.S. By City, State, & Crime (safesmartliving.com) and you don’t need to be an expert in critical incidents to understand that time is of the essence. The Police will be responding as quickly as possible to an incident like this and act immediately.
Unfortunately, based on the notification, dispatch and response timeline, it is likely that most of the damage will have been done before they even arrive on scene. Therefore, the mantra of “If you see something, say something” (If You See Something, Say Something® | Homeland Security (dhs.gov)) is mission critical, especially for the school setting where each second could make the difference in a getting a classroom door locked in time. Every responsible adult on campus is an potential early warning source, this includes teachers, aids, volunteers, maintenance personnel, contractors, etc. Empowering as many responsible people as possible to get classrooms into lockdown will likely determine the eventual outcome.
Implementing real time technology like Share911 (Share911 Emergency Alert & Mass Notification (getshare911.com) throughout your entire organization could likely be the difference between a mass casualty event and an effective Lockdown.
The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Final Report says testimony and other evidence presented to the commission revealed that there has never been an event in which an active shooter was able to breach a locked classroom door. (Sandy Hook Final After Action Report_2015.pdf (vermont.gov) These doors are normally secure and well-fortified causing an unsurmountable obstacle for the attacker to defeat in a few seconds or even minutes. Statistics can be used to give our “eyes and ears” on campus the tools necessary to save lives by having good mental and situational awareness and the ability to notify the school of a possible threat.
Lead Law Enforcement Professional Defense Advisor